It's officially Christmas break - wahoo!  I finally feel like I can breathe and reflect on the whirlwind that December has been!  Here are a few of my favorite Christmas activities from this month...

{Spoiler Alert - if there are any current first grade parents from my class reading this blog post STOP RIGHT NOW!  There are pics of your Christmas present from your first grader in here!}

Again this year I wrapped up all the read aloud books for December.  It just adds something a little magical to start our day.  (Clearly my tree needs some sprucing up next year - it's rather sparse, yikes!)

We made handprint calendars for our parent gifts.  Mel D created this AHH-mazing resource and we will be able to use for years to come.
These take a long time to complete, but they are SO WORTH IT!

We made gingerbread houses to finish off our gingerbread day.  I could NOT do this without help from parents!  My room was a flurry of sugar and excitement.  I had so many volunteers this year, all I had to do was enjoy the afternoon and take pictures.  Thank goodness for parent helpers!!!  

The last day before vacation is always Polar Express pajama day.
I just love seeing what PJ's the kids wear to school!

This year I gave my students the book Snowmen at Christmas.  (Thank you Scholastic book orders for such a great price!)  My kiddos were super excited about their present.  After we opened the presents we read the story together.
And how precious are these elf pajamas?!!

What's Christmas time without some holiday movie favorites?!  These were lifesavers when trying to finish up holiday crafts and other projects before closing out this year.

How adorable is this candy sled that I got from a family?!  So creative and thoughtful.  I just love the cards my students make for me and how excited they get to give me something at Christmas.  They truly are the sweetest.

Merry Christmas!!!
It's December, wahoo!  I missed last month's Currently, so I'm psyched to be back-in-action this month.  Time to link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade...

Listening - Christmas music is my absolute favorite!  I start listening on November 1st, because one month of those cheerful tunes just isn't enough!

Loving - There are only THREE weeks until Christmas vacation.  Seriously.  Can.  Not.  Wait!

Thinking - My apartment feels so cozy all decorated for Christmas.  There's just something about snuggling on the couch with the glow of a warm fire and the lights from the Christmas tree.

Wanting - Okay I know it's only Monday, but I'm really wanting the weekend to get here already!  I'm spending this weekend in Chicago with my nieces.  I haven't seen them since Columbus Day and it feels like FOREVER!

Needing - I need to get some Christmas shopping done, ASAP.  I plan to do some online shopping tonight... if the websites will cooperate!  Last night I fought with the Carter's website for way too long trying to score some cute clothes for my nieces.  Grr.

Giving - How about a little Christmas FREEBIE?!  I put together a book of Christmas word problems that I thought you might like!

What are you Currently up to?!
It's time for the annual Cyber Monday and Tuesday Teachers Pay Teachers sale!
My entire store is 20% off!  You can get an extra 10% off if you use the code TPTCYBER at checkout.

What could be better than that?!!

Hop on over to my TPT Store to check out all my products!

Need some fresh activities for Christmas?  Check out my holiday products below...

Be sure to check out a couple of my best-selling items as well...

Happy Shopping!
We've just finished up our Families Unit in social studies this week.  I put this unit together last year because I needed more resources to teach the social studies standards relating to families.  This year I was able to fully implement each piece in my Families Unit.

I really enjoy this unit in social studies because it allows me to get to know my students and their families better.  My kids love it because... well, who doesn't like to share about themselves?!

Here we are working on our final project - our timelines.  My class had so much fun with this project this year!  They loved sharing their timelines and the important events in their lives.

If you are interested in adding more resources to your families unit, check out my pack below!

I made a few updates to this unit this weekend.  If you own it (and you very well might because this is one of my best sellers!), be sure to re-download it.

Included in this unit...

Book Suggestions
Can / Have / Are Chart
Standards Posters for your Focus Wall
Family Portrait Page
My Family is Special - Writing Activity
Family Tree Project including Graphic Organizer and Parent Letter
My Family Tradition - Writing Activity
My Family Vacation - Writing Activity
Family Rules Page (with and without lines)
My Family Responsibility - Writing Activity
My Family Helps - Writing Activity
Timeline Project including Parent Letter

Happy Sunday!

It's been a while since I've blogged!  I could go on and on with excuses about how busy I've been... but instead I'll just get right on with the giveaway!

I've hit another blogging milestone - 300 FOLLOWERS!!!

As a huge THANK YOU to my amazing followers, I'm giving away a $30 Gift Certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers.

Over the past three years this blog has helped me to connect with so many wonderful new friends and truly helped me to grow as a teacher.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for commenting.  And thank you for challenging me to be a better teacher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to the giveaway, how about a little FREEBIE?!  Parent/Teacher conferences are fast approaching in my district.  One of the areas I like to discuss with the families of my first graders is how they are progressing in reading.  One of the measures I find useful is the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment).  I plan to share this at my conferences, and throughout the year as I continue to assess.

The giveaway ends soon... so get those entries in.
And again, a HUGE thank you to my followers!
The first day of school is tomorrow!!!

I can't wait to meet my new class!

I THINK I'm ready.  So ready, in fact, I am now getting nervous about the fact that I am NOT nervous.  #teacherproblems

So without further ado, check out this year's classroom...
(clearly I have a problem with taking far too many pictures)

View from the front door... 

Small group meeting area...

Still happy with my computers up high with file cabinet storage underneath.  One computer is hooked up to my Smart board and the other is for teacher use.  The iPad tower sits in the middle.  LOVE my iPads!!!

My easel came from a Donors Choose project from last year...

This counter holds my Writing Workshop materials...

I just love this easy birthday board!

My classroom job chart...

I'm trying out book bins this year instead of book pouches.  Hopefully this will keep my books in better condition!  (I number a lot of items in my classroom and 4th Grade Frolics has a great free set of numbers that I use!)

My desk area...

 A neat and tidy desk is a beautiful thing!

Love my storage bins for my daily materials!

Check out that brand spankin' new carpet!  All of K-2 found these waiting in our classrooms this year.  So cool.  My "First Day Feelings" graph is ready to go tomorrow!

Front board with scheduling information, compliments, and calendar...

A few daily management materials...

My lunch choice chart - the kids simply put their magnet on their choice for the day!

Secret Star display from Cupcake for the Teacher - so excited to try this out this year!

I like to have my Word Work area set up and ready at the beginning of the year.
Can't wait to begin Daily 5 instruction!

My (empty-for-now) Focus Wall...

Still have my ribbon word wall hanging...

Can't forget my class rules...

Phew!  I'm exhausted just looking at it all again!  Time to turn in and start dreaming about the perfect first day of school, haha!
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