Friday, December 18, 2015

Five For Friday - Christmas Break Edition

What an amazing week - celebrating Christmas with our terrific third graders at school! 

So our staff started the tradition of "12 Days of Eating". This was completely new to our staff, but you maybe familiar with it. Groups of people (usually by grade level) are assigned a day to bring in snacks for the entire school's staff. At first, we thought it would be overwhelming, but oh my goodness it was SO nice not to worry about breakfast those days! (Even if the snacks weren't the healthiest....or breakfast foods for that matter - haha!) It's certainly something to try in any work situation! One of our assignments was the day of our staff holiday Christmas party (after school event). So I decided to take Buffalo Chicken Rollups . I found this amazingly simple recipe on Pinterest ( of course! ). Anyone else have a go-to EASY recipe you use for the holidays?

Polar Express Week! 
Oh how my kids NEVER get sick of hearing The Polar Express. We dedicated the entire week to activities based off the read aloud story, and we even decorated our grade level Christmas tree in a Polar Express theme! (Thank goodness for crafty grade level colleagues! - i.e not us!) We had our pajama party on Thursday to close our thematic unit. The kids LOVED having hot chocolate and Little Debbie Christmas Cakes as a treat! 

 Student Gifts: 
Oh, how we love Scholastic Points! Always...ALWAYS...ALLLLLLWAAAAYYYS send out a book order in Oct/Nov. This will build your points bank up to get some freebies for student gifts! Our kiddos have always loved receiving books for Christmas! We try to go for holiday themed books, but it doesn't always have to be holiday related - you could even go for the "popular" series (I'm sure whatever grade you teach...your students will tell you what's "cool"  to them...because I certainly don't feel like I know 1/2 of what's cool right now haha!) This year I went for Deck the Halls, We're Off The Walls

Elf On the Shelf: We said goodbye to our beloved elf, Buddy. Unfortunately, I was too excited about Christmas break to document his antics this month! He TPed our entire room and left a lovely note about how good we were! He said he would let Santa know how well behaved our class was! 

We enjoyed an hour long concert from fellow students this morning, then watched old fashioned movies like Rudolph and Frosty Returns.
Did anyone else feel this way?? Especially today?! 

We are so excited to have a two week break with our families! We hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! :) 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas Break Week - & how we're makin' it!

We just wanted to write a quick post about how we decided to make it through this upcoming week: 

1) Normal Scheduling
We decided to keep things as normal as possible leading up to the impending holiday break. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we are still at the mercy of our pacing guide, so we still have to continue following it....benchmark testing starts after break! 
We know this maybe hard, but we've decided to try to keep our daily routine as close to our normal routine as possible....kiddos like that sort of thing! :) 

2) Lots and Lots of Math and LA stations
We don't know about your students, but ours LOVE stations. We teach third grade, so they really like being independent! They also like coming to us as one of the stations. Luckily, there are a TON of stations (and FREEBIES) on TPT for this time of year. We are currently in the middle of our huge multiplication/division unit, so we created a FREEBIE just for our guided math groups!

Click *HERE* to download your FREE copy!

We are using this in our guided math this week! It walks the students right through each step of solving word problems!

3) Fun and Patience
We always say we are just as excited as our kiddos are for breaks....but try to remember that they really are SO excited! Behavior will 100% be 'off' this week, and as much as you want to STAY on schedule (as previously mentioned...) it's okay if things are picture perfect!
We are doing a Polar Express day on Thursday as a grade level activity. The students will enjoy Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes, Hot Chocolate, PJs, stuffed animals, and of course the classic movie! Try doing a thematic unit this week to keep your sanity/organization. It also helps students stay more focused on what they're doing if it's something they've been working on all week.

Good luck! Please share any activities or tips to get through the week before Christmas! Have a blessed week!