December 27, 2013

The Dancing Baby Jesus...

We were so touched this year when our church asked us to be one of the families to do the advent reading during December. It was a great way to start of the holiday season! Reagan read the last line and did a great job! He is such a sweet boy!
We took a couple of family pictures after church that morning.

Another fun thing we were asked to be a part of this year was our church's annual "Follow The Star".  It's a walk through story of Jesus' birth.  Nick, Harper and I were the the Holy Family at the end of the journey.  It was so special.  Each tour ended in front of us.  Bible versus were read, the children's choir sang, and all of the viewers joined in to sing Silent Night. Harper did awesome.  She LOVED all of the people staring at her and danced and sang along (in her baby coos) as they all sang.  It was so funny!  There were a few tours where I actually had to wipe away the tears from laughing so hard. (Pretty sure Mary wasn't laughing hysterically after Jesus' birth!) People were taking pictures and video-taping us... It was sort of awkward but we felt great being able to serve the church and community in this way! I loved when Harper would wave to the kids watching and you could hear them turn to their parents and say "Baby Jesus just waved at me!". Such a wonderful memory.

December 26, 2013

Grinch Day in Our Classroom

One day during that last week of school before break, our class had "Grinch Day". It was so much fun! The kids tried to remember to wear green that day (it was a Monday- so after the weekend, many forgot!) and I wore my Grinch tee.  I found a TON of great Grinch ideas off Pinterest from you lovely bloggers- and I really appreciate all of your hard work! There was simply not enough time for it all! 

Here is a little peak into what we did though.

We started the morning off by reading the book.  I was surprised with how many of them had never heard it before!  We then worked in our "Grinch packets" - which were just copies of things I had found and printed off!  We read the Grinch poem together and highlighted contractions and circled rhyming words (in green of course!)  

We also used number clues to color various numbers on a 100 chart. 
The picture ended up looking like a Grinch! 

The kids each got a green candy cane with a little note attached.
I had the hardest time finding solid green candy canes! Let me know if you did this and found yours easily! I ended up finding boxes with 1/2 green and 1/2 red... so I just got those!

We also enjoyed Grinch Punch with Sprite and Lime Sherbert! 

We made Grinch hats and the kids loved wearing them!

We wrote about how we would make the Grinch grin and did a little craft to go with it.

 Grinch Writing Paper from Here

I was really pleased that the kids understood the message and could write about what Christmas really means.  They did a great job. Some of their answers included "friends and family, loving each other, taking care of others, celebrating Baby Jesus". Sweet kids.

I found tons of great Grinch stuff here

We also made a list of synonyms to describe the Grinch at the beginning and the end of the story. 

Such a fun day to be in First Grade! 

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Gingerbread Week in our Classroom

We had a wonderful time integrating gingerbread into our academic areas the first week of December.
I have built quite a collection of gingerbread picture books and the kids loved to compare and contrast them as well as list the story elements.  I also found a lot of supplemental printables from you all in blog-land- so thank you!  Here is a peak into our week.

We integrated the gingerbread man story into our grammar by identifying verbs into a story.

A gingerbread verb book from First Grade Fever! 

We found all of the verbs from our gingerbread man read-alouds and added them to our giant gingerbread man.  The kids had so much fun acting out these verbs! 

We also found this great page for the kids to think of their own gingerbread saying using a different verb. They LOVED it! 

I think this page was from Creative Classroom as well! 

Of course we had to take 1 bite out of our gingerbread cookies and then graph what part we ate first!

I found this graph from Creative Classroom- but of course can't seem to find the link! 
If it's your's let me know!! 

This positional word book was perfect for our language arts as well - Thanks Kindergrarten Hoppenings! 

We've been working on sorting syllables and this was a perfect review!

Gingerbread Syllable Sort from Deana Jump's Pack.

The kids decorated their own gingerbread man / girl and identified that the word gingerbread was a compound word (they are kind of obsessed with these!) So they thought of other compound words! 

And my kids loved this song/video - Gingerbread Man

There is so much wonderful gingerbread activities- and just simply not enough time!

December 15, 2013

Breakfast with Buddy the Elf 2013

We were so excited to see Buddy's return this December 1st with another breakfast straight from the North Pole! It was a crazy morning trying to get everything ready, celebrate and get ready for church but we did it! 

And I think it turned out perfect!

My sweeties sporting their Christmas jammies for the first time this season!

The table all set up for the kids!

More of the table

Nick whipped up these Christmas pancakes- so cute!

We had snowman doughnuts and fruit candy canes.

Here is Buddy's letter.

Welcome back Buddy!

 The kids were obsessed with the doughnuts!

Buddy brought each of the kids a new present- 

Reagan got an Elf on the Shelf puzzle.

And the twins each got their own plush elves. Reagan still LOVES his from a few years ago... so I knew the twins would love theirs. 

December 14, 2013

A Look Back at Last Year's Elf on the Shelf

So as you may remember, I was at home last year this time with the newborns. 
And boy. 
Not that newborn twins and a three year old weren't  hard work. 
But nothing in comparison to how busy, crazy things are this year now that I am working!

Looking back.. I feel like - dang Mama. You rocked that Elf on the Shelf business last year!  I feel like a total slacker this year.  Last year I had a craft or activity that tied into each of his hiding spots.  This year- poor Buddy just kind of gets placed! Oh well. Reagan still seems to be excited each morning! 
And I'm just keeping it real! 

For those of you still needing ideas for your Elf , maybe you can get some inspiration here! 

Here are some links back to last year's posts!

December 11, 2013

Zoo Lights 2013

One of our favorite holiday family traditions is Zoo Lights!
Our December weekends are really booked so we decided to go the Friday night following Thanksgiving. And it was perfect. Not too cold and not insanely busy! We carried the babies in the Bjorns again this year and it worked great.  They stayed awake this year and loved the lights and music. So fun!

Here are some pictures from our night! 

Reagan and his cousin Charlotte!

My little sister and her sweet family!

Our crew all bundled up!

Our amazing parents!

Walking the zoo, seeing the lights!