Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Holiday Writing

Happy Wednesday! Only 3 (2 if you're not counting today!) days until break!

Time for one of my favorite link-ups, Workshop Wednesday!
This week we are talking about our favorite holiday writing.

One of my very favorite things do write with kids is poetry. It's quick(er), easy for most kids and they can be so creative!

I bought this last year during Cyber Monday-as a last minute addition to my cart, and boy am I glad that I did!

My kids have loved it, and I have loved seeing the writing that has come out of them.

One of my very favorite holiday products...Nicole Shelby's Holiday Sensory Detail Poems!

Holiday Sensory Detail Poems
My kids get so creative with this!

We start out by brainstorming different things about the holiday season using our 5 senses.

Then, we revise our poem, adding in details, adjectives, figurative language, etc.

After that, I should them how to be 'conference buddies' by reading a friends poem and asking about the parts that confused me and maybe adding in some extra details.

They did great!

 After a friend conference, I checked them over and then they could publish-having a choice of some of the many papers that are included in this pack! (It's a bargain for the amount of things and enjoyment!)

Look at all that revising!
This one is my's so descriptive and vivid!

This is another fun one!

Another one of my very favorite holiday/seasonal writings is Snowmen Shouldn't!
Snowmen Shouldn't...
This was one of my very first purchases from Lesson Plan SOS (who is now split into two...Simply Sweet Lessons has this one)

It's a creative writing story about the things that snowmen shouldn't do...and the things that happen when they do!

I have the kids brainstorm  5 things snowmen shouldn't do and plan out their favorite one.

They always come up with the cutest things!

This one is one of my favorites that is done...
It has a ton of voice! (and minor errors...but look at that voice!)

These are some very fun, creative ways to keep the kids attention during these crazy days-and have their creativity bloom!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Holiday Reading

Do you know what day it is?

It's Workshop Wednesday! (Totally thought I would say something else...didn't you? ;)
One of my very favorite books is How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
I love to read this to the's such a wonderful book and there is sooooo much you can do with it. (Jivey has some great ideas here!)

One thing I like to do is to read the book-and then show them the movie!

(The original, not the newer kind of icky one!)

I just so happen to have a holiday season never starts without me watching it!

Oh look! Here's a Youtube one for those of you not as geeky as me (who needed to all of the orignial claymation holiday movies that she grew up with! ;)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) by Francisiii
After we watch the movie, we compare and contrast it to the book version (look at that common core sneaking in there!)

Of course, you could do this with any book/movie combo (i.e. Polar Express comes to mind!) or  different versions of the same story (two different versions of The Mitten...)

Oh look! Some freebie organizers appeared! ;)
Just click on each of the pictures to grab!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Made It

Only one Monday left until break!

Time for Monday Made It!
I have done LOTS of crocheting this month!

First off, I finally finished my super secret Christmas present...but you'll see that in January!

I decided to make my mom some potholders/trivets for Christmas... I hope she likes them! I'm not quite done, I have to sew two sets together first.

I've also been busy making a couch blanket for myself!

This one will be slightly smaller (I hoping for 40 x 60 in), so it will be the perfect size to cuddle with on the couch.

I love the colors, especially the gray and blue! I'm thinking of adding gray and blue/teal accents to my decor-so this will fit right in!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Holiday Math

Happy Wednesday!

Time for...
Last year, (and probably the last few days this year), I had some fun holiday task card centers that we did.

Of course, they were mostly free-Thanks to the TPT Holiday Guide!  (2013 is here!). (2012, 2011)

When I do these, I set them up so each one has an 'area'.

Then I divide the kids into groups, and have them rotate around the room!

It's fun for the last few days before break-when you know they aren't paying attention anymore! (and the first few days back from break...which is what happened last year! whoops! ;)

Even though this is 'new math pilot' approved (which is going....well, ugh!) I'm going to take out some time to do it-I think the kids will really enjoy it!

What are some fun holiday math things you celebrate?

Smiles and Sunshine,

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Smiles and Sunshine,

Friday, November 22, 2013

Five For Friday

Happy Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday!


