Sunday, December 3, 2017

New Product: Christmas Stamping!

Hi, everyone!  I hope you are surviving the madness of December with your class!  I'm flying by the seat of my pants over here, as usual!  Today I wanted to share a new product with you that is great for this time of year...Christmas stamping.  This is a set of printable pages that can be stapled and made into mini-books.  Simply add markers/crayons and alphabet stamps/ink pads and let your kids have at it!  I use mine for Literacy centers, but these can be used as early finisher activities or guided reading activities, as well!  I especially love that this pack includes two different versions of the pages, so you can differentiate.  The first page is a picture, the word, and boxes for kids to stamp.  The second version includes all of that plus a spot for kids to use the word in context by writing a sentence.  This product is excellent for building vocabulary with emergent readers.  Check out the pack below by clicking the product cover!  If you're in need of stamps and ink pads, I've linked them for you, as well.

P.S. I'm working on a winter edition for after Christmas break as we speak!


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Favorite Christmas Picture Books

During the month of December, I love incorporating fun holiday books into my lessons.  This year, it may be difficult, because we've adopted a Reading program that doesn't allow for ANYTHING extra.  It's so sad.  BUT, I'm committed to making time for those holiday favorites, even if it means straying from the curriculum for a little bit.  This is supposed to be the best time of year for the kids!  Today I'm sharing my top holiday picture books with you!  Each one has some sort of activity that I do with it.  I'm also linking the activities.  Some are free, some are paid, some are mine, some are not!  I've included all of the links for the books!  Enjoy!

Santa's Stuck-This is such a fun read about Santa getting stuck in the chimney!  It pairs nicely with this craft project from Crafty Bee Creations.  I've also created a free written response paper.  Students love writing about ways to get Santa out!

The Grinch-This is a holiday classic!  I love showing my kids the DVD after we've read the book.  It's great fun!  My students also create their own "Grinch."  I got this craft from Deanna Jump many years ago, and I believe it's since been removed from her store/website.  However, you could probably whip up your own template!  We always have some sort of snack with pudding, green candy canes, you could do green frosted cookies, green Jello, etc...

Gingerbread Friends-This is a favorite by Jan Brett.  I love her illustrations and the kids do, too!  It's fun to serve a gingerbread cookie after reading this!  My kids also make their own gingerbread men.  The craft is from Crafty Bee Creations and it is FREE.  Another extension with this project is to read several gingerbread man books and compare them on a large piece of butcher paper.  I've done that in the past and the kids have enjoyed reading the many different versions of the story!

The Polar Express-Such a classic!  Takes me back to my childhood and the days when my teachers read it to me as a little girl!  We love doing this craft by Falling Into First.  The kids also write about what they would give as the first gift of Christmas!  I love to leave each of my kids a jingle bell (and tell them it's from Santa) on their desks when they are at lunch the day we read this book.

How to Catch an Elf-This is a great book to read aloud if you have a classroom elf!  I love incorporating this book with my "But First...Let Me Take an Elfie" pack!!

The Littlest Elf-Since we're on the topic of elves, I had to share this book!  It is such a cute story, and again, goes along with the classroom elf.  It has a great message at the end!

Moosletoe-This is always a favorite!  The kids love seeing what Moose does with his mustache!  Be sure to grab this free craft!  If you're feeling real adventurous, check out this awesome art project!

A New Improved Santa-This is a great story about staying true to yourself and celebrating uniqueness!  The kids LOVE this book and the fun illustrations inside!

How Santa Got His Job-This is a fun read about how Santa became "Santa!"  I just found this free pack to go with the story and am looking forward to using it this year!!  I LOVE that the author of this pack created differentiated worksheets! 

For more Christmas ideas, click either of the pages below!!!!!!!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Today was our last day before Thanksgiving break--we have a field trip tomorrow and are off ALL WEEK NEXT WEEK!  Naturally, we watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," which is an annual tradition in my first grade classroom.  However, this year, I decided to bring in the goodies that Snoopy and Charlie Brown had for my class!!!  I had popcorn, which I popped at home ahead of time, jelly beans (Kroger candy section), pretzels, and toast!  I used our lounge's toaster and it worked great!  The kids were sooo excited to see that their plate of goodies matched Charlie Brown's!  They were cheering and saying "Thank you, Mrs. Wheeler, Thank you!"  It was so sweet.  I wanted to share this quick post in case you have to work next week and need something fun to do!  Scroll to the bottom of this post for the links to the DVD and book.  Enjoy!!




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Hi, friends!  Tonight I'm popping on to share some of my favorite Thanksgiving picture books!  Hopefully you will find some new titles that you don't already have!  Enjoy!!!



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Watercolor Painting

It's hard to believe we are in November and Christmas will be here before we know it!  I don't know about you, but I have a decent amount of my shopping done and my house is decorated!  Haha!  I just love the holiday time and always decorate the first of November. 

Speaking of presents...recently, I stumbled across a terrific artist, Katie Jones, at a craft show.  She had a display up of her paintings and I couldn't believe how detailed they were!  She is SO talented!!  The paintings that caught my eye first were her custom watercolor house paintings.  I knew I had to have one and then a few more for gifts!  The process to get one was so easy--I just went to her Etsy store, KatieJonesStudio, and purchased the custom listing.  When the painting arrived about 2 weeks later, I could hardly wait to go grab a frame and hang it up!!!!  My husband was so surprised (early birthday present!)!! 

You know how I love sharing my great finds with you all.  I only share things that I truly love/believe in.  Katie's work definitely fits the bill!  I had to share this with you!  If you're interested in a custom painting for yourself or a friend/family member, simply click the links below.  Enter code "FREESHIP1" at checkout to get free shipping!  What a great deal!  Be sure to order by December 1 for Christmas arrival.  Katie only has 20 custom orders available, so get on it!  Be sure to tell her that Mrs. Wheeler sent you!

Katie Jones Studio on Etsy 

Katie Jones Studio on Facebook

Katie Jones Studio on Instagram

PS-Katie has tons of beautiful paintings and she posts them on her Instagram so be sure to check them out!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Bob Books: Reading Kit

If you’ve followed me for a while now, you know that I am a big fan of “BOB BOOKS!”  I have a book bin full of them in my library that many of my students who are not yet reading/getting ready to read will choose.  They feel confident with the books because the text is almost 100% decodable.  The books are small…perfect for little hands!  I also keep some of the books handy at my Guided Reading table.  The students in my groups can look at them when they finish reading the book we are working on that day.  

Recently I had the chance to check out two of BOB Books’ newest products, the Reading Kit for Beginning Readers and their new plush characters.  The reading kit is for those who are ready to start reading.  It contains a set of 12 books as well as flashcards, an 80-page workbook with 50 stickers, a parent guide, and two “Level 1,” full length story books.  You also get downloadable content from Bob Books!!  This is an incredible package for $24.95 at Costco.  There are also several other Reading Kits available.   The kits would make a great addition to your classroom, a great Christmas present for your child's teacher, or if you have children, a great gift for your own kids.  

In addition to the Reading Kits, I am loving BOB Books' plush figures!  They are so cute!  They have a clip/key chain on the back so you can clip them to a book bag or stroller.  I have mine near my Guided Reading table and my kids are obsessed with them!  To grab the plush figures, click the links at the bottom of the post!!