December 15, 2013


I wrote most of this post yesterday, but I just couldn't click publish.  I delayed it until today to honor Sandy Hook.  It just felt right in my heart to have a little moment of silence.  We will never forget.


In keeping up with my weekly tradition, I am going to present my little classroom rewind to you on a Saturday {see note above}.  I find comfort in saddlin' up to my computer with a hot cup of bold roast doctored up just right, dirty reading glasses {I can't seem to keep 'em clean}, and disheveled hair.  It has become a bit of a tradition of sorts for me . . . reviewing the old week before planning the next.  As I put together this post every week, I am able to look back on all the little successes and smile.  Every 5-day run has moments of absolute brilliance and other moments filled mind-blowing stress and chaos. With the Common Core changes, school politics, and the game known as life, stress seems to be through the roof this year.  All those negatives can really get ya down.  With this said, I think this time to focus on those positive tidbits is what helps me get up on Monday mornings :)  Do you take time to reflect on your week?

Alright, without further ado . . . here's my weekly rewind.  It was a jam-packed one, but boy did we do it up riz-ite.  

The kids are absolute heaven this week with all the Christmas around the World Stuff.  Thanks to Rachelle, Stephanie, and Lyndsey, all I've had to do is prep this year.  Their packs are absolutely amazing and we are really cruising - thanks ladies!  So far we have visited Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Australia.  Here are a few of my favorite pictures from our adventures!!
They take such pride in their work when it's time to complete a page in
Rachelle's {What the Teacher Wants} Around the World Books!
We shrunk the writing page and slipped in a free flag page we found online.
Just look at that coloring . . . **happy sigh**
Thanks for a great product, friend!

Yup, the babes tried that oh so yummy Italian cake.
Panettone was NOT a favorite in my class.
Only 4 out of 25 liked it, but everyone was brave and took a little bite!
The giggles, barf noises, head shaking, and yucky faces were classic :)

The kids loved Lyndsey's {A Year of Many Firsts} Secret Napkin Note.
Part of their homework on Tuesday was a TOP SECRET MISSION !
The babes had to sneak this into a parent's napkin.
Great idea my friend . . . they ate this up!

I finally got to these awesome little houses.  With a field trip this week, Christmas Around the World, an making parent holiday gifts I actually tossed out groups on Thursday and ran whole class just to catch up.  It was the best idea I've had in a while and the kiddlets welcomed the change.  We wrapped up our study on Fact Families with the craft below.  The Christmas carols were blasting and we did this one step by step together.  The holiday cheer was peggin' the meter for sure!

They worked so hard and were so engaged that they lasted 45 minutes without a break.
We made sound effects the whole time . . .
glue just works so much better with a little "swoosh."
Now that's what I call a crew :)

Whoever thought a field trip would be good during these final two weeks before our Christmas break should be horsewhipped.  Golly gee, the stress was through the roof on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning {trying to fit it all in}, but . . . it turned out wonderfully.  We went to see a production of the Elves and the Shoemaker.  It was magical . . . worth every extra degree on the blood pressure monitor.  One child was leaned forward {rear elevated just a smidgen} with a mouth open grin during the whole show.  He even asked me if they were real elves.  And that, my friends, why we do what we do :)

On Thursday, Ms. Amy Lemons helped us complete the most festive follow-up activity.  The kiddos crafted a retell of the play in this fun little Christmas light flip book.  They hardly knew they were working, it took minimal prep, and they look oh so great on our ugly as all get out middle room door!  This amazing craft can be found here.

I finally snuck this activity in on Friday.  It had been sitting all prepped and ready to go for over a week . . . I just ran out of time every day.  When we actually tackled this one, My Sweet Story proved to be a wonderful way to practice adjectives.  The kids were given a Mad Lib-type Christmas story about an elf, an adjective board, and a peppermint candy.  They dropped the candy over the word board and whichever adjective they were on or closest too was then written in the next blank line in their story.  They had the best time with this one - contagious giggles filled the room.  And, they didn't want to stop reading their silly stories to friends.  It was a classic moment in our little room!

She ended up writing a story about a HUGE elf :)
The grin on this guy's face as he's reading makes me so happy!
He kept cracking up as he read me his tale :)
They all crowded around each other and read their outlandish stores.
Some kiddos read their tales 5 or more times :)
Try this one with your crew . . . I promise that you won't be disappointed.  And the best part is that it's FREE!  Click the picture below to snag this fun activity.  

Our big buddies came up the hill on Friday and we completed these Christmas "Sunnies" to go with our Australia Christmas Around the World Studies.  My kids had the best time making these and even the 7th graders asked to make a pair. These sunnies went out to recess, into the cafeteria, and were worn proudly out to the busses.  They stayed on their cute little faces all day long!!  

These are so cool!

Told you they wore them all day . . . even during share :) 

This is always a favorite craft every year.  If you wanna run with this in your class, click the picture below.  I'm practically giving this one away today :)

Alright, I am out of here.  Gonna go decorate our tree.  YAY! Thanks so much for stoppin' in to see me.  Oh . . . before I go, I put all of my Christmas/Holiday ditties on deep discount.  We're talkin' 50% off everything from December Good Morning Work to Common Core aligned Christmas games and activities!  CLICK HERE to check it out.  But, hurry . . . it's TODAY ONLY. 

Here's to a great week filled with oodles of holiday cheer, minimal stress, and parent gifts that come off without a hitch . . . we can do this :)


  1. Wow, Kelley! What a pile of fun for your kiddos!! Thank you for the freebie! Looks great! Think I'll use it this week! :)
    Happy Holidays!

    Mrs. Beattie's Classroom

  2. just downloaded the adjective freebie! perfect for this week!

  3. I thought I saw an Aussie flag on one of your kidlet's pages - and those sunnies are so cute! Not to mention appropriate - we are looking at a Christmas Day with the temperatures around 30 degrees C here in Queensland this year (like every year!). :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  4. I love your tree glasses! And your adjective activity looks like so much fun! Your kiddos are so lucky to have you. They are always having so much fun while learning! December is one of my favorite months to teach for this very reason. Thanks for giving me a few things to add to that list. :)
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets



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