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Whew! What a week. Plus a freebie!

This week, was hectic, to say the least. What with working with our little buddies, wrapping up instructional units, the faculty luncheon, the reindeer revue (a holiday concert in which the superintendent sings Christmas songs with professional musicians and encourages the kids to form conga lines. Seriously; I’m not making that part up.), the class holiday party, book exchanges, and all the other hullaballoo and hoohah that goes along with the last days of school in December, I was more than a little nutty.

In order to maintain a reasonable amount of nervous excitement in my classroom and keep the minions under wraps, I devised a sneaky system of keeping track of class-wide behavior and making them ‘earn’ their holiday party. For whole-class good behavior, they earned an “Oh Yeah!” which is a smiley face on a chart. For poor behavior, they earned an “Oh, No!” or a smiley face on a chart.

They had to earn ten more smileys than frowns, (reinforce math skills – oh, yeah!) in order to earn their holiday party. It just so happened to work out at the last minute (almost like someone planned it that way! hmmm…..) that they earned one final smiley to complete their 10 smiley difference. We had earned our holiday party, minutes before it was scheduled to begin. Whew!

In other news, we wrapped up 2011 with a few fun activities. The first one was our digraph trees:

I made each kid four little trees and wrote our spelling words (words with different digraphs in them). The kids colored, cut them out, and sorted them. It was a fun idea.

Eventually, though, the incessant cutting got a little old for one of the kids. “This started out fun. But now…it’s kind of horrible.” Haha! Oh well, kid, that’s what Christmas is all about!

This is the front. Notice the adorable angry birds ornaments!

This is the inside: this is the sh tree. There were sh, th, and ch trees.

With our little buddy class, the kids made these cute snowmen (a pinterest find). Some of them were absolutely adorable! 
 Some of them were more like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Then the kids wrote acrostic poems: “Snowman”.
Grab it here!
I posted a while ago about using In November by Cynthia Rylant to model student writing after. Check it out (freebies included) here. My students wrote poems titled “In December”. They came out pretty great! This was my favorite – this little guy struggles to express himself but he really produced something great! Look closely at the words – they’re illustrated to match their meaning! His idea.

And last but not least, I got some adorable Christmas gifts this year from the kids. This was one of my favorite things (probably ever) and I’m sure you know why!
I can’t wait to get my coffee BUZZ on in the New Year!
Happy Teaching!


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