Monday, December 17, 2012

Community Capers... and Christmas too! ;)

We are still smack dab in the middle of our communities unit.  Okay, maybe not smack dab in the "middle" per se, since it is almost the end of the nine-weeks, but it is certainly still in full-swing! :) I am actually having more fun with this unit than EVER... and I am sure it's going to continue to grow and evolve as I settle into it more and more!  So, I am happy to announce that I am finally done with my packet, and it has been uploaded to TpT!  It's 113 pages of Community Capers, and the kids are having a blast!  Here's a little sampling of some of the pages:

The good news is, I decided to throw a sale to celebrate my graduation!  The world is finally lifted off of my shoulders... or at least it feels that way right now!  Everything in my store is on sale through Wednesday, so this is the perfect time to snag the file at a discounted price!  :)

In other news, we've been busy doing holiday centers as we wrap up our core content before the holidays!  :)  The first center is definitely the class favorite, mainly because of the little reindeer shaker from The Dollar Tree and the holiday erasers we've been using for game markers!  Ha!

Oh my goodness, and since we've been doing a fast and furious review of digraphs, it was really fun to let my kiddos go on a digraph hunt in "William's House".  :)  As you can see, the story was overflowing with words! (The tags are from The Teacher Wife's All About Digraphs Unit... I just had to create a few extra tags for ng and tch, and we were ready to rock and roll!)  Since kids generally know digraphs pretty well by the time they get to me, this was a nice way to extend our spelling lists, and review patterns that they have already encountered in school.  Quick, easy, and painless! :)

Lastly, I want to share a QUICK holiday behavior management idea.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to share the file, because it contains a green character who tries to steal Christmas.  Maybe you will be able to recreate it for your own kiddos though... or adapt it at the very least! :)

I had a BIG talk with my kiddos about a week ago about behavior.  As you know, the closer you get to the holidays, the more impatient and impulsive your students can become.  So, I explained that the duration of 2012 could go one of two ways... I could be " jolly like Santa" or "Gr--nchy like the Gr-nch."  (If you are new to the blogging world and you are wondering why I am leaving out letters, suffice it to say that certain words are "dirty words" on the Worldwide Web, and this is one of them.)  To make a long story short, I created a sign with Santa and a sign with that green guy.  If my kiddos are doing a great job, the sign says "JOLLY".  If my students start displaying less-desirable behaviors as a whole, I put the other sign on top, and they receive a tally mark as a warning.  I told them that if we get to three tally marks, they will unfortunately have to owe me five minutes of recess, but as you may have guessed, both of my classes have managed to magically get it together after two tallies.  Of course, in all honesty, my students are pretty good on the whole, but this extra layer has significantly cut back on Christmas craziness.  :) 

Today, more than ever, I felt so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to work with children.  What a great responsibility and honor it is to teach, nurture, and protect our little ones.  Today I realized what a blessing it is to be a teacher... more than ever.  I realized how much each and every student means to me... past and present.  I also realized that the "innocence" of elementary is gone.  I will never look at my job or my classroom the same again, and I will never forget the sweet babies who lost their lives in CT.  My heart goes out to those affected by this terrible tragedy.  God Bless...


  1. Yipee! I am looking forward to downloading your communities unit. I have it on my wish list and will be purchasing it before Wednesday. Congratulations on your graduation. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to celebrate!

  2. The communities unit is fantastic! I also love the adorable Christmas activities you've been working on!

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  3. I just mentioned you on my blog. Please come over to grab your RACK (one item from my store) and link up!

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  4. Oh my goodness, these are amazing ideas, I love it!

    First Grade Fun with Mrs. Dunn