Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holiday Countdown...!

In the words of my dear friend Junie B. Jones - Wowie, Wow, Wow!!! We made it to Thanksgiving Break! Which can only mean ONE thing...the Holiday Countdown is ON!? Yup! It's true. We're off next week and the next time I will see my littles, it'll be December! Before we officially "go there," completely, here are a few peeks from my week and I'll show you how I'm easing into the transition from Turkey Day to Holidays at school... 

 ONE: Squanto's Snack!!
This is a favorite little Holidays snack I like to "dig" up each year. For those of you who still have a few days standing between you and the big bird, this is an easy treat to whip up! You'll need: Spoons (shovel) Oreos (dirt) Swedish fish (fish) and Candy corn or popcorn (corn seeds). Also, a little plastic baggie if you want your kids to crush the oreos. I let mine. I give them 3 Oreos each. They use their shovel to dig a hole,plant the seeds, and the fish. Then, it's chow time! We follow up with an Informative Writing Piece from my Squanto & Samoset lesson. My ultimate goal is to make Common Core as painless as possible for them and for me. This is why I make all these For The Common Core Classroom Units - activities like this are what it's all about! :) 

TWO: Working so hard!! Makes My Teacher Heart Happy! <3 

                   {This little one is only rocking a bandana in this shot because it was a school spirit hippie day! Ha!!}

Some of my Instagram faves had some questions about this one, wondering what kinda magic was going on that made it where my firsties could read these passages on their own. As much as I wish my class could all read these texts from my All About Thanksgiving Unit on their own - only about a handful of them can. I created these texts to help teach Close Reading standards while also engaging in Social Studies content. (High Interest Non-Fiction topics, like Thanksgiving.) It's a very teacher guided and supported process. We read together, in pairs, and finally individually to answer text based questions.  I've promised a BIG blog post all about how I teach Close Reading with my primary kiddos coming up in the very near future!! Meet me back here the first week in December. There are a few more "artifacts" I need to grab pictures of before I can feel like I can do the post real justice. :)

THREE: Easiest Formative Assessment Ever.

Ok so this one isn't directly Holiday related, but I think we can all relate to that feeling of chaos and stress that sometimes  always seems to accompany the Holiday season. It was the day before we were going to be gone for a week and I just needed a quick and simple assessment. Cute is great, but sometimes I just need quick and simple! Believe it or not my firsties have been flying through the concept of time this year. So both my first and second graders have been working on time to the 5 minute mark. Being the week before break it's kinda of a crazy time. I just wanted to quickly see where we were at in terms of understanding, so I threw together this quick check formative assessment in about three minutes. 
 The kids had to determine when the five minute marks went and place them correctly around the clock's face. It was interesting to see. This guy on the left started by grabbing the :40 piece and I thought, oh he's lost. But then he put it right by the 8 and I knew, he actually has it mastered!! The kiddo on the right looked for the :05 on the board and continued seeking out times in order. He also has it down, but has to think about it sequentially. I love watching my kids THINK!!! The kids took turns doing this one at a time while the rest of the class was doing math stations.

FOUR:  My Christmas Around The World unit got a HUGE makeover last week! I'm pretty sure it's my favorite unit that I teach all year long. Today I'm getting things printed so I can have it prepped and ready to go when we get back. Click HERE to preview all it includes now!

FIVE: New Christmas at school shirt!! TARGET! <33
Happy Weekend Yall'!!!!


  1. So...I LOVE the quick time assessment and your Christmas around the world stuff. I love teaching about holiday traditions, but desperately need to update my printables because they are just old Xerox copies I got back when I started teaching. Rather than try to cutify them myself, I think I'll just buy yours! Merry Christmas to me. Thank you!! P.S. I am looking forward to following your blog for more inspiration like this! KinderCoaster

    1. Thanks so much Kelsey!! I'm so happy you stopped by! Your comment made my morning!!! :)

  2. I meant to look at holiday shirts when I was at Target yesterday. I guess I'll just have to make another trip. *darn*

    I love that clock assessment.

    You Might Be a First Grader….

    1. I know, trips to Target!! Twist our arms, right? ;) Thanks Brenda!!