Saturday, December 29, 2012

December News and More

     Hi Bloggie Friends!  Did you all have a nice Christmas?  I imagine you are enjoying your Winter Break like I am!

     I am way overdue in writing on this little blog!  Life has been so busy lately especially at school.  I'll try to update on what we've been doing.  I'm sorry it has taken so long!


 We learned about Holidays Around the World.  I've done this for many years, but we were told this was the only thing we could do relating to Christmas.  I have a book that I used that I've had since I began teaching (the book is now out of print).  The book has information and a picture of a child in the country's traditional clothing plus some of their symbols.  These can be used for the students to color.  I also used Rachelle from What the Teacher Wants' unit titled Holidays Around the World.  I was excited to see that she added some additional countries this year.  I have a book that I bought from Costco several years ago that has stories from many countries and how they celebrate the holidays.  I read  about England, France, Mexico, and Germany.  I wish we would have had time for more countries.

I also read to the students a book about Mexico titled The Miracle of the First Poinsettia.  This was an excellent book. Many of my students are from Mexico or their families are, so they thoroughly enjoyed this story.  I bought the book new from Amazon for  $16.99 just before Thanksgiving.  I see it's now $899 through another party.  A used one is $39.  I'd wait until next Thanksgiving or earlier.  That's crazy!


We finished with learning about Germany and focusing on gingerbread.  This way my one student who couldn't celebrate Christmas could be involved with us.  I read Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett to the students for our Modeled Reading.  We worked on learning about characters, setting, problem, and solution.  We haven't talked much about problem and solution before.  Here's a chart that we started:

  They loved these books!  We made a paper gingerbread using "Flat Gingy" Gingerbread Buddy creativity project created by Christie Berlener from First-Grade-Fever.  The kids finally were able to make an art project on our last two days.  I turned it into a glyph so as to involve some math.  Here is a sample:

This one was made by me since the students already took theirs home.  I gave them the writing assignment that Christie put in the unit.

Every month the students get a topic to share with the class that I call "News".  During January, the students will share with us what they do with their "Gingy".  It should be fun!  We started doing "News" at the beginning of November.  This is something I used to do in my teaching.  The kids are enjoying this and it only takes a few minutes each day.  Three students share 3 days a week.  The other two days the V.I.P. shares.  I'll share more pictures when they return with their News.


We read a variety of books about the first Thanksgiving.  I found that most students in first grade know nothing about the first Thanksgiving.  One book that we really enjoyed is based on the first Thanksgiving with a fictional character was The Littlest Pilgrim.

I followed a chart that I saw Cara from The First Grade Parade use.  Here's the chart we made:

We worked on learning about adjectives as we described the main character, Mini.


     I have been very sad after to hearing about what happened in the school in Connecticut.  I am praying for all those kids and families involved as they grieve for their loss.  Just days before that happened we had a similar experience here in Oregon at a shopping center near where I grew up and have spent many hours shopping in that mall.  At the time when the gunman was shooting, my 25-year old niece was there at a restaurant with an outside entrance.  How scary!  She is a substitute teacher currently as she waits to find a teaching job.  This was too close to home!

Furlough Days

    Our Winter Break is longer than normal -- 3 weeks!  We have two weeks of Winter Break plus 5 days for our Furlough.  It's nice having a long vacation, but it's hard losing 5 days.  I think it will be hard to get the students back in the swing of things.  We don't go back to school until January 9th.

     Until next time . . . I hope it won't be so long!  I should be able to write again while on my Winter Break.  Enjoy your weekend and have a Happy New Year!


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