Happy New Year Sale!

Thank you to Happy Little Kindergarten for the graphic!

New Year's Eve has arrived and my mind is torn between planning for the new year (resolutions, lesson plans, meal plans, etc. ).  And like most women I know, Christmas clearance and bargain shopping are on the list, too! Everything in my TpT Store is currently on sale 20% off! Click HERE to browse my shop.

If you teach 2nd grade, I'd recommend you check out the following unit for celebrating the 102nd Day of School! You can read all about how I used the unit and see it in action HERE.
I firmly believe that we are currently have developmentally inappropriate practices in place in the primary grades. You will see that I have included art activities that require students to utilize their fine motor skills. I believe that the shift to all academics all.the.time has left a large gap in students' skills. You can incorporate as many or as few of the crafts as you choose depending on your situation and your administration. I would encourage you to try to fit at least one into the unit. The animal cage is a particularly good one as it incorporates creativity, coloring, cutting, and threading the yarn through the holes.  Okay, I'm stepping off of my soap box now! #dontgetmestarted

Another fantastic resource for January is my Martin Luther King, Jr. lapbook. 
This lapbook allows older students to continue to practice fine motor skills (let's be real; all 2nd and 3rd graders are not proficient in this area). There are more activities than will realistically fit on the lapbook which means you get to decide which activities will be most beneficial for your class or for individual students. Students will research MLK to complete the vocabulary, timeline, character traits mini book, interesting facts, etc. As the teacher, you can structure these lessons to be independent, partner, small group, whole group, or any combination therein. Click HERE to check out this resource. 

Happy New Year friends! #clearanceshop #saleshoptilyoudrop!

Flash Freebie!!

Happy Little Kindergarten is hosting a Flash Freebie through Friday, Jan. 1st.

You can find links to multiple products that you would normally have to pay for on TpT but are free for a limited time. 

You can download this center for FREE HERE! Please provide feedback in my TpT store and let me know what you think!

Use the links above to head on over to Happy Little Kindergarten. Hopefully, you'll find some fantastic new products to use in the new year!

American Heroes: Mary Musgrove and Tomochichi

It is finally complete!! My American Heroes Series: Georgia Edition has now been put to rest with the publishing of this lapbook.....

 Normally, this packet would be $3 but for the next few days it will be on sale for $2. Click on the picture to link straight over to it in my TpT store.

Keep reading if you want more information on what is included in the packet. I am also including links to all of the other lapbooks in this series.

American Heroes lapbooks allow you to cover the required curriculum while also providing much needed fine motor practice, character trait instruction and development, and flexibility in grouping students.

This lapbook is a fun, interactive way for students to learn about Mary Musgrove and Tomochichi (Georgia standard SS2H1), but the unit can be used to teach many other standards as mentioned. It includes the following components:

*Directions and pictures for assembling the lapbook
*Cover page- 2 options; 1. Option 1 allows students to make one book that covers both Musgrove and Tomochichi. 2. Option 2 allows students to make two separate books.
*2 Timelines - a primary and an intermediate version- your choice
*Character Traits Booklet: dependability, trustworthiness, and honesty
*Vocabulary Pocket
*18 Programmed Vocabulary Cards
*Editable Vocabulary Cards- create cards of your choosing
*Interesting Facts 
*My Life Compared to James Oglethorpe's Life
*Short Answer Comprehension
*Short Answer requiring text evidence to support their answer

This lapbook can be used with a variety of reading passages, books, or websites.

This lapbook completes my second bundle in my American Heroes Bundle 2: Oglethorpe, Musgrove, and Tomochichi.

You can purchase the other lapbooks here:
American Heroes: James Oglethorpe
American Heroes: Jimmy Carter
American Heroes: Jackie Robinson
American Heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Heroes Bundle 1: Carter, MLK, and Robinson

I hope you find something that will help you in your quest to make learning more meaningful for your students.

