Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our December at School: Various Life shots

These pictures are from the two weeks of school preceding Christmas break. They are out of order because some were taken with my cell and some with my camera. 

I hope you find some ideas for next year!


I was inspired by some awesome doors I saw on Pinterest. and created this stuck Santa door for my own classroom door this Christmas. My daughter came in to bring me home that Sunday Afternoon.

During guided reading my groups practised sequencing with my new sequencing pack. Look out for some new seasonal ones. They're not made yet, but they ARE coming because I plan on using them ASAP.

For Kwanzaa we created these Unity Cups from Making Learning Fun.

A student handed out these cookies to their teachers the last week before Christmas. Made my day!

These were my students FAVOURITE craft this Christmas, and they were SOOOOO easy. I was inspired by these Dancing Elves from Pinterest, but one of our lovely Kindergarten teachers beat me by a day, so instead of doing the same craft, I improvised and like these better anyway! The pictured Dancing Santa is my daughter as my sample.

We learned about the legend of the Christmas spider as we studied Christmas around the world, and instead of making spiders we made these super sparkly spider webs. We used these for the Ukraine, but they could also be used for Germany.

Santa visited the school on "Santa Day" (the Wednesday before Christmas break), and each student received a small gift (paid for mostly by parents, but EVERY CHILD receieved a gift regardless of the parents finances)

I baked accidental cookies as part of my Christmas gifts to my students. Long story, but I'll share the recipe.

I have a student with a peanut allergy, so when I discovered that the cake mix cookies I planned on making couldn't be made because the mix we bought "May contain traces of peanuts", I was thrown for a loop. Not to be deterred I planned on Chocolate Chip Cookies. My first discovery was that I had no baking soda, so I replaced the teaspoon of baking soda with a tablespoon of baking powder instead and crossed my fingers. I finally got to the step to add the chocolate and quickly read the no name package. Can you guess what I discovered? Yup, another "May Contain" disclaimer. I didn't want to bake my kiddos what amounted to brown sugar cookies because that didn't feel very festive. So I pulled out my handy dandy food dye and voila! Christmas cookies!

For the Christmas concert every student decorated a paper ornament for the back of the stage. It looked pretty cool to have 200 ornaments up there.

I also gave each student one of these festive straws and a rubber bracelet from the dollar store. the straws didn't survive the afternoon, but were still a hit.

These were the boxes I packed their cookies in.

For Hanukkah we read these dreidel books and made Menorahs (but I forgot to take a picture).

The last Day of November we made these Grinch masks from early moments.

We learned about Saint Nicholas (Siinterklaus) and made these st. Nicks from the saint Nicholas centre.

For Russia we learned about the legend of the Babushka and made these traditional stacking dolls from Activity Village.


For Mexico we made these Poinsettias. Sorry, I can't remember where I got the template, darn it.



Merry Christmas! One of my students took this picture for you.




I hope your Christmas at School this month went awesomely!


Forever Freebie: Ghost door

I've decided to try designing a series of printable door art for the various holidays and seasons. So far you've seen my popular Snowman door, and today I offer you my ghost door as a new Forever Freebie.

Click on the door!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

24 hour freebie: Snowman door

Are you late getting your classroom into the Christmas spirit? Take advantage of this Freebie until my daughter goes to bed Monday night. Click on the fridge.


I have so much updating to do for you once I'm on Christmas break, but I don't have time right now, I'm sorry!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Christmas Quotes

I created this for my house, but in honour of my more than 600 fans on Facebook , I'm sharing it with you all as a new Forever Freebie! It's four Christmas quotes to display at home or in your classroom. Hope youlike them.

And don't worry, I haven't forgotten my promise of a new product and flash freebie for ever 100 fans, they'll be posted before school is back in January!



Friday, December 6, 2013

Weekly Feature #7: Students of History.



Seventh Up?
Students of History
(No blog button I can see yet)

Students of History is geared towards older grades, but I will do my best to feature them fairly!

Their best paid product on TPT is Daily Warm Up Questions for US History which is sold for 9.99. It's a complete years worth of Bellwork all on American history. A pretty awesome package for those teaching that subject!
Daily Warm Up Questions for US History

The most popular freebie is President Abraham Lincoln Letter Worksheet which seems like a good writing activity.
President Abraham Lincoln Letter Worksheet

Now on to the good ideas I like on the blog. I may have a hard time for two reasons, I teach first grade, and I'm Canadian, but let's see what's there!

1. Extra credit passes they can redeem instead of going to the washroom!

2.WAY WAY WAY too hard for my firsties, but what a great Superhero activity!

Yup, most of the ideas are ads for TPT, which is fine, but aren't really usable for me.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Christmas Sequencing Product

I created this product for use in my classroom guided reading groups to help with Sequencing issues in their comprehension.

I hope you can use it to! We started using it this week.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Guest Post Budding Blogger

Back in August I was picked to be showcased as a budding blogger. Since many of you are new to my blog, I figured now would be a good time to post my feature on my own blog so you can get to know me a bit better!

*****************

Good morning everyone! I am SO excited to be this weeks featured Budding Blogger. Thanks for picking me, Amanda. I go by the online name of Mrs. D since my first initial is a D, but my students call me Mrs. Trott (or they will this year, I wasn't married yet last time I taught. I used to be called Ms. Smiley).

