Saturday, December 31, 2011

Winter Vacation Linky Party

The Clutter Free Classroom is having a "What did you do on winter break?" linky party, so I thought I would join in.

I worked on improving this blog! Well, after hours spent blog stalking, I decided I wanted a little of what all my favorite blogs have. I have added more of my favorite blog links to the side, and even made a blog button. I added some info to my profile, and just had FUN blog stalking.
I spent the better part of a day working in my classroom to get things ready to roll on Tuesday. I know my kids will like the changes.  I have yet to decide if I like them. I will know on Tuesday when I see how things work. I will get more into the changes at another post.

This vacation was unusual for my family.  We stayed in Michigan.  What a change! Thank goodness we didn't have snow.  My ideal Christmas is 80 degrees and sunshine. My youngest daughter,at sixteen, has only had four Christmases at home. All the others have been in Florida at Busia's house. 

The slower pace, from not going, has let me spend quality time with my husband and kids. The house is in better shape even with decorations still up than it usually is at this time. And we even fit in a Toledo Walleye Hockey game. It was ugly Christmas sweater night.  The Walleye won in overtime. What more could I ask??

Have a wonderful New Year! Looking forward to more blogging.  It is a professional goal for me!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa's Elves

We have been busy for the last few weeks doing holiday projects and completing units of study. Our projects included making gifts for family and friends, and writing letters with our kindergarten buddies. We have two sets of kindergarten buddies with which we make gifts. The project typically involves a foam craft ornament purchased from a catalog company or the local craft store. This year's project was a picture frame. We included a picture of the fifth and first grader buddies. We have limited the amount of glitter glue decorations so they can take them home today. We have had good luck with self-stick foam or using permanent glue dots. They work better than the craft glue usually suggested. I usually do an ornament with my fifth graders for them to give to parents. Last year we used plastic white ornaments with glue dots rolled in glitter. They used glitter glue to write the date. This was a simple, fun project. This year I found a great picture ornament for my colleague to make. It was on a blog, but I cannot remember which one, as I was stalking many. This ornament uses inkject transparencies with the students' pictures printed on them. The transparencies are pricey, but you could use the ones that print on the copy machine for a black and white photo. It took some practice to find the right size circle to use. Also, we discovered using a white background worked best. Using glitter "snow" in the ornament, and tying a red bow completed the project. My own students used unfinished picture frames (found at Michaels) for their gift for their parents. They used a copy of the picture we took in September for the frame. They added their name and a quick message to their parents. They looked impressive, and the children were proud. If doing projects for presents, remember to consider those children with two homes. They may need a frame for both parents. Many of the students also chose to give their pottery to their parents. This was the pottery made in November to go along with their Native American studies in social studies.
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