Santa Needs a Vacation!

I finally finished my newest activity and posted it to my TPT store.  It is really cute, and I am so excited to do it with my students!  Best of all, it's flexible enough that if I don't get to it in the next 3 jam-packed weeks, I can even do it after Christmas!!!

It's even differentiated!  There are 2 different writing assignments.  One is an informational writing assignment for older students where they can research a tropical vacation spot and write a letter to Santa explaining where they think he should go on vacation, with 3 reasons why.  There is a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts.  The second is a creative writing activity about what Santa does after Christmas.  There are graphic organizers for both younger and older students included.

There is a page that explains to the older students what their assignment is.

Some of the graphic organizers included.

And check out the cute little tropical Santa your students will make!  There are 2 Santas included, a smaller Santa and a slightly larger one.  You can make the full body Santa like I've made here, or you can make just his shirt and head.  The choice is yours!

Sorry the picture kind of stinks- my camera is at school so I had to take it with my cell phone.  I'll try to update to a much better picture later!

If you are interested in this pack, you can find it here..

This is the first time I've ever made anything like this, but I'm super excited about it! :-)   Thanks, Ashley Hughes- your clip art inspired me!

Deck the Halls!

I'm finally finished!

So instead of working on any of my homework for my grad school classes the past few days, I've been working very hard on my Christmas Math Centers unit.  I wanted to get it up in time for the big sale TPT is throwing for Cyber Monday, and I did it!  It's up!  I'm also going to try to work on some Language Arts centers, a Polar Express unit, Gingerbread activities, and Holidays Around the World.  I may have bit off more than I can chew, but since I haven't started any of it, I guess not!  I'll see what I can get finished- but first, I have like 4 papers to write for grad school! :-(

Anyway, here is my Christmas Math Centers unit.  There are 9 activities, all aligned with Common Core.  I have so many more things I want to add, and I may later, but for now, it has 9 activities!

You Can't Catch Me! Sums and Differences:  Match the addition or subtraction problem to the correct answer.

Stockings Full of Place Value:  Match the number to different place value representations.


Sweet Treats Skip Counting:  Skip count by 2's, 5's and 10's.  This also has a few extra recording sheets I am considering using as review or homework on their own.

Holly Jolly Operators:  Determine if an addition or subtraction operator completes the equation.

Very Merry Missing Parts:  Students find the missing part of the equation.

Pepper"minty" Measurement:  Measure the items with peppermint rulers.

Perfect Presents:  Match subtraction equations to the difference.

Elves Equal Equations:  Change the order of addends to match the equal equations.

You can check out this activity as a freebie here!

"Plus Ten" Trees:  Add 10 to a single digit number.

This unit can be found here at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!   It is priced at $3 and is on sale for 20% off.  If you use the code CMT12, you can get an extra 10% off tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday!

Guess I should go work on that homework now... ugh. :-(

Election 2012

On Friday, we learned about the election process.  First, we read a book about voting (which was really way too hard for them, so I skipped around a lot!  I need some good voting books for next year!)

After we read the book, which talked about registering to vote, I let my students register to vote.  Holy cow, they were excited!  You would think I told them we were having Christmas right then and there, they were so excited!  Each kid filled out their registration card, drew a picture of themselves, and "signed" it.  They called them "drivers licenses" until I corrected them.  Too funny!

Here are a few pictures of my kids registering to vote.


Then we read some books about characters running for president, including Duck for President and My Teacher for President.  The kids really got a kick out of comparing me to the teacher in the book. :-)  Then they created posters for the character they liked the best.  I made them give one reason why they would vote for that character.  My favorite was the student who said they would vote for me because I'm "peritey and nice" among other things.  I forgot to take a picture before I left work, but I will take one on Monday and post it because it is pretty much awesome.

My students worked really hard on these posters!  They loved that I told them to make them bright and colorful!



Then they got to vote for their favorite character using a ballot I created.  We put the ballots in a ballot box.

Once we finished that part of the day, I let them (of course!) vote for President on paper ballots.  The students had to vote for their favorite candidate, fold the paper in half, and place it in the ballot box.  

Here are our results: 

I have 20 students in my class right now, as we are a small class size school with 20 students in each class 1st-5th grades.  It's great!  One of my students has been in another placement for the past 5 weeks and will be coming back on Wednesday, so I'll be back up to 21.  1 student was absent on Friday and 1 left early, so we had 18 students vote.  I guess the kids in the class knew one of the kids who voted for Romney, because when I pulled that vote out, they all yelled her name.  I had to explain that voting is a private activity and you aren't supposed to tell who other people voted for.  I don't know who my other friend is who voted for him, and obviously the other kids don't either, so that student didn't get their name yelled out when I pulled out their vote.

(I used the stars from The School Supply Addict to decorate my graph- I don't remember where I got the pictures for the graph- but I think they are so cute!)

The best part of the day for my students, I think, was going out into the hallway to vote for President.  I created a voting booth out of my refrigerator box, and the kids loved it!  We stuck a desk with a laptop in there and the students voted on a website called National Mock Election.  As a teacher, you can go in and create a ballot for your class that is specific to your state.  For example, I could have my students vote for members of Congress, President, and other local elections in my district.  I chose to keep it simple and just have the students vote for President.  All the candidates, including those from third parties, were on the ballot.  The first grade assistant stood out in the hallway to help the kids from all 3 classes vote.  One of the girls from another class actually stood in the booth and helped the kids type the codes in, since our assistant was a little bit too bit for the booth. :-)

This is my beautiful refrigerator box booth. :-)  It was a hit- all the teachers in the building were coming to look at it and even the ladies in the office came to see!

This is our first grade assistant showing the students the website they would be using to vote.



The second child in the booth was helping the kids log on to the website. 
 Going in!

  They waited their turns patiently...

These are my students flashing their voter registration cards! 

And voting! 

You could tell by the smiles on their faces that they loved it!






Yep, it's official!  We thought voting was a thumbs up! 

Once my students finished voting, I gave them an "I Voted" sticker that I printed on cardstock.  I couldn't find any sticker paper to print them on.  We attached them using double sided tape, but you could also use a safety pin.  Since I don't know how to embed things using Google Docs (anybody want to teach me?!), I just added them to TPT for free.  You can find them here.  There are 2 versions to choose from.


I'll be back another day to show you some examples of the cute posters my students made!  And maybe even a post about the 50th day of school, which was Thursday.  What a busy week!