Christmas in the Castle

Er, maybe I should have titled this "Christmas near the Castle" or "Christmas in the Media Center". Neither of them were quite as catchy so there you have it! It's hard to believe, but this school year is halfway over! Halfway!! The move from the regular ed classroom to a media center means that I am essentially a first year, a novice, a just beginning, don't know what I am doing but am faking it until I make it librarian. Hopefully, that will explain my long absence from this little blog!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree.....how lovely are your books! We used old Reading Invitational books that we had 10 copies of to create the tree. I borrowed a "wild thing" from the Easy section to use as the tree topper.  A wild thing seemed appropriate considering it matched the behavior of the kiddos perfectly! ;)  I added a few bulbs as a garland for the wild thing, and then christened this tree complete! I've included a link so that you can take a look at my inspiration tree on Pinterest. 

 I bought bulbs that wouldn't shatter from Target in an assortment of colors. You can't tell in the picture, but some of the bulbs have glitter, some are matte finish, and some are shiny. My para and I hung them with white ribbon by using the heavy duty (read expensive) 2 inch masking tape. We tried book tape first, but it just didn't hold the bulbs as well. They would periodically fall which became annoying in a hurry! The school tree was located right outside of the media center, so we got a double dose of festive!!

We continued to wrap the bulbs around all of the windows on the inside. It didn't take us long and created a simple yet festive touch to the decor. We added a little sheer ribbon with red and silver to finish the top. These windows had a shallow ledge and we couldn't hide the tape on the underside. The mesh-like ribbon hid the tape perfectly! The kiddos love it when we change things up a bit in the library. 

One of my volunteers found a menorah on Pinterest and recreated one in our library using Hardy Boy Mysteries; they had lovely blue spines that fit the bill perfectly. The volunteer did not share the pin with me, and unfortunately, I didn't get a picture before a little one caused it to collapse (for the second or third time....it was obviously in an area that received way too much traffic (er elbows)....sadly, I didn't get a picture). 

Next year, we will be putting up a tree similar to this one:

A Dr. Seuss tree in the media center. I.love.it! Now is the time to start working on this friends. Christmas ornaments are up to 70% off. 70% people!! Run to your nearest Michael's, JoAnn, Target, Wal-Mart, or Hobby Lobby! Kerri from A Pop of Pretty Blog also has a green tree version and all of the directions for how she put this tree together. Hop on over to her blog for your list of supplies and the directions to recreate this tree. #cutesttreeforalibrary #ever
Dr. Seuss' birthday is in March. I'll be on the lookout for the Cat in the Hat hat and tie as well as the foamies that Kerri mentions in her blog at Michaels. I've already picked up the tree, all of the ribbon, and some shatterproof ornaments on clearance. I'll be ready to roll next December!
 Click here to go to Kerri's website for the directions.
Click here to go to Kerri's blog for step by step directions on how to recreate her Dr. Seuss tree.

Along with the tree, menorah, and window decor, I added Christmas lights to the inside of the castle. I am fortunate to work with a gentleman that is more than proficient with sounds systems. (He literally made it so that broadcast has voices instead of the static that came on t.v. as a little girl after 10 p.m.  Can I get an amen if you are a child of the 70's and know exactly that of which I speak?) He also happens to be handy with lights. He brought in 4 lights that change colors. My kindergartners thought they were at a rave or a disco at the very least!  Of course the point was not dancing, no sirreee. We were having cookies in the castle (That lasted for all of one kindergarten class before we hightailed it to the tables.....I can not even describe the mess they created. Wow.....just wow.) and reading books for pleasure. The older kiddos (3rd-5th) absolutely relish this time to read for fun! This is the second time we've done it this year. The first was the week of Halloween/Red Ribbon Week. I hosted Campfire Reading in the media center. I'll have to go back and post about that another time. You can literally do it any time of year! At any rate, the kids had a blast and so did I! Let's face it,; none of us can compete with Christmas, Christmas parties, or sing-alongs!!
If you look closely in the background, you can see the cool lights shining on the back wall of the castle. #kidwin

How do you decorate for the season? Do you have any special activities or traditions to help you maintain your sanity? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!