Hodge Podge of Holidays {Tons of Pictures and Links!}

During my minor blogging hiatus the start of the holiday season was upon us... Halloween, Veterans Day, now Thanksgiving and holiday fun will continue full steam ahead. Since I was wrapped up in a few other projects at the time, I thought I'd reflect a bit on what we've been doing in the classroom. If nothing else, maybe you'll find a few ideas for next year to pin?

Halloween was my first official holiday as a general education classroom teacher. I survived, fairly unscathed, school wise. At home, we were moving, so things were hectic, but I survived on the home front too.

We created name symmetry posters for the hallway. A cute and fun project that you can read more about here.

 One of my student's brought in treats that I thought were super cute. A twist on the "dirt cake". Cupcakes complete with popsicle stick tombstones.

 The hubby and I went to a Halloween party put on by one of the teachers. Midmove, we threw something together. A hunter and the hunted.. brown shirt, some tin foil and masking tape and we became a hunter and deer. 

 Which fit in well with the rest of the Duck Dynasty crew that we attended the party with! 

 On the day of Halloween, I whipped up a shirt. It seemed fitting for the day! 

During the day, students wrote about what might happen if their pumpkin/Jack-O-Latern came to life. After students finished their writing, they were to color a picture of the pumpkins, from their I had a surprise...

Colar Mix app {free} will animate their drawings. This pumpkin sheet was a freebie and made for a wonderful surprise!

During our homeroom time, I did center rotations. Yay for freebies from TPT. I found a variety of math games and "just for fun" stuff to help our morning go a little quicker.
Halloween Board Games

 Math Zombie is one of my kiddos favorite basic math skills app, regardless of the time the year.  

We also did a listening/describing activity with "Go Away Big Scary Green Monster." 
Students attempted to illustrate the monster they heard about. Then, I left subplans for the students to write about their own monsters and partner with someone else to describe them. Fun activity that I learned about from 4th Grade Frolics.

The next holiday that we celebrated was Veterans Day. The highlight was the Veterans Day presentation, with students taking the time to shake the hands of veterans who attended on that morning and tell them thank you. One Veteran who attended had never been thanked like that before and sent in a letter of thanks that was so powerful.

To build up for the presentation, we wanted to be sure that our students understood the meaning behind the holiday.
I used part of Lovin' Lit's awesome Veterans Day Pack. The timeline and nonfiction reading activity was perfect for my crew.

I also utilized this freebie choice board one afternoon it comes from Ashleigh. Students loved the freedom from the choices in the activities. I asked that the choose one activity from the first two rows before doing one of the more time consuming activities from the bottom row. They were more than okay with that, and engaged throughout the hour.

Describing a veteran
Writing a news article over a veteran.

Creating picture books of national symbols on the iPad

Creating a card to give to a veteran.

Veterans Day acrostic poem

Synonyms for patriotic words

Our last classroom holiday focus was Thanksgiving.

We did a writing project with Pic Collage that you can read about here

Not pictured, but we also did the "How to Bake a Turkey" activity from Lovin Lit's pack. Another huge hit... but whenever YouTube is involved it usually is. A terrific way to review transition words. 

We also had another homeroom day... love them! Another morning filled with centers!! Again several TPT freebies!!

Thanksgiving Roll & Covers
Variety of Thanksgiving themed word searches
Thanksgiving "Scrattle" (Scrabble + Battle.. it was fun stuff!)
Thanksgiving bump
Students also loved reviewing text features with Amelia's Thanksgiving Centers. Such a great pack!!

Whew... now that I'm all caught up, it's almost Christmas! I have two new products that should be ready and uploaded for the big sale on Monday.. and for any early birds wanting to get a jump on their planning for the week, my store will by 20% off starting tomorrow!

 Happy Holidays friends!


Great Deals & Good Finds!

Black Friday is right around the corner, but my favorite sale doesn't require early wake ups, fighting for a good spot in line, or getting out of my pj's. My favorite sales this time of year are the TpT Cyber Sale. Sooo many great teacher authors and creators; it's sales like this one that I really stock up!

I have received some fabulous feedback on some of my products lately that can hopefully give you some inspiration for your wishlist!

Item #1: Differentiated Place Value Centers
 Item #2: Stone Fox Novel Study

Item #3: Differentiated Synonym Snowmen {Freebie} Part of a pack that will hopefully be posted later today. Too many technology issues to post it any sooner.

Items I'm eying... 

My fourth graders are in need of a good review around the holidays and new year. This pack looks great and the penguins are cute too! 

 My students LOVED Amelia's Thanksgiving pack, I know they will love this center pack too!!

What fabulous finds have you discovered? Be sure to link up or leave a comment. I don't want to miss out on a great resource!


Winter Synonym Freebie!

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. Usually summers are super hot, winters super cold. I like those seasons that are happy mediums. Cold fronts, winds, and colder-than-I-like temperatures have me thinking ahead to winter and I'm trying to get a jump start on skills to work on/review after the holidays. 

Here is a little freebie to review synonyms. There are 2 sets for the same nine words. Students build snowmen to put the synonyms into groups of three. One set of snowmen are made from different sized snowballs {easier} the other from snowballs of the same size {easier}. Click the picture to download from TPT!


Don't forget to enter for your chance to win one of three TPT gift certificates!! Click to picture for your chance to win!



Classroom "App"lications: Turkey Time

 November edition of "Classroom 'App'lications" is underway, better late than never right? Be sure to link up your iPad integrations at the end of this post!

My students absolutely *love* Pic Collage. This is a free app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod.  With ease in adding pictures from the web, the iPad, text, and stickers, the students are constantly creating collages of things they like. That's why, when I mention we are going to use that app in a lesson, they immediately have bought in.

This year, Thanksgiving caught me by surprise. {Does that really surprise anyone with the lack luster amount of posts lately? Life is just steamrolling ahead!} Anywho, thanks to our schools wonderful app and iPad integration specialist had an idea, I put it into action, and by the end of the hour, kids were telling me that they had fun. I'd say that's a win!

The prompt, was that the turkey needed to be somewhere, anywhere school appropriate, and as a result of being there, he'd be too busy to make it for Thanksgiving and of course, too busy to be eaten.  With only one day to complete our project, students only needed to write a short paragraph in the very least, although they were given the option more.

Think the paper turkeys that have be disguised, only digital. Students searched for background that they wanted; the place the turkey was visiting. Then they added a turkey with props to help make it seem like the turkey was truly there. Finally, they added their short note of apology for not making it to dinner. So cute and so fun!

The picture from my example. {Go Wildcats!} Images in Pic Collage can be layered, by tapping on them. The jersey and turkey were "cut out" of their backgrounds, by double tapping the picture and clicking on "clip". From there, just use your finger or stylus to outline the object, click on done, and your object has a background no longer.

The following pictures are from the student creations and displays on the Apple TV. Sorry for the poor quality when the lights were turned off!

Student cutting out his turkey. Not seen, under his hand, is the green outline that shows where the object will be cut.

This student found all of his objects and is beginning to build his picture

Adding text to create his letter.

This young lady, added her text above her picture.  "I'm so sorry I won't make it for the holiday. I am eating my own food. Just playing with other turkeys. P.S. I won't be back next year. I'm getting a ticket to go to Hawaii-- Tom the Turkey"

This turkey was filing the role of Willie the Wildcat.

A couple of young men enjoy history, particularly World War 2. They created Pic Collages that had their turkeys participating in this part of history.

The creations, writing, and sharing of these turkey creations was a favorite of my fourth graders. Last minute idea, but if you end up using this writing idea I'd love to see pictures and hear about how it went. Comment or leave a link, with your students' creations!