Christmas happenings and pictures!

I am so sorry for my temporary absence. The last few months have been incredibly stressful for me. Probably the most stressful months of my life (but the details of all of that are for another post, another day!) I decided to take a little hiatus from the technology world and focus on ME time, hubby time, family time, friends time, and ENJOY my job for the things I love about it! :)

So I want to share with you a few pictures of my Christmas season so far. It has been a BLESSED one filled with love, laughter, and many fond memories!

We spent our 2nd to last day of break making our parent gifts and watching Where the Red Fern Grows! (We finished the novel, students LOVED it! I have a novel pack almost done that is coming soon!)

I gave each student two plain tiles from Home Depot (16 cents each) and some sharpies! They decorated them, wrapped them, and made grinches for gift tags while I read them the book!

For student gifts this year my teaching partner and I made them simple felt scarves with a tag that said "We hope you stay warm and cozy this winter break! Love, Mrs. Cap & Mrs. Daull" The students LOVED them! We had them on their desk when they came in for the last day which is Polar Express day! They wore them all day and loved them! Also pictured is the Polar Express bookmarks we made!

Then break began, and oh what a JOYOUS time it has been! Filled with cookie baking, sleeping in, cuddling, and relaxing! Just what the doctor ordered :) Here's a few snap shots of my time off so far!
Cookies galore! I LOVE baking. These are only a few! Hubs made A TON of pizzelles, too!

{Christmas Eve tradition for my husbands family: spaghetti, fish, broccoli, and shots of Yukon Jack and homemade Limoncello that my husband makes! It is quite a FUN event!}

 I LOVE our house at Christmas time. I never want to take the decorations down! 

I am off to get ready to host another Christmas celebration! Every year we do a "friends" Christmas with our nearest and dearest at our house. We have lots of appetizers and drinks, Christmas trivia and games, and a fun gift exchange! I am so excited :)

I am happy to say I will be back to my regular blogging self now and hope to bring lots of tips and ideas for your classroom for the new year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! :)


A few of my fav Holiday Reading Activities and FREEBIE!

I love Wednesdays because the week is half over, AND I get to link up with one of my BBB's Jivey!!

I don't know about all of you, but I see all of these amazing posts of crafts and parties and food that all of these teachers do on Instagram and blogs, and all I can think is... "I'm lucky to get all of the content I need in without banging my head against a desk and crying glue!" With that being said, I try and still make the holiday season as magical as I can for my students. I do have a few students this year who do not celebrate Christmas for religious regions, so I have been working on covering more than just Christmas.

We do a few themed days, and a Holidays Around the World Unit! 

One of our themed days is a "You've been Grinched!" day. The students LOVED this day last year! 

We start off the day by reading one of my favorite Dr. Seuss classics, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." It is great to see the students reactions, because by 4th grade many of them have not heard this book for a few years.

After reading the book we talk about characterization and students complete this organizer to use as many DETAILED traits as they can to describe Mr. Grinch's personality, feelings, and actions.
{I'm sorry, I picked this up as a freebie somewhere! If you remember where it's from please let me know so I can give them credit!}

Next, we talk about the order of events from the book and make an First, Next, After, Then, Finally anchor chart together!

Then students write their own "How To" writing for How to Make the Grinch Smile. These always CRACK me up to read. Seriously, the things they come up with are a hoot!

Next, we make our Grinch crafts to hold our "How To" writings! I made the template for this last year, and it is pretty simple! Unfortunately, it is saved on my school computer, but I PROMISE to share it tomorrow for FREE! :) Check back! Click here to download it from my Google Drive for FREE! :)

We finish our Grinch day by watching the Jim Carey movie version (we get parent permission, first) and eating "Grinched Popcorn" (I drizzle green chocolate all over pop corn and put it in green cups!)

