Monday, 27 January 2014

A ValenTIMES Freebie

I'm stopping in quick today to share a little Valentine's Day freebie I made, just in time for Manic Monday.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

I know Valentine's Day is still a little bit away, but I guess you can never be too prepared (or too looking forward to the next holiday centred around chocolate!).

This freebie is a 36-card "I have . . . who has" game centred around two important math skills - basic multiplication and telling time. Just print, laminate and hand out one card to each student. Have students read their card out loud to find the next person in line, and so on. Continue until all students have had a chance to read their card (the last card directs back to the first player). Click {HERE} or the picture above to check it out.

Can you believe it is only Monday? I am already exhausted!

Go check out Manic Monday at Classroom Freebies for some more fantastic finds - I think I might need to take a nap!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Cold Weather Teacher Essentials

Well, it happened. I've been crossing my fingers and hoping that I would not get sick, but I've got the dreaded wintertime cold. The flu has been spreading around since December, so I'm really hoping that I will avoid that. Last week, some teachers had ten students absent - TEN - for the whole week! Those classrooms were peaceful and quiet and I think it's going to be a shock for them to have full classes again.

Since many people are in the middle of cold weather, or just the common cold, I think it's the perfect time to talk about some of my favourite cold weather essentials.

**Snowflake graphics from Melonheadz, fonts from Hello Fonts and Kevin & Amanda**

1. My lips are always chapped and I used to use *every* lip balm, trying to find some solution and I think I've found it - eos.

Via Evolution of Smooth

This lip balm is all natural and full of great stuff, while leaving out all those parabens that you don't need. It's even gluten free! Right now I'm using Summer Fruit - which has lasted forever - but I think it's time I picked up another one - I'm looking at you, Strawberry Sorbet!

2. Besides cold weather items, I think another theme for this post is going to be "items I have spent years trying various brands of, and now may have found great ones." Along with my lips, my hands are always painfully dry and being in the classroom does not help. I think I must wash my hands every five minutes, in addition to all the hand sanitizer I use, so a great hand cream is a must. For years I've tried tons of different brands and there are many that I like and still use occasionally, but when my hands are in need of extra moisture, my absolute go-to-works-like-a-charm brand is Glysomed.

Via Glysomed
I actually was given a small tube of this and left it on my shelf before trying, but once I did, I was hooked. This is the only hand cream that really solves the extra dry skin I experience in the winter. If you have dry hands at all, go get this.

3. When the winter cold and flu season is in full effect, hand sanitizer is a must. This year, I found my new favourite - Bath & Body Works Foaming Mousse Hand Sanitizer.

Via Amazon
I was recently introduced to Bath & Body Works and I'm hooked already. Just before Christmas, I was in there and found this foaming mousse and purchased it on a whim - impulse at the register - but I am so glad I did. As it says, it comes out as a mousse, light as air that absorbs very quickly. Am I the only one who always seems to use too much regular hand sanitizer, which takes too long to absorb, and them I have a gloppy gel mess on my hands? Anyway, this sanitizer is absolutely my favourite I've found (love the Vanilla Bean Noel scent!) but when I just went to the Bath & Body Works website, I could not find any foaming mousse sanitizers. I really hope they didn't discontinue it.

These are only my top three picks for wintertime essentials, what are yours?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

All Things Snowmen

To be honest, that blog title was completely exaggerated. I am way too tired to delve into most things snowmen, let alone all things snowmen, but I am still here to talk about a few things snowmen.

So it's January, is everyone deep in some kind of snow, penguin, snowmen studying in the classroom? Do you have real like snow to go with these activities and lessons? If so, you're lucky (even if you don't agree with me!). Even though I live in Canada, where I live, we really only get a day or two a year with a dusting of snow - and that's during a cold winter. If we ever get more than that, well then lucky us, schools shut down and we get the elusive snow day!

Despite our lack of snow, we can still have fun with snowmen in January. I think some of the cutest art I've done with students lately has been winter/snowy/snowmen art. I have said it before and I will say it again - I am no artist, so I really like it when the students can look at my embarrassing artistic example and make something amazing.

This year, I tried some Van Gogh snowmen that I've seen floating around Pinterest. Of course I never have time to sit down at school, let alone whip out a camera, so I'll show the Pinterest image that inspired the art:

Via Jamestown Elementary Art Blog
We carefully traced the snowman with pencil on white card stock and then traced with a black pastel. We used white, blue, and for some adventurous students, pink pastel to draw the Van Gogh inspired wind, then painted with watercolors. They really turned out amazing and brightened up the hallway. Make sure to remind students to just use a wash in the background (bright blue looks the best), so the pastel wind can still be seen.

We also read some the of the Snowmen series by Caralyn Buehner - perfect for winter,

Via Amazon
The students loved looking for the hidden pictures, though I have to be honest, I'm still searching for some of them!

After reading, we talked about what snowmen could do at night. I think the most creative answer I heard was "drink milk from my fridge." Love those sweet answers! I then showed students the following pin and let them create their own artwork using pastel and black paper.

Via A Faithful Attempt
Ahh, SmartBoards - I love when I can show the kids a great example of art to inspire them! The students loved looking for the hidden images in the books so much that they decided to include their own hidden images - I do love when they are excited and inspired. It was interesting how a few hidden pictures ended up being white mice hidden in the white snowmen, no wonder we couldn't find them!

I haven't been stuck on snowmen though, I've also been thinking slightly ahead. I've uploaded a few more Word Problem a Day packets, including Valentine's Day (for 3rd and 4th) and Spring (for 3rd, still working on 4th). In addition, I've got some Winter Printables (Differentiated for 2nd) and a Valentine's Day Write the Room packet for Kindergarten. Click on any of the below pictures to check out the units if you're interested.

Now, I guess it's time to think about this upcoming week, I can't believe it's almost February!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

A New Year & Some New Units

Well, it is 2014! Hope everyone had a happy, safe holiday, but now it is *almost* time to go back to the classroom. Hopefully everyone is refreshed and ready to head back!

I took full advantage of my break by doing lots of reading, tons of sleeping, a bit of baking, and of course, a little working. I've finished up a few new units:

My New Year's Write the Room

My New Year's Word Problem a Day packets for 3rd & 4th

as well as Valentine's Day for 3rd

Click on the pictures if you're interested in any of the packets, and enjoy the little bit of holiday (or weekend for those of us not on holiday) left!