Holiday Traditions: Winter Wonderland

Hey ya'll! I'm linking of with Ashley from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd and Angie from Lucky Little Learners to share my FAVORITE holiday tradition: our Winter Wonderland bulletin board.

(I blogged about this last year, so this is really a "re-blog." Is that a thing??)

This is such a fun activity, and you're able to tie it in with lots of your standards. We turned this into a math/social studies lesson. For the social studies part, we discussed what you would find in a community: businesses, homes, parks. schools, etc. We discussed different holidays that people celebrate in the winter, and we listed activities that people do in the winter/holiday time (not easy since we live in Texas, but they came up with some good ones.)

 Here they are sledding, skiing, making snow angels, and singing Christmas carols.
Those snow angels kill me. So darn CUTE!
Yes, these are pics of my kiddos. They brought in "winter" outerwear one day because it's not that cold here. They chose the activities they wanted to do, and I had them pose and then printed out small pics.
They turned out so sweet. I just cut out little pieces of construction paper for the sleds and skis.
 Next we have our ice skaters, snowman builders, and our shoppers.
(That's my co-teacher and me having a blast as we leave the candy shop!)
For the ice skaters, I printed out little ice skate clip art.
 And, of course, we had to have a snowball fight!
 Finally we have some kids skiing and choosing Christmas trees. If you live in Texas, you KNOW we had to have our favorite grocery store: HEB! And seriously, how precious is that church?

Okay, so now to HOW. We started by brainstorming the buildings that we would need in our community, and then I gave the kids measurements for each building. This is the math part. It worked out perfectly because we were right in the middle of our measurement unit.

 This is the fire station. You can see the measurements and the ruler because this is serious business! The kids had to sketch their idea before they were able to start with the  construction paper.
I also told them everything needed to be cut out. I's cuter, right? Plus, once it was all finished they were able to use my SUPER-SPECIAL oil pastels to add details like Christmas lights or Hanukah menorahs in the window. This is quite the privilege (because they are smeary and you must be very mature to use them), so they were super-excited about this part!
 I kept having to say, "Less is more, people. LESS IS MORE."
Sorry I don't have a pic of that part, but you can see the details in the final product pics.

There you have it! So fun! The key is making sure to incorporate the holiday traditions of all of your students. It is truly one of my absolute favorite projects. Thanks for stopping in!
 Let me know if you have any questions about this project.

Head back to Schroeder Shenanigans to check out the rest of the blogs!

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5 for Fri-YAY

I’m a little embarrassed that this is my first blog post for the school year and it’s NOVEMBER! November, people! Yikes!!! I decided to team up with Doodlebugs for a little Five for Friday fun!
Teacher Life Hack
I love decorating my classroom and hanging up posters, anchor charts, kids’ work, etc. I don’t love when all of those lovely things end up on the floor. This year I have a classroom with cinder block walls all around so stapling into the wall is not an option and hot gluing to the wall leaves such a mess. With a little help from some hot glue and painters tape my walls are getting more colorful! I just put hot glue on my posters, then put painters tape over the glue then taped the posters to the wall. I suppose any tape could work, but I MY HUSBAND painted my classroom this summer so with painter’s tape there’s no sticky mess left behind. 
Classroom decor available in my TPT Store 
   LA 5-a-day
Last year my teammate (Jana Guerra) created Math 5-a-days. They are AWESOME and really aligned with our curriculum. I kept thinking that I needed something similar for language arts…so I created the LA version. I use them with my 1st grade RTI groups for a quick review of handwriting, sight words, and phonics. I love having all of these skills in one spot and it only takes a few minutes at the beginning of each of our groups. The same skills are reviewed in two week chunks to help build mastery and independence. I print mine on legal sized paper so it only takes one paper for the entire week. We normally grade them together on Fridays. 

Coding apps
Is anyone out there using coding apps in your classroom? We had a quick PD meeting this week on some engaging coding apps that I thought I’d share. We are fortunate to have 1:1 ipads in our school, and the kids cannot get enough of these two coding apps! I am by no means an expert on either of these apps, but I enjoy learning with the kiddos. If you have any coding apps to share, please do! I’d love to learn more. These were perfect for Kinder, 1st and 2nd graders.
3rd Birthday
My oldest daughter turned 3 this month so we decided to go “glamping” (glamorous camping) to celebrate! We had so much fun playing in the tent, roasting marshmallows, and creating our own s’mores at the “S’mores Bar.” Here's the menu if you'd like it. =)

Everyone needs this picture at least once right…
I took my kiddos to see Santa…the 3 year old kept a safe distance, but the younger one didn’t have a choice.  Poor baby!

