Primary Chalkboard

Make a Christmas Gift with Your Students

Hi everybody!  This is Terry from Terry's Teaching Tidbits.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving in a few days and get ready to move on to Christmas, I wanted to share a fun holiday activity that you can make with your students.

At my school, we always have a holiday party on the last day before winter break.  In order to maintain some classroom management while celebrating, we usually like to have a craft or some type of activity for the kids to do to keep them occupied.

If you're looking for a fun, easy project to make with your students, I have the perfect one for you.  Years ago I found an adorable Christmas ornament project online and tried it with my class.  It worked out brilliantly!  You can have your students make these adorable ornaments and give them to their parents as a gift.
This makes a great gift because it's personal and it is a gift that their family can take out and see again each and every year.  My parents STILL have ornaments that I made in elementary school and I love looking back at them when I come home to visit all these years later.

Here's how to make them:

1.  Choose an ornament (it can be any color, but I liked blue because it made it look more like a snowman outside.

2.  Paint the palm of the child with white paint.  I used tempera paint.

3.  Have them hold the ornament in the palm of their hand, (not too tightly) with the bottom of the ornament in the middle of their palm.  The white area that is made by the palm of the hand will appear to be the snowy ground and each fingerprint represents an individual snowman.

4.  Once the paint has dried, provide Sharpies to decorate each fingerprint to resemble a snowman.  I added buttons, a scarf, eyes, nose, mouth, and top hat.

5.  Present the ornament as a gift and hang on the tree!  :)

I hope you like the idea!  I can't wait to see what other ideas people have to share for the holidays.  There are only a few more weeks left, so have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy New Year, and Happy any other holiday that you may be celebrating this season.  :)

~ Terry

Do You Need MORE Books for YOUR Classroom?

How many times have you ever said this, "I need more books for my classroom library"!  Well, I found this nice little secret a few years back while teaching kindergarten.  I am going to share it with all of you so that you can get books the inexpensive way for your classroom library.  Have you ever heard of "Book Sale Finder"?

Click on the image to take you to their website

When you get to the website you will see the image below along with many other images on their website.  Just click on the state you live in and 

you will see the next image that tells you where all of the book sales that your local library has coming up and the dates and times to visit.  

As you can see I have one to go to in Alpharetta, GA on December 6th.  At my local library I go and get a box or two of books for about $10.00 per box. (they usually run .50 each) I also find VHS movies really cheap since nobody has a VHS player anymore except me in my classroom!  If you get there early on the first day they open, or go when they have a "library card holder" preview, you can make out like a bandit in the book territory.  I then can use them to send home with my kids and not worry about them getting lost because they can be replaced at the next book sale.  

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they have a Facebook page so click on the link below and follow them to get notifications.

        Here's to happy reading and book finding!
Deb at Fabulously First...


Bring History to Life for Your Students… And Integrate Reading into Social Studies!!!

Hey everyone! It feels good to be back blogging again with the most supporting, amazing, and caring collaborative group: The Primary Chalkboard! It's November, and while you shouldn't give thanks only during this time of year, I do want to give a huge shout out to my Chalkies because I am SO thankful for each and everyone one of them. Love y'all!!!!!

Now, onto business :) If you know me, I am a huge proponent of content integration. There just isn't enough time in the day to separate every subject in isolation, and students learn better when they can see the relationship between the various concepts they are learning. I also love using authentic documents to teach social studies. Which is going to engage a child more? Reading an informational text about the Declaration of Independence, or reading from the actual Declaration of Independence? (Ok, so I know they may have a hard time with the cursive handwriting but that was just an "off the top of my head" example). Which brings me to the meat of my post: 2 amazing resources you can use to find some authentic documents that will keep your students engaged and help you integrate reading and social studies. DocTeach and