Due to a fuel leak at school-no school for me today! I was only about halfway to school when I found out, so I turned right back around!

Happy 3 day weekend! :)

(Only now I have to go in earlier on Monday before Conferences start to neaten up a little!)


Last week we worked on some figurative language...the kids really enjoy it! Today we were going to do some poetry to go along with it...but it will have to wait for after break!

Because of Conferences on Monday, the teachers get together for a pot luck. I'm in charge of some Fudge! (made right after I got home...putting that time to use!) Recipe here


And.... Chocolate Cheesecake! (Soon to be made!) Recipe here (I'm cutting it in half to fit the pie crust)


I've decided to show only outfits I really like-you've seen most of them now!


Dress: Kohls
Tank: Target
Shoes: DSW

Fun Jean Friday:

Top/Jeans: JCP
Shoes: TJ Maxx

Today's Aborted (You seriously didn't think I would stay in clothes....went back to PJ bottoms and a sweatshirt!- I'll wear this next week during our PD Day :)

Shirt/Tank: Target
Jeans: JCP
Shoes: Payless

Have a great weekend!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Workshop Wednesday: Write!

Well, hello there!

After the craziness of a wedding, new report cards on a new reporting system and tying up random loose ends before break next week (the kids have it all off-I have conferences on Monday (yay!) and PD on Tuesday), it feels good to have something to share again!

And what better way to get back into the swing of things than with Jivey's Workshop Wednesday!
This week's topic is getting kids to write!

One thing I like to do is to give my students choice (within a framework-they all have to write reports, but get to choose what they write about)-but I think every teacher does that!

Another way I like to help get them started is a good prewriting organizer. Sometimes just laying it all out makes it easier to start that piece!

The best way I know to get those creative juices flowing is to have the students start with an art piece and then write about it!

We've done monster stories:
These are last year's monsters...I don't have this year's yet-but OH MY WORD! They have such creative stories-and some of them interconnected the universe all on their own...happy teacher! :)
Show, Not Tell paragraphs:

And my favorite this year...

Dot Stories!

Which of course, were inspired by:

The dot stories have come out (those that I've seen) so well! We've had eyes, Easter Eggs, mysterious eggs, tires, black holes and more!

How are your students getting excited to write?

Link up with Jivey!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Show It Don't Tell It

Happy weekend!

We did an awesome writing lesson yesterday, inspired by this pin:

Originally, I found pin with just the picture-but fortunately, one with the correct link popped up!

So we started our lesson by discussing what 'Show Not Tell' means, and how it can improve our writing (and reading!) experience.
We came up with some different examples of how to use our writing to make it better.

Then, I showed them the blog post of the different emotions, and how the kids described it.

Next, I demonstrated on the board how to do one (quickly-so no making fun of the sketch! I took my time and did it better on the chart :)
We talked about how to write a quick paragraph describing the emotion without using the emotion word-by showing what it looks and feels like (to you/the character).

They did such an awesome job with this!

I put emotions on small stickies and then stuck it  to their desks (two of each emotion-but across the room from each other so there was no copying :).

They had to draw their emotion (exaggerating in places) and label 5 things that their emotions shows (i.e., big grin, glowing eyes, jumping up and down, etc.).

After they colored it, I had  them write a paragraph describing their picture using the labels they came up with.

Color me impressed!

How awesome are they!

Definitely a lesson I would recommend and do again!


 Sweater: JCP
Tank: Old Navy
Cords: Kohls
Shoes: Endless/Amazon

I'm off to my cousin's wedding for the weekend-so enjoy your 3 day weekend!

Smiles and Sunshine,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Throwdown

Happy almost weekend!
My kids love using post-its!

We use them for a lot of things.

We use them for our answers/quick checks.
We have organizers that use them.
From Joanne's Reading with Post Its

Self Created!
(Joanne and Sarah have some very fun ones!)
 and we can use them to track our reading, hold our thoughts, and all sorts of other things!

The kids enjoy it and they definitely get excited when I say it is time for post-it organizers! A great hook for them to learn!


Sweater: Old Navy
Pants: NY & Co
Shoes: DSW

Smiles and Sunshine,