Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Question Linky

Linking up with Michelle at Fabulous in First

In class, we had Holiday Show and Share this week. As part of their homework the last two weeks, the kinders had to create a project...any project...with their families to tell about a holiday they celebrate with their family. It could be secular or religious. The projects were awesome. They made books using the small wallet photo albums, construction paper, a folder with wrapping paper in it and posters out of all kinds of materials. One boy made a mobile (talk about hard to hang up). It was great to see the creativity and hear how they worked with their family to create it. As each of them showed and shared...they had to explain and answer questions. The audience had to think of compliments and questions. Since most of my class celebrates Christmas, many of the projects were on Christmas. With some very specific teacher guided questions, we saw how even when we celebrate the same holiday we can do it in different ways...which just makes us special. We hit Common Core listening and Speaking and lots of PYP attitudes and attributes like tolerance and respect.
It made me even more interested to read everyone's answers to these questions. Thanks Michelle for hosting.

Hot Chocolate or Eggnog? 
Hot chocolate. I like a little peppermint thrown in mine. : )
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them underneath the tree? 
When I was growing up, my mom wrapped each gift from parents and Santa. She loved to write clues on them and make them from literary characters as well. She saws I pointed out the wrapping paper so I wrap my own kids and Santa has a different wrapping paper. I even wrap little things in the stocking so it takes longer. hehe.
Colored lights or white? 
We have colored and white lights. I'm not picky at all. My childhood tree has hand-made ornaments including hand-me down ones from fabric. In her later years, my grandma had her tree professionally styled in coordinating colors and I inherited a lot of pink and gold ornaments.

When do you decorate? 
Growing up, we chopped a tree after my birthday. My husband would put it up before Thanksgiving. This year, the kittens took the tree out so we may end up with a live tree soon. We got a fake one because we put it in a bay window so it needs to be short.
Real or Fake Tree? 
So I jumped ahead on this one.

What Tops Your Tree?
Our tree often runs out of room but I love having an angel on the top of the tree.

Favorite Christmas Memories or Traditions?
We always travel to see the drive-thru lights display. It was a favorite of mine growing up. I even make my husband drive so I see better. As soon as Thanksgiving is over, my kids start asking to see them.
Do you remember your favorite gift as a child? 
When I was very little, I asked for my own kitchen. My parents got me a wooden one that I loved.
Do prefer giving or receiving? 
Giving! I love to leave little gifts for my co-workers and family all year when I can afford it. I've been leaving a little item for my own kids each week this month just to see their surprise.

What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Do You Hear What I Hear? It was on the radio the other weekend when we left on a trip and when we arrived home.
Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum? 
LOVE peppermint! Of course in my old age, I like the soft peppermints more than a big candy cane.

 Favorite Christmas Movie? 
I totally watch Hallmark channel all month long. There are a few of those I love.

Do you shop online or at stores?

Photo Cards, Letter or Store Bought Card? 
Totally forget every year to mail them but the kids make some for Church and family to hand out.
Wow. This is a long post. Lots of sharing,
Don't forget today is the last day for the giveaway.
You still have until Dec 25th for the gift with purchase offer in my TPT store. I haven't decided on the freebie yet but it'll be something good. Taking suggestions :)
With thanks to everyone who purchases from my store, I am offering a gift with purchase this month. Just follow these steps.1. Purchase at least $4 in products from my TPT store from December 1st to December 25th (can be a combination of items and dates).
2. Email me at with your TPT username and the date or dates of purchase by January 6th.
After verifying your purchases, I will email you a special free thank you item not currently available in my store. My emails with your gift will go out after the 25th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Cover It

We had a snow day today.
So I finished and posted to TPT this unit. If you downloaded Monday's freebie & liked it, you'll love this.

Winter Fun
Snow Balls
Cookies & Gingerbread
Arctic Animals
Chinese New Year
Dental Health
Valentine’s Day
Each theme includes both color and black/white outline versions.
Use one mat for everyone; differentiate by using different keys for die roll. Keys include: die faces, numerals 1-6, add 2 dice, double, add ten, subtract from ten; some sets also include number words, add on, 1 less, 1 more, 2 more and multiplication
My own children played the Cookies version. After we played & I left them with the game board, keys and variety of covers, I heard them explaining the directions to each other. : )


Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Christmas Freebie

As promised, I have a Christmas freebie for you today - bring your own dice style.
I've been designing roll and covers in a new style. You have one board for roll and cover (or to play bump). Instead of changing the die or adding a spinner, there is a key. Each child in a game can use the same key or differentiate. Do you have a student who needs to match the dots on a die to the numeral and another who is practicing adding working at the same center? They can work together with the same board.
Linking up with

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Don't forget to check out the freebies from the last few days, the rafflecopter and the gift with purchase TPT offer.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Five for Friday and TPT Gift

Five for Friday Saturday
1.This week we talked about Transportation around the world! We read the book On The Go from our reading program and explored Google Earth to find the different places. We read in online databases about different environments and matched different types of transportation to the environments best suited.  Our favorite mode...rickshaws and snowshoes. We looked through pictures from around the world of all kinds of rickshaws.
2. We used my Let's Go Mini-Readers and writing in small group. We put dots under the picture words and underlined the verbs. We talked about vowels as we introduced up and down. The kinders love to be able to write in their readers and to take them home to read and bring back.
3. As part of our writing this week, the kinders had to select 3 modes of transportation to add to their picture and write at least three sentences. They were really interested in this writing assignment. We conferenced on using different types of sentence structure. My class loves to write questions and answer them.