I named my blog the totally unoriginal but totally mine Reading with Mrs. D


Here's my blog button, click on it please!

Reading with Mrs. D
I started writing as a teacher blogger in March 2011, but I was only testing it out until the end of the school year. I was trying to figure out who I was as a blogger before I got too far into things, but when late August came and my principal called to say enrollment was down and that he wouldn't be needing me that year, I was devastated, so I mostly abandoned blogging until I was on Maternity leave in February when I started sharing ideas and resources again. 

Personal info (state/family/pets/interests):
I am from Nova Scotia, Canada. 
But I'm moving to Saskatchewan this summer to teach there this fall.
I am married to a wonderful man (Mr. C) and we have one beautiful little girl who's 16 months (Munchkin).
Our Wedding day 2011
Family photo fall 2012
Our Munchkin July 2013













I don't know where to start when it comes to describing my interests. Maybe I should say I love blog stalking? I definitely have a few must reads amongst the many I follow. I should mention I have a slight obsession with Superheroes. I've always believed that Superheroes and their stories can be compared to traditional fairytales in the modern world, and so I'm designing my classroom environment this year around a Superhero theme.I LOVE to cook, most especially bake. My specialty is a chocolate chip dipped shortbread stick I make only at Christmas. My husband loves everything I make for him, but if it has bacon, then it's even better. Have you tried adding bacon to different foods? This year we've wrapped it around hot dogs and put it in grilled cheese. Both were hits with Mr. C.

Grade You Teach:

This year I'll be teaching grade one.

How long have you taught?

I graduated from UMPI (University of Maine at Presque Isle) in December 2004, and once my certification in Nova Scotia came through in May, I started substituting right away. 

Mom and me the day she left me at UMPI


After more than 3 years of working as a substitute teacher in the local board and a local private school, I was getting frustrated not getting anywhere and began applying across Canada to get a job elsewhere. After a few months of applying I got hired in Northern Manitoba at OK (Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik) school where I taught for two years, the first year in grade 3, the second in grade 2.

OK school
Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik
After coming home, I tried again really hard to find a teaching job, and found a maternity leave at a private school (Maritime Muslim Academy) where I taught grade one. 
Maritime Muslim Academy
Maritime Muslim Academy
I haven't actually taught in the two years since my term there ended since I found out I was pregnant and needed to have guaranteed work, so except for my one year maternity leave (yeah, Canada!), I've been working in retail.

What is your favorite subject to teach?
I love teaching reading, but I'm also a huge fan of social studies, and anyway I can combine the two subjects is fine by me. I love putting all the new words from spelling and that weeks mini reader in my chart and allow students to rearrange the words to make new original sentences.

Sentence formation

What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced?
You'd more than probably see a mess, but that's how I work! You'd see happy busy students working at their own pace, and when they're finished either reading or doing another choice activity.

What gets you through one of “those” days?
Right now knowing I'll get a kiss and a hug from my daughter at the end of the day helps, but so does the promise of caffeine in the form of chocolate and Coca Cola.

What is one “can’t live without” teaching resource?

Pinterest! I have found and shared so many freaking awesome ideas since I gave in and joined the site, that my teaching experience is going to be seriously transformed this year. There are some seriously talented teachers I've discovered in the blogosphere, just because I followed a link back to their blog.

Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favorite classroom activity/project.
When I taught grade 3 we did a unit all about the Vikings for Social Studies, and as a culminative activity, each student created a viking log house out of a shoe box. It was easily the most popular activity that year. They loved gluing the popsicle sticks to the boxes and cutting out furniture to glue inside.

What is one of your blogging goals for this year?
Is it okay if I have 3?


I love pictures, and I can't wait to show pictures of the resources I've created actually in use. 
I also hope to gain some more followers. 
Remember to comment more often. I've been a bad blogger this year. I was getting better, but since my mat leave ended I've allowed that to lapse.

I hope I've entertained you a bit, and didn't bore anyone, and if I did, I'm terribly sorry.















Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A few school shots the last two weeks.

We did a short Dr. Seuss author study and began the unit by learning a few fun facts about him and making puppets of him. Aren't they cute?

We had report card day/parent teacher interviews, so I put this note and Superhero on our whiteboard. I also played a slideshow of ALL the pictures I've taken of the class since the start of the year. Some parents noticed, others didn't, but  the kids who came in with their caregivers loved seeing their faces up on our smartboard.

We finally had our 50th day of school, this week will be our 60th (I know, it seems late, but when you factor in not starting until after Labour Day, the annual convention and a few PD days, it's right on track.)

We read If I Ran the Zoo, and so we each designed our own CRAZY animals and put them in cages.

The school community hosted a Literacy Carnival, and so I brought my classes very favourite centre right now, our playdough mats. I use Plasticine because I had it on hand, and because it last so much longer.

We had two days of Horton when studying Dr. Seuss, since we read Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg. So of course we had to make Horton Ears!

We also had to make Horton's flower. For the speck of dust on the flower we glued on a googly eye. Cute, right?

Our Horton flowers were attached to these response sheets I made for the class. I told Horton that I have the best class in the school.

My fellow first grade teacher for our final Seuss day activity made these Pinterest Inspired Cat in the Hat hats.

And these Green eggs in Ham.

And Now while I sit here I realize there are a few things in my classroom I've forgotten to take a picture of....

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