Another one of my favorite themed days is our Polar Express Day. The last week before break I use Jivey's Second Mentor Sentence unit so the Polar Express is our Mentor Text! We read it and complete the grammar activities, as well as discuss the Figurative Language in the story, and complete a plot diagram for the book.
On the day before break, we have an entire Polar Express day! Our principal dresses as the conductor, and we all wear our pjs to school. Students get a ticket for the Polar Express first thing when they arrive at school and we keep them on our desk (some students admire them the whole time.) In the morning we do an entire school sing along to all of the Polar Express Songs; it is BEAUTIFUL! Then after lunch our principal comes around to our classroom and uses a hole punch to punch students' initials into their ticket, and then we go down to the gym.  We watch the first half of the movie all together in the gym, then go back to our classrooms for "intermission." During this time, our principal and our PTA bring around hot chocolate and cookies for all of the kiddos, and we enjoy it thoroughly :) Then, we sing the song "Hot Chocolate" as a class (it's their favorite!) Then we head back down to the gym and finish the movie. When the movie is over we give out little bells with a "Believe" tag to all students. It is a MAGICAL day!

Another activity that I am REALLY putting emphasis on this year (due to the few kiddos who don't celebrate) is our Holidays Around the World activities. 

I picked up this wonderful packet from The 24/7 Teacher; it is JAM PACKED with quality information and my kiddos love it!

During small reading groups we meet and read about a country a day, and work on answering the questions with text evidence.
{They LOVE using our winter print trackers!}

For my higher class (we have gone to a "block" type schedule that is ability grouped and sub grouped; which I will blog about more later!) I have assigned groups of 4 a country and given them instructions on what to research. They can present their findings in a brochure, poster, or Powerpoint. They are LOVING it!

I am also working on a "World Travelers Passport and Briefcase" kit to accompany this pack! It should be done Friday so you can use next week if you do a unit like this :) I can't wait for my kiddos to use it!

So that's a few of the holiday activities we do. What about you? I'd love to hear your classroom traditions!


An American Dream... Bundle!

Every year the biggest hit in my classroom is our Famous American Project! In fact, I think I've had to answer a thousand questions already about it and we don't do it until March!

I am so glad that this product is being featured in Educents American History bundle so more teachers and students can enjoy the fun! I am very excited to be included in this bundle with Educents is loaded with American History goodies for 1st through 4th grade!  66% off the regular retail value and over 400 pages! Hurry it won't last!

I know you will love my Famous American Project.
The project contains 3 parts: A written report including researching notecards and making a bibliography, Creating a brochure in Publisher on the Famous American, and a Living Wax Musem where students dress as their person and give a 30 second speech in first person.This pack allows you to implement this in your classroom easily. Included in this pack are: -List of over 60 Famous Americans to choose from-Letter home to parents about the project-What to do each day to implement-Notecards to guide students through the research project-A easy to use/kid friendly bibliography page-Final Report Cover and writing paper with primary and regular lines-Timeline of Famous American paper-Template for what the brochure should look like and include-Letter home to parents about Living Wax Museum including requirements-Grading Rubric for Report-Grading Rubric for Brochure-Grading Rubric for Living Wax Museum

There are many other products in our bundle to get your kids learning about America!  
Comprehension passages & questions, timelines, vocabulary, maps, research projects, readers and so much more!  

We have all linked together to show you exactly what's included in this bundle.  So hop along to the next person to see the next product!
Nurturing Noggins

The deal won't last long so head over now!


Winter Planning Giveaway Stop C-11

The greatest thing about blogging is all of the AMAZING resources that you can get from some phenomenal teachers around the world. That's why I am SO excited to be part of The Amazing Erin Cobb's (yes.. she is truly worthy of the title "The Amazing!") winter planning giveaway!

I am so excited to be a stop on this awesome adventure. If you want to take part in this scavenger hunt, and get an amazing prize pack at the end, head on over to Erin's blog at Lovin' Lit to begin the hunt! Or, if you are here for my stop, then welcome! :)

I am stop C-11!

Once you've gathered up all of the codes, you will be the lucky recipient of an amazing package full of interactive and fun resources from some talented teachers!

For my part of the hunt, all I ask is that you please follow my blog through bloglovin':
And my TPT store: 

Here is what I am including in the pack:

My newest centers: Reindeer Games!

These are already a HUGE hit in my classroom, and I know they will be in yours, too! Start here to gather up all of the secret word codes! :)

I am using these all this week and next during my Word Work station, along with my Holiday Spelling Unit. 

And don't forget, I am participating in the AMAZING site wide TPT sale starting now, through Tuesday!

Happy hoppin' and shoppin', friends! :)