Reindeer Games!

I posted about craft day, and I posted about getting sick soon after. Now, I want to share a craft that we make every year. It’s so cute and easy to make! Many thanks to my first grade teaching partner of many years, Brooke Novak, who shared this craft with me my first year at St. Therese School. Glitter and this craft are two things that always make me smile and remember Brooke!


So here’s how you make this adorable reindeer.

1.  Gather up your supplies.  Here’s all that you need.184515_523541594331201_771397710_n

smallish red pom for the nose, smallish googly eyes, two clothespins, and geegaws to dress up the antlers, and craft glue.  I get all these at the dollar store  and can have enough supplies for a whole class for about 6 dollars. 

2.  Next, glue the two clothespins together as pictured.61845_523541870997840_825785596_n

3.  Then glue on the red nose and the googly eyes.


4  Glue on the antler geegaws to dress it up, and you have a super-cute reindeer ornament to send home.


You can glue an ornament hanger on the back to hang it in a tree or clip in the tree.  Either way, it makes a great addition to the tree or a great gift for a relative!  Enjoy!


Crashing and Burning

In my previous post, I talked about the stress that disrupted schedules can cause to a school day. Well, it is Wednesday evening, and we made it through the schedule distruptions with minimal damage! Tomorrow will be a normal schedule, normal learning day. Praise God!

The only fatality is me! I’m crashing and burning right now. It started on the way home from school with sneezes and a scratchy throat and is now progressing to headache and stuffy nose. Boo 😦 I see two nyquil tablets and an early night in my future!

Here’s a picture I snapped of my little elves. Aren’t they the cutest little bugs?


They made and wore these darling elf hats freebie by Over the First Grade Rainbow.  We made 5 different crafts in a little over two hours and ended with a cup of hot chocolate.   I could never have done it without my parent volunteers.  I’m so grateful for the willingness of our parents to help out in school.


Click on the picture to get your freebie Elf Hats for next year!

That’s it for me tonight.  I’m off to take my Nyquil!

Schedule Disruption Survival Plan

Before I begin this post, I must make a disclaimer:  I really do love the holiday season.  I love the traditions that surround Christmas, the concerts, the crafts, the Santa’s Shops.  I really do.  BUT. . .

Oh my, how they disrupt a daily schedule, and if you teach young children, you know…know…KNOW what a disrupted schedule means…hyper-vigilence on your part and ENGAGING and EXCITING activites to keep them focused.

This week we have — Monday, dress rehersal for Christmas play.  Monday night, Christmas play, Tuesday afternoon  (all afternoon) Santa’s Helper’s Craft  Day,  Wednesday morning, mass, Wednesday afternoon, Santa’s Secret Shop, and Friday, regulary scheduled superstar student guest reader.  That’s a lot of schedule disruption.

So what’s a teacher to do?  Pull out the big guns!  Pull out those extra special fun learning games to keep everyone involved.  I’ve got two I’ve been saving… one I created just yesterday, and one I created about a month ago.  In math, we’ve been learning addition strategies, so I created this game.

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I’m using one paper dice with numbers on it and one dotted dice.  The idea is the children will practice counting on from the numbered die  instead of counting each dot on both dice.  Most of my kids are getting this concept, but I still notice some putting up fingers for both numbers when adding.  Hopefully, playing this game will help that concept sink in for a few more.  Ive also differentiated the resource by including number dice from 1-6 and 7-12.  This will give you sums to 12 or sums to 18, depending on which die you use with your dotted dice.  This resource can also be used to reinforce subtracting from the bigger number.  Don’t you just love a versatile resource?

You can claim this FREEBIE from my TPT store by clicking on the picture above.  For our public school friends who may not be able to race to Bethlehem, I created an alternate version:Race to North POle coverjpg_Page1

Same concept as above, but you’re racing to the North Pole.  Click on the picture above to grab this FREEBIE from my TPT store.

The other game I’ve been saving for math class is Elf Toss.

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This is a fun and fast-paced game that is similar to bump, but I’ve added my own unique twist to it.  It also includes worksheets that I can use as homework this work.  So math is taken care of for this week!

In language arts, I will be ditching the reading series for this week — but not the reading series skills!  This is the week I will pull out my stories of celebrating the holidays around the world.  I have a wonderful SMARTBoard presentation that I found on SMART Exchange.  If you’ve never looked there, you should check it out.  I use various literature resources and crafts and interactive learning activities to illustrate how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

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In addition, I will be using my Bearly Orderly resource with the whole group and with small groups.  In addition to alphabetical order, we will be practicing phonics and writing skills.

Because of our crazy schedule this week, we probably won’t have time to do more than focus on math and Language Arts until at least Thursday.  I think I’ve got the first three days of the week covered pretty well with my “Schedule Disruption Surivival Plan.”  How do you get through weeks like this?