Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter Wonderland!

These darling snowmen are a great addition to our classrooms. We made them in both Kindergarten and First Grade. The first graders used a writing template with first, next, then, and last. They wrote directions on How to Build a Snowman. In Kindergarten, the students finished the starter sentence, My favorite thing to do in the winter is...  They both were fun to make and a successful activity for both grades. This  project is perfect for differentiated instruction and is easy to adapt depending on the skills of your students. They loved making them... but we love them more because they are perfect to hang up  in the classroom until the end of February! Its definitely the only snow we will be seeing in Malibu. If you would like to purchase this visit our TPT store by click here!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reindeer Pops!

Well I had to bring a dessert to a holiday party and I thought Reindeer Cake Pops would be fun!  I had my 4 year old help- he had more chocolate on him than the pop but that was half the fun!  They turned out great!  Everybody loved them and they were easy to display!  If you want to try them make sure you have pretzels, red hots and eyes handy!  They are easy to assemble but they cool quickly!

Here is the recipe I followed:

Make your favorite cake.  (I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge- it was on sale at Target for $1.00.)
Allow cake to cool.  Crumble cake into a large bowl.  Add one batch of frosting- I chose to use chocolate fudge from scratch but a can would work too!  Mix frosting and cake together.  Chill dough.  Once chilled roll cake mixture into small balls and freeze.

Heat chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.  Before dipping add stick to the cake ball.  Dip cake ball into the melted chocolate.  Press eyes, nose, antlers, and ears into the cake pop.  Allow chocolate to harden. Once hardened add a mouth if desired with white or black royal frosting.  Hope you have a  happy weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holidays Around the World!

We started our Holiday Celebrations Around the World unit.  Today we learned all about Christmas in Germany!  Our firsties did a directed draw of a nutcracker and made boots to put out tomorrow for St. Nicholas Day!

If you like these activities they are available by clicking here.  We are saving all of our holiday work in our "Suitcase"!  If you want this FREEBIE suitcase you can grab it by clicking here!

Hope you have a great weekend!  Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reindeer Glyphs!!

So we finally found an easier way to do our reindeer glyph!  The rainy weather had us inside so we decided to let our firsties do an art project (little did they know they were also doing math)!  During center time students completed the reindeer glyph worksheet.  Then each student wrote their name in the center of each of the 8 pieces they had to cut out.  Once they had cut the pieces out we paper clipped them to their worksheet and headed for lunch.  After lunch we assembled the reindeer one step at a time.  We started by designing our bow ties!  Then we carefully glued each piece of our reindeer glyph together.  They did such a great job following directions!  Our only problem was a little too much glue on a few of our reindeer.  We are going to hang our reindeer in the North Pole Stables as soon as the weather dries up!  If you want to try this project we have it available on our TPT store or by clicking here!

It's Raining Snowmen!!!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had fun with our families and ate too much turkey. The day before the holiday, we enjoyed a feast in our classrooms.

Students made apple turkeys, placemats, vegetable soup, fresh butter, and homemade pumpkin pies. We invited all of the parents to share in the fun with us. Having parents there was the perfect opportunity to have help taking down our fall bulletin boards and get the projects home safely. We thought we were so smart...the only problem was we had to come up with some cute bulletin boards quickly!

To get into the spirit of the holiday season, the "snow" blew into Malibu and our classrooms are filled with wintery crafts and projects. We love to integrate art and math and we had our firsties write their own addition story problems using a snowman and snowflakes.

We used scrapbook paper that we bought at Michael's for the hats and bows.  Michael's was having a fantastic sale - $5 for a 48 page pad of scrapbook cardstock!  We only had to use 1/2 the pad to make these adorable snow-people! The kids loved doing the craft and didn't realize they were doing math at the same time!

This project is perfect for differentiated instruction. In our Kindergarten class, the students did the same project but used a template to write a subtraction problem.
They used snowflake manipulatives to practice solving subtraction problems and a snowflake 10 frame slipped inside a plastic sleeve with a dry erase marker to find the answers and practice writing equations. The activity was such a huge hit that they asked to use them during their free choice time. Now that is what we call a  successful lesson!

If  you like this project it is available on our TPT store or by clicking here!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fire and Floods and Slides Oh My!

The rain finally showed up today in sunny California and the weather changed quickly from being in the 80's over Thanksgiving Day to the low 60's.  The rain brought landslides and downed power lines to Malibu, closing Pacific Coast Highway to traffic and making parents very late for pick-up. Our quick thinking staff sent out a rolling phone message to have parents come pick up students early.  The teachers gathered all of their  students together to watch  a holiday DVD in the cafeteria, as a few of us lucky ones braved the elements and ran kids to their parents in waiting cars at the pick up line. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones. Next time I will remember to bring my umbrella!  Soaked and a little bit tired it felt great to finally head home and sit by the fire with a cup of hot tea. I guess we will see what tomorrow brings... just one of the hazards of working in beautiful Malibu.  Maybe school will be closed tomorrow... can we say MUD DAY!