Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Santa's elf!

To add to the last blog, teachers also have to be Santa too!! It's been a long evening of wrapping presents and getting their polar express bells done!! With Polar Express day tomorrow and our holiday party on Thursday, I hope I can make it through everything! ahhhh!!

I wanted to share a cute winter writing assignment we did in our classroom. Our curriculum asked us to create a expository writing piece explaining a winter family tradition. Sounds easy huh? Until you get all the hands raised with a question, "What is a tradition?"

 I decided to take this idea and add some sparkle to it! It came out just adorable!

Here  is the final project! In my "Winter Family Tradition Unit" I provide winter paper to write on. However,  I decided to be brave and have the children type their work print on holiday paper. 

I introduced the writing assignment by reading "When the Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant. We brainstormed a few ideas and discussed the importance and value of a family tradition. 

First the children needed to fill out the graphic organizer to help brainstorm ideas. There are several graphic organizers to choose from in this unit. Above and below are two different examples.

Students used their graphic organizers to begin their rough draft paper. After conferencing with each child they were able to write their final draft. As I said previously, the unit does contain black and white, writing paper or colored writing paper. 

The best thing about this unit? I included a writing rubric! These always come in handy when the children need to know what is expected of them. 

Click here to get the Winter Family Tadition unit at my TPT store :) 

Hope you all enjoy!!! And PLEASE leave me some feedback so I can see how this unit worked for you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Every Teacher is a Hero

With the saddening news of Friday's tragic events, there seems to be a little glimmer of hope. The hope that America finally sees the true role of a teacher. We do not have the glamorous job that many think we do including having summers off or leaving at 3:15pm. A "great" teacher, treats each child as if they were their own, we are not only their teacher but mother, friend, doctor, psychologist, and the list goes on and on. I have been overwhelmed with the wonderful and thoughtful emails I have been receiving from my parents today. I never knew how I affected these children and beyond thrilled to see I have made a difference. I received a poem from one of my student's mother's. I thought it would be nice to share. 

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

What a beautiful poem!! Please keep all the families who were affected in your prayers. Thank someone, do a good deed today, and don't forget to say "I love you!" <3

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's December Already?!

It's the most WONDERFUL time of the YEAR!!!! Grad classes are done (well until the spring semester) and my classroom  is in full swing for the holidays!! Nothing makes me happier :) We have our Elf on the Shelf "Snowball" keeping an eye on all the good little boys and girls in my class. Now that the smoke has settled, I looked at my calendar and realized just how close we are to the winter break and how much we have to do! Talk about a stressed out teacher. It's times like these, when I wish I had elves to help me!

My all time favorite book is Polar Express. We devote an entire week to doing fun activities and lessons before we get to wear our pajamas and make hot cocoa while we watch the movie. I was left in charge to create a fun literacy Polar Express unit for our Second Grade team. Since we have review weeks for reading comprehension skills, I decided to incorporate as many as possible. This unit contains Cause & effect activities,  sequencing, identifying character traits, compare and contrast, and writing prompts. Here are just a few images of the 12 page POLAR EXPRESS UNIT. The unit it in both B&W and color. 

Check out My TPT store :) to get this item! :)