4. It is my birthday. (You might have seen the sale and rafflecopter.) I got to attend a wreath making seminar without the kids and to take the kids to a make a craft session. I love the table piece I made it good. All three kids loved trying their hands at different crafts and made fast friends with the ladies running the craft tables. My son used washable paints and markers to paint a train engine for his grandpa's Christmas display. My 2 year old wore the mini wreath she made as a necklace and my eldest designed a basket.

5. As a thank you to those who purchase my products, I am offering a gift with purchase to every one who purchases at least $4 from my store from December 1 to 25th and emails me at with their TPT username and dates of purchase by January 6th. It will be a new item that is not currently in my TPT store and will not be sent out until after December 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Birthday Sale!

For My Birthday,

To celebrate, I am taking my wonderful children out for some Christmas fun (before the ice storm comes tomorrow). I am leaving my TPT store on sale 20% until Monday.
I've a freebie planned for Monday - dice required. (Don't forget Friday's freebie either.) has been a long time since I held a giveaway. One winner will get any item or combination of items up to $10. Two winners will get any item up to $5. Easy rafflecopter entries - do as many as you like. I'm excited to hear in the comments about everyone's traditions for their birthdays or those of their children.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Little Reindeer Friday Freebie

Do you have a story you love to read this time of year? I have a ton. I love to read The Little Reindeer.
If you have read this story, you know the pictures are amazing for teaching perspective and writing. The little reindeer is dropped on the boy's rooftop in the city where he cares for him and they fly over the city. My favorite part is the boy feeding the reindeer. I have had my students draw and write in response to the story in past years and it is always a great activity. This year, I made a cut and paste sentence page. When I give my students the cut and paste. They sequence the given sentence but write one of their own related to the sentence they sequence.
Click here to download the 2page freebie from google docs. If you like the format, check out my recent TPT items Let's GO mini-readers and We Snow Love to Read and Write.
Linking up with TBA. and with Paula's Place for her Storybook Saturday.
Have a great weekend.

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Currently & freebie

Linking up with Farley.

I love December (and it isn't because it is my birthday month). I get such a warm feeling - all the holidays and the possibility of snow. The smell of crisp fresh air (and snow) and all the smells of the season (hot chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon...). Advent and Christmas lights. I listen to or watch the holidays movies all month long. I have great children and we try to have our own family traditions. My son is asking tons of questions tonight about how other people celebrate and putting all the Santa movies together. My favorite tradition growing up was the big family dinner with all my cousins. The day after Christmas, we'd drive up to my grandparents and see everyone. My kids don't have all the cousins but they do love to bake cookies so that is a tradition for our family now.
I just made a limited time freebie for all of you - an 18 page emergent predictable mini-reader (okay it took forever to get formatted and trial printing but its done). Print it 2 sided. It goes over events at both a family's house and the North Pole with the focus word "put" for beginning readers. My daughter helped finalize the order of the pages.
It uses Kari Bolt's graphics just like the Snow Reader. I was lucky to win that set of graphics from Kari. She is great to work with. Of course, with the TPT sale, I picked up another set of hers with children playing in the snow. So I am excited to work with those graphics.
I also updated the Let's Go mini-reader sets - adding two more complex mini-readers. I've been creating mini-readers to save paper this year and I haven't organized them for TPT yet. I was excited to hear at conferences from parents how their children were rereading the booklets at home and how they were more excited to read and write! I am a big believer in b/w readers because the kinders get to write on them & reread them at home.
Don't forget the freebie from Friday.
And don't forget the code Cyber when checking out at TPT (yep...I did.) A little reminder from another graphic artist I love.
Happy Cyber Monday Eve! Stock up on clipart for ALL seasons during this awesome sale! My entire store will be 20% off for Monday and Tuesday and then you can use the promo code CYBER to get an additional 10% off. It comes out to 28% off the regular price! Whoop whoop! 

How do you get ready for such a HUGE sale?! 1.) Fill up your wish list/cart so you don't miss out on any of your favorite products! 2.) Go through your previous purchases and make sure you left feedback! You can use those points towards your purchase and get an even BETTER deal :) 3.) Sit back and wait for tomorrow :) 

Feel free to snatch up my sale button if you are putting your store on sale Monday and Tuesday, too :)