Saturday, December 31, 2016

Highlights of 2016

It's New Years Eve and what a better way to spend the morning than by reflecting on the top 5 "Highlights" of this year!
 This is a link up with Daisy Designs so be sure to check out her original post to see more highlights!!

 First!! The BIGGEST highlight of the year was the birth of our daughter, Kennedy!! She was born June 13th at 3:21am!  Weighing 7lbs 4oz and measuring 20 1/2 inches!! We are blessed to be her parents each and every day!

A second big highlight this year is that we upgraded my husband's truck - we found the prefect truck in the color that he actually wanted! He needs his truck for work, but it also needed to be a family truck that would haul things!  I don't really have a picture of it to add, but it's been the perfect fit for our family!!

We have been doing a lot of family stuff!  This fall we bought two quads so that we can go out to the desert to go riding.  It has been so awesome!! We've made two family trips out to the desert so far this year and my husband has been able to take the quads out riding with some friends a few times, too!  We also went camping with Kennedy for the first time (she was 5 months old!).

I finished out the year (well.. almost! Kennedy was born a week and a half before the end of the school year) teaching TK and then moved up to Kindergarten! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this age and am SO excited to be a part of kindergarten again!! It's been years since I've taught kindergarten, but it is truly my favorite age!!

We celebrated, visited, enjoyed, and relaxed A LOT with our family and friends!! Having our baby, it just has been so wonderful to visit with everyone and enjoy each others company!

What are your highlights from 2016??

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Making Christmas Wreaths with my Students!

I LOVE making little Christmas gifts for my students to give their parents.  I always think about what I would love to get from my kiddo at Christmas time - something hand made with a picture of them! I love looking at my mother in law's tree and seeing all of the little ornaments and crafts my husband made as a kid.  These types of things are my favorite!

These wreaths are SUPER simple and inexpensive to make!

 1. I bought puzzles from the a local thrift store for a total of $7. You could also get some from the dollar store.  A total of 2,000 pieces!

2. I had a doughnut shape template cut out (by a parent volunteer!).  I knew I wanted to make the child's picture 3 inches (because I have a 3' punch), so I used that as a guide and had the doughnut shapes cut out of cardstock.

3. I had a green piece of construction paper cut out that was the same size as the outer circle of my doughnut shape (this is for the back of the ornament).

4. We had our "4th grade big buddies" help us glue the puzzle pieces to the doughnut shape.  I told the kiddos to make 3 rows of pieces (to make sure we had enough pieces for everyone).  Some kiddos did 3, some did 8!!!!

 5. I took the wreaths home and spray painted them green.

 6, I took the kiddos pictures, got them developed, and punched them out with my punch.  I put an address label on the back of each green construction piece that said "Christmas 2016 Mrs. M's Kindergarten Class." Then I had the children write their name in sharpie above the sticker because it's fun to see how children wrote their name in kindergarten! I glued these pictures in the middle of the green construction paper back.  Then I laminated them and cut them out!

 7. I used an 18' strand of garland beads from the dollar store - I cut between each bead.
 8. I had the kiddos put a black sharpie dot where they wanted me to put a red bead.  I stayed after school one afternoon and hot glued all the beads on while listening to Christmas music!

9.  I hot glued a string to hang the wreaths on the back of the original doughnut shape.  Then I hot glued the laminated green construction paper on with the child's picture.

10. Lastly, I had the children pick out a bow they wanted to put on their wreath and then hot glued those on!

In years past I usually try and find little gift bags on sale for the children to wrap their gifts for their moms and dads, but this year, I used brown paper lunch bags!  I printed out a "MERRY CHRISTMAS" image that was in bubble letters so the children could color it.  They wrote "To: Mom and Dad" and "From:" on it after coloring.  They wrapped their wreath in tissue paper and I put them in their bags, folded down the edge and stapled it shut! I'm sure there are much more elegant and classy ways to wrap these gifts, but honestly, I love how simple it was to do it this way!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Elf-tacular Giveaway!

I am SO excited to have you join me for the Elf-tacular Giveaway!  You'll find an elf holding a letter hidden within this blogpost.  Collect all 7 letters from the other blogs within this Blog Hop, then unscramble the letters to make a word and you'll be able to unlock the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway!

While you're here, check out my  
"How to Build a Snowman" 
sequence and writing activity!

This is such a fun activity for my kiddos! The children LOVE sorting through the sequence cards (there are 19 of them!) and arranging them into different sequences to tell how to build a snowman.  

Why this activity is so great:

Automatic brainstorming! With the sequence cards, I don't have students saying "I don't know what to write..." I like to use the sequence cards at an independent center for students to explore before we start working on the writing piece. With 19 different cards, the students find different combinations which is fun to see as part of their writing.

It's also easy to differentiate.  There are 3 different picture organizers - 3 steps, 4 steps, and an open box for more open ended writing.  There are also 4 different formats of lines - two sets of dotted lines for primary grades, and two sets of upper grade lines in different sizes. 

It's different EVERY TIME.  The sequence cards and the unique ways that they can be put together make each child's writing different.  I love that they can have a shared experience while creating different pieces of work!

It's great for the whole winter season. I love having these writing pieces displayed during the winter months! It's not something specific to just one month, but instead can be a great activity all season long!

It's at a discounted price until Friday December 9th! 

Click below to find it on TPT!

Here's your elf and your letter!

Hop on to other blogs in this Blog Hop to collect the other 6 letters!  When you have them all, unscramble them and enter them into the rafflecopter to enter the giveaway!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway