So much has happened since I last posted. We made it through Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is the eve of our return to school after winter break and honestly I could use another week or 2 off but alas, it's time to head back and anxiously await spring break.
Place value fun...I borrowed another activity from my student teaching mentor teacher to help my kids understand place value and how numbers are represented in different formats. (standard, expanded and base ten block) I broke the kiddos down into small groups of 5 and gave them each their own numbers depending on their individual achievement levels.
Redecorating a little...
After much inner debate and exhausting myself moving desks around into different kinds of groupings, formations, and old fashioned rows I decided to give tables a go. I found I really prefer the tables because the room feels more open and I love being able to put down supply buckets at each table so the kiddos have easy access to what they need each day. Plus I think it encourages cooperative learning much more than the individual desks.
I still kept 3 individual desks in my room because I do have some students that for whatever reason cannot handle being in a table group. They work better and my sanity is saved having them on their own.
Each 1st grade student was encouraged to create a turkey in disguise at home with their parents/guardian. I read my class Turkey Troubles and then told them about the activity. They were all so excited to go home and come up with a disguise for their turkey. It was so much fun walking down the halls and seeing what all our kids came up with.
I even joined in the fun and created two turkeys of my own. Star Wars themed of course. :D
Everyone looked forward to Thanksgiving break. The kids had the whole week off. We teachers had 2 days of inservice. Yay. :/ When we came back from the holiday the kids were literally bouncing off the walls and hard to get back on track. At times it felt like in the week they were out they forgot all our expectations for behavior and routine.
It was during the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I seriously questioned my career choice. Add in some unnecessary drama that I somehow got brought into the middle of and it made seriously question and rethink some options for my future.
IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!!!!!!!Being the Christmas fanatic that I am I spent some of pre Thanksgiving break in-service time decorating my room for the best holiday of the year. I even scoured TeacherPayTeacher in search of fun holiday themed center activities and worksheets. I was determined to go all out. I remember as a kid loving when our assignments or classroom activities were themed for the current holiday. It was kind of magical to me and I wanted to give that same feeling to my students.
We spent our shortened days watching videos and doing some skip counting math crafting. As usual, I shook my head at myself for being shocked at how messy 1st graders can be when cutting and pasting.
The week before Christmas Break...
After we finished with Christmas Around the world I kept my homeroom class and we did not rotate out classes for the rest of the week. I had my kiddos work on crafts to give their parent/guardian for Christmas. We had a lot of fun watching Christmas movies while I worked with small groups on their crafts. We made silly Christmas picture frame ornaments and paint swirl Christmas ball ornaments.
The kids loved swirling the paint around the Christmas ball. I gave them a choice of 2 to 3 different paint colors. We tried glitter too but it didn't show up very well in the paint. Once each ball drained and had time to dry over a couple of days I put the topper back on and tied a red ribbon to the topper and the kids put it along with their silly picture frame ornament into a gift bag and took it home to give to their parent/guardian.
On the last day of school before we officially were on winter break we had a Polar Express Day. The kids were allowed to come in their pajamas and bring their blankets. I put out snacks I brought and some of the kids brought in snacks as well. We provided them with hot chocolate and then we spent the majority of the half day watching the Polar Express movie. We then had a book exchange where each kid brought in a wrapped book and picked another student to exchange with. I also gave them a stocking filled with trinkets and candy. By the time the kids left at 12:30 I was exhausted and ready to collapse. I love Christmas time but even I was ready to leave it behind and just crawl into bed for the next 2 weeks.
Tomorrow it's back to school. Monday is an inservice day and then the kiddos come back Tuesday. Is it bad that i'm already counting the days until spring break?