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5-a-Day Math

Hi friends! I am so excited to share with a you a bit about my favorite resource: 5-a-Day Math.
Because our math curriculum (and most math curriculums) doesn't spiral through the skills, I wanted to make something that my students could do daily that would consistently practice those important math skills through the year. I started this when I was teaching 1st grade, and it was a huge success and helped my students tremendously. I've since added kinder, 2nd grade (which I now teach), and 3rd grade to my TPT store.

5-a-Day Math is a daily review of different skills. The same skills are reviewed in 3 week chunks- this helps build skill mastery and independence as students know exactly what is expected of them. They are printed on legal-sized paper for just one sheet per week!  (The 3rd grade version also includes a letter-sized option. I will be updating all grade levels soon!) My students completed these at the beginning of our math block last year. This next year it will be our morning work.

My class and I usually go over them each day. I pull a stick and allow that student to choose the problem that they want to explain. This allows them to feel confident in what they're sharing. They can even choose the date! We always explain what the date means and then try and find a pattern with the numbers.

Customer reviews for 5-a-Day Math:

This product is solid gold in a .pdf format. It would've taken me ages to come up with daily practice problems that align well with our EnVision Math. This has been wonderful morning work and has helped my kiddos develop solid number sense. Thank you!

We do this for morning work and I love it! My kids have gotten so good at it and I am able to see a huge improvement in their daily skills! As well it says copies for morning work since it is all for one week!

This is absolutely amazing. I love how it follows the standard and is quick and easy. The format is simple so the kiddos can follow.

Pin it for later!

Please let me know if you have any questions! You can find all 5-a-Day Math products in my TPT store.

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What are we up to? (FREEBIES!)

Today is a "Happy No-School (even though there's no snow or ice) Day" for us here in Texas! Our weathermen tend to get a little excited with the possibility of a winter storm, so everyone cancelled school for today. No complaints from me though! :) We were all in need of a little break.
I thought I'd take this time to blog (finally)! I can't believe it's March! I am SOOO ready for Spring. Texas weather is a little strange, and we've had some great weather and some COLD weather. You never know what you're gonna get!

We started our new Spring into Action Math Tubs this week. Actually, I taught the games in math groups yesterday and will now add them to our math tubs. The kids were so excited! They love when we change up our math tubs.

You find these in my TPT store!

Because we're in Texas, we have our own state standards and still teach coins in 1st grade. This is our current 5-a-day (weekly math review). You can grab this if you'd like to try it out! Just click on the image. The full version of my 5-a-Day Math has alternate sheets for teachers who do not teach counting coins.

A few years ago, one of our amazing math intervention teachers showed us how kids can use a number grid to count coins. LIFE-CHANGING!

This year I realized that my kids were having difficulty identifying coins. I made a simple little coin ID strip that they can use when they're unsure...and boy have they been using them!
We have 2 at each table.

These are front and back. One side has coin clip art, and the other side has plastic coins hot-glued to the spaces. **Notice anything wrong?? I kept wonder why the dime looked like JFK... That's because it's a half-dollar!! Oops! Apparently I was in a little bit of a hurry and grabbed the wrong clip art. This has been corrected now, but I don't have a new pic. You can grab this freebie by clicking the picture above!

We've been working on informational writing during writer's workshop. We chose to focus on animals, and the kids are having so  much fun!
Our whole team does this unit at the same time,
so you can imagine how difficult it is to share books from the library.
While worrying about this, I came upon this AWESOME book app called EPIC! Books for Kids.

I actually found the app because I was looking for something for my 1st grade son. I found it, was amazed with the amount and the quality of the books, and immediately signed up for an account. The app is free, but it's $4.99 per month after the first month. This seemed totally worth it to me. I posted a pic on our We Heart 1st instagram page, and I found out that EPIC! actually has FREE TEACHER ACCOUNTS!! (Thanks IG friends!) The next day our whole team signed up for accounts and our kids have happily been reading books and researching their animals on their ipads.

I always like to incorporate some kind of art project with whatever we're doing. In our writing, the kids learned about diagrams, so they drew pictures of their animals and labeled them.

We started with the labels and captions.
They wrote them first in the blank boxes and then typed them in the computer lab. Of course they loved choosing their own fonts. (If only our computer lab had KG Fonts!!)

They then drew their animals. They sketched them in pencil first and then traced in crayon. Most just used black to outline.

The next step was to water color the animals.

Once they were dry, I cut them out. You could definitely have the kids do this, but I was in a time crunch and didn't want to deal with severed limbs or ears. :) The next day, I let the kids choose their background colors and glue them on. They then cut out their labels and captions and glued them in the correct spots.

That's it for now! Thanks for stopping by!

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