Monday, December 16, 2013

Another December Freebie: Favorite Christmas Songs

Here is another December Freebie, and this one has a  Christmas theme.  It's titled "Favorite Christmas Songs Crossword Puzzle".  This would make a great morning work assignment, or a fun sponge activity while students are waiting for you to get the room ready for the Christmas Party.  Click here for your copy.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, December 13, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

Well the days are ticking away, and I still need to get so much done before the school Christmas party. How is your list of "TO DOs" going?

First, plan the party. I have already planned the class Christmas party (we get out on Dec. 20th), printed the parent letters and sent them out, and solicited two parent volunteers. I've tried lots of different plans, from games to centers, but the one that works best in my classroom is to have a party making Gingerbread Houses out of milk cartons. My students love it, they enjoy eating all along while creating fun gingerbread houses.

For two days before the party, we collect our empty milk cartons, enough for everyone who brings their lunchbox also and doesn't buy milk. If you decide to do this, be sure to rinse them out well.

Just before the party, I have my parent volunteers cover the tables with bulletin board paper and put all the goodies in the center of all of my student tables.  We give each student a paper plate with 5 squares of graham crackers; one for each side and one to be split in two for the roof. We put a large dollop of white icing on the side of their plate along with a craft stick to use for spreading.

In addition to the candy on the table, we have Christmas music playing from my ipod in the background and other goodies to eat: cupcakes, cookies, chips and juice.  Gone is the day when I use cups or soda that I have to pour, get ice for, and hope that no one spilled. It is so much easier, and less messy, to just buy juice boxes!!!

When students are finished, we help them put their gingerbread house into a 2 gallon-sized Ziploc bag for safe transport home.

Second, buy the gifts.  I have this on my list to do Saturday.  (December is extra busy for our family, because two of my children have birthdays a week apart during December, so we're also planning birthday parties.)  I remember back when I first started teaching, the first gifts I bought were coloring and/or puzzle books and crayons or markers.  Then I discovered that I could use my bonus points at Scholastic to help off-set the cost of books for my kiddos.  In the last few years, since my own children aren't so little anymore, I have a little more time to be crafty.  Now I go to my local Lowe's store and buy a sheet of white board to make into individual dry erase boards.  Lowe's has been great to cut them for me. I am pretty sure the board measures 9 foot by 12 foot, and I can get 25 rectangles measuring 12in. by 18in.  When I go on Saturday, I'll check on my measurements and update this if needed.  I use paint pens (Wal-Mart) to decorate and personalize each board.  I buy Velcro and dry erase markers for each board.  I attach a Velcro tab or dot to the marker and then to the board to secure it.

Estimated cost:
   White Board           $12
   Dry Erase Markers  $10
   Velcro                     $3
Total estimated cost:  $25  (about a dollar per student).

Here is a picture of the ones I made two years ago.  They were a bit smaller that year, because I was using a piece of whiteboard I already had.  Instead of traditional wrapping, I just wrap a shinny ribbon around each one and put them in a bag behind my desk until I am ready to give them out near the end of the party. 

Third, plan the ornaments for the kiddos to make as gifts.  (To be discussed in the next blog post.)  I must say, I love the ornaments we make.

Here is a December FREEBIE to enjoy, to celebrate this season of giving.  Our opinion/persuasive unit is in "full bloom" at this time.  I thought this might be the case with many of you, so here is a product that teaches several types of leads.  Written examples are included for each.

Here is one of the types of leads included:
Enjoy, and keep checking back every day this month, to see when the next great FREEBIE gift is posted. 
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December Freebie: Powerful Prefixes

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I will be posting several FREEBIES on my blog leading up to Christmas.  Here is one of my favorites, Powerful Prefixes Mini Matching Cards.  It is helpful for students to know the meaning of common prefixes, as these meanings help them determine the meaning of many unknown words.  For example, if the unknown word is "submarine", and the student knows the meaning of "marine",  and knows that "sub" means "under", then he'll be able to think "submarine means under + marine". 
Each prefix set has three cards:  a prefix card, a meaning card, and a card with examples.

Memory Matching Directions:
My students turn them over so they cannot see the writing, then take turns with a partner turning over three at a time.  If all three are not a match, the cards are turned back over.  Once they locate all three, they keep the match.  The winner is the person with the most matches. 

Click here to get your free copy.

If you didn't see last week's post, I've created a brand new Christmas Behavior Incentive Chart.  Click on the picture below to go to that post to read more about it.

Remember to come back here daily to be sure to catch the next FREEBIE! 

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Awesome NEW App to Compare Toy prices (and it's FREE)

Finally! There has been such a need for this!
Reading the paper this morning I came across an interesting article.  It started out by saying... "The Big Three toy retailers, Toys R Us, Target, and Wal-Mart are playing a cutthroat version of 'The Price is Right'."  Basically all say they will match each other's prices, but as a customer, I don't have time to go around price checking.  However if you have this handy, dandy new app,  it'll do that chore for you.  This helpful, new, mobile app is called Shop for Kids.  This app was just launched last month by the toy review website  By Black Friday 10,000 people had already downloaded the app and it was being used on average a 1000 times a day. 

The app:  Shop for Kids
The user can scan a bar code and see what the price is at Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart and Toys R Us.  It shows which retailers have the item in stock and gives links if you want to purchase online. This app gives up to the minute prices.  When the retailers change their prices the app changes too.  Additionally it provides a fun rating, repeat play, and assembly instructions.   
Here's the best... The price match promise by the Big Three (this year), allows you to simply show your smartphone with the app prices, to whichever retailer you are at, to get the best price.  This keeps you from driving all around town!!!

The website:
This helpful site is already known for its toy review videos. Since this is an independent review website, they are not looking to sell a product.  they are looking to give an honest assessment and tell the pros and cons, so you'll know what your getting.  Any retailer review, like the ones sometimes found on You Tube, are ultimately trying to sell you the product, so keep that in mind. This site does negative reviews as well, to keep you informed.   I will use the website when I am shopping at home from my computer, instead of spending 20 minutes jumping from site to site to compare.
I just watched a review video of the plush pull-apart toy named Olaf, from Just Play.  He's the snowman character in Disney's newest movie, Frozen.  It showed how to use the product, where the batteries went and they let me know they had noticed at least 6 different sayings.  Above, you'll see the price comparison chart next to the video review on the website. 

I am really excited to start using this app when I am out shopping.  I hope this helps you as well.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale and a FREEBIE!

YAY! I'm so excited for the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale at Teachers Pay Teachers! Everything in my store is 20% off PLUS if you use the discount code CYBER, you can get an additional 10% off. 
I'm so excited Christmas time is here so I can use
 Santa's Math and Literacy Centers!
*Elapsed Time word problems with Story Presents
*Fraction/Decimal/Percent with Decorate the Tree activity
*Delicious Division Christmas Cookies
*Fact and Opinion Ornament Sorting
*Subject Predicate Reindeer Matching
and as an added bonus, a December Weekly Newsletter format in both color and in black and white.
...All of this in one product.
Click on the picture above to check it out at my TPT store.
Happy Shopping!
Don't forget to use your code for the extra 10% off: CYBER
And for stopping by my blog today, here is a Christmas FREEBIE just for you! Keep checking back each day from now until Christmas to catch more freebies.  Most will not have a Christmas theme, so that you can use them at other times during the year. 
As always, if you download any FREEBIE, I'd love it if you'd leave a comment here on my blog.   
Click {HERE} to grab your FREE copy of Decorate the Christmas Tree Behavior Incentive Chart. 

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