Friday, December 19, 2014

Five for Friday Anyway!

I know Kacey is taking a break from her Five for Friday linky, but I thought I would share my favorite five anyway.  This was a noisy, crazy, exciting week!  We still have TWO DAYS next week to go.  Yes. we. do.
Here are some of my favorites from this week.

I made a  Holiday Homework packet with lots of fun activities for December for the children to do at home. I sent home one or two a week, and the families really enjoyed doing them together.

Here are the activities that we did this week:
I sent this paper, a Christmas plate, and a Christmas napkin home with each child.

The next morning, everyone shared what they had for dinner on their special plate.  Popular five year old foods are macaroni and cheese and broccoli, in case you wondered.  Everyone was so proud of their work.  It was lots of fun.  You could do this any time of year!

(This one LOVES his sweet tea.  It always makes me smile.)

We also talked a lot about doing sweet surprises for people during the holidays and being KIND. I attached a candy cane to this paper one night.  The next morning we shared our the sweet surprise that we did for someone.  One suggestion I gave was to call grandma and grandpa and sing a Christmas carol to them.  I think lots of grandmas and grandpas got phone calls. Lots of the children helped with dishes, picked up their room, or made their bed, too!

This makes me think of another fun thing we have been doing during writing.  We take "compliment breaks" as the children are writing, drawing, or coloring.  I stop sometime in the middle of our work time, and each child asks his/her neighbor to tell them what they are proud of about their paper.  That student gives the neighbor a compliment about the paper.   Then, they switch "compliment roles." The children love this, and it helps to refocus the students when they actually tell about what they are doing.  I also notice that they try a little harder when they are proud knowing someone thinks they're doing a good job.  

Finally, tomorrow I am sending home the special magic glasses with the children. 
I first saw these Holiday Specs when  my children were very young, at a sweet little toy store in our town called The Laughing Place.  I fell in love with them instantly. Now, they have them in Walmart, just in case you want them! I bought so many of these glasses and mailed them with Christmas cards to all my friends' children. Every year since the first time I bought them, I go back and get a bunch of the glasses because I always think of someone new who "needs" to experience them. 
If you haven't seen the glasses, you put them on and Christmas lights look AMAZING.  Each pair of glasses make the lights look like something different.  This is an example of how the lights look through the snowman glasses.  It is much better in real life!

I can't wait for them to see the Christmas lights with the glasses.  I am going to bring in my light up wreath, just so the children can see the how amazing the lights look with the glasses!
This is the light show the link goes to on youtube.

When the children bring back their homework, I wanted to have something fun to put on it for them.  I just put a starburst inside a star, and that was enough to make the children gasp- so it worked!  

I made some words to build on our mega blocks.  I had two of my groups build the words and write them.  The other two groups just built the words and read them to each other in the group.  
This was just extra fun...

 My kids are so fascinated with initials (because of those dedication pages!).  They love them.  I decided to build on that love of initials and do a quick little acronym poem with them.  This worked so well because an acronym name poem is a little too hard for my kids at this age, but first and last name initials were really fun, because everyone only has two!(duh- I know you knew that...)  I did this in a small group, and the children loved giving word suggestions to each other for their letters. This was great for vocabulary, beginning sounds, and working together. And- totally spur the moment.  I love those things best sometimes.  I made the big bubble letters, and they wrote the rest of the words.

I did a little "handy game" with my groups who are working on learning some specific sight words.  
Each of the children traced his/her hand.  I wrote the five tricky sight words on the fingers.  Then, I would say a word and they had to put a ring on the finger that had that word.  I had markers out on the table, and they had to change marker colors for each ring.  I said the words quickly, so they had to find and recognize the words quickly. It was fun because it moved right along and the kids were busy changing markers and finding words.   

Finally, each year our school collects Teddy bears to give to children who are in the hospital over Christmas.  Every class adopts a bear and writes a story to go with their bear.  This year, for some reason, there were also a couple stuffed dogs and... one elephant.  Well, my little girl who was sent to choose our class "bear" could not resist the pink-ness of this precious elephant.  So, we just had to alter the bear for the story a bit, and add a trunk.  We named her Rosie and wrote a little background story together.
Each class sends the bear to be displayed in the hall for the first few weeks of December.  The children LOVE our walks to lunch, because we read all of the bears' names, and each day we read a different story. Then, the bears and stories are taken down and delivered to local hospitals. This would be fun to do any time of the year.  
(Our Principal painted a Dr. Seuss theme in the hall, so that's what's under all the bears!)
Thank you for stopping by!
This will be me waiting for Tuesday night...

If you don't have to go back on Monday and Tuesday, have a wonderful winter break!  (And for my Aussie friends, have a great summer break!) 



  1. Oh, Carolyn, what a bummer to have to be in school next week :( Well, just think of the two days you'll get off someplace else :) My two daughters and I are off for NYC in the early morning for a three day Christmas extravaganza! I have wanted to do it every since they were little with just us girls. Hope to get some good pics. Love the specs and the sight word finger idea, btw. Take care and HANG IN! Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

  2. I love your little "Handy Sight Word Game!" I pinned it! Thanks for sharing! Do you have the kids trace their hands ahead of time, or do you just quickly grab their papers and write words on them?
    I like the Mega Blocks idea, too! I've done that sort of thing with Duplo blocks. Check this out:

  3. Hi, I love the mega blocks activity. Where did you get your blocks? I can't seem to find those colors


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