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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflecting On All Things Gingerbread before 2016...

 Wow, I am so late to the party but I have really been trying to take a break and enjoy my winter break. It has been fantastic and I have loved every second of it. Before I can wish you a Happy New Year I need to show you some of my December pictures and all the fun we had during the last few days.

I love doing a Gingerbread unit each year and comparing the characters in each version, talking about the "bad guy" and how the events can differ from story to story. It is so much fun to change my voice and stop right before the fox gobbles up that yummy cookie! Each year I buy more books and add to my crazy collection. These are just a few favorites that I have purchased.
I always love to send a gingerbread man home for families to decorate to their hearts content. The kids love to bring them back and show them off to the class.  The parents adore this project and it fills your classroom with such cuteness. Try it!~

If you are on this blog you know how much I love making a sight word game for each theme that I teach and I won't disappoint you... here is another one. I think the chant was "Gingerbread, gingerbread... you are so sweet, run from the fox, or you will be his treat!"
 I made some new math centers this year and one was all about reading a ten frame and recording the number. I started off teaching this in a small group and the kids loved using a clipboard and working with a partner to record their answer. I now make one of these for each theme I teach. This one focused on teen numbers.

 This is an oldie but goodie just for reviewing numbers and practicing their formation. I have the kids use the eraser on the back of a pencil to make the buttons by dipping it in an ink pad. This makes this activity so much more fun for them. I love when math and literacy can be merged.
 We are working on beginning sounds so I started off with an easy version of this using an Open Court sound/ spelling image in the corner of each card. For the child who still cannot figure out the beginning sound for the picture this is a great scaffold to ensure they are successful.

 When will my students get tired of these fishing poles? Never. I cannot imagine them not loving anything I put in this sensory table for them to fish out. I should have filled it with something like colored rice to make it more exciting... next year. This is just another beginning sounds game that has them color in the letter on a response sheet. The sight word coloring sheet is just another way of getting to those color words and the kids still love this activity.

 This was a new activity for me this year. Students had to cut and paste pictures into this grid that begin with the sound being focused on. Some of the pictures are wrong so it makes the littles really think! I introduce this in my guided reading groups but eventually the kids do this independently. I can adapt this for students who need additional practice by just changing the image to something that reflects the theme we are working on... hello winter.

Yes life must include playdough so we added in our favorite kind. Gingerbread playdough rocks and the kids loved using it. I also showed them how to make their own gingerbread man and they loved doing this. They were so adorable.

 After a bizillion centers we finally had our Gingerbread Activity Day and our parents came in to help with the different centers I had. They did an amazing job with all the kids and we ended our day by going outside to eat gingerbread cookies. Most of the kids loved them.

 So it was a great week. The parents were so sweet and helpful and cleaned up all the mess with me. I hugged the children good-bye and set the room up for January. All gingerbread things were put away for another year. A new calendar went up. I turned off the lights and left earlier than usual and was ready for that much needed winter break.
I will be ready for 2016 and a new set of goals for my students. I got to spend time with many friends that I love, family that I cherish, and finally read a book and got some much needed sleep. Now it is time to build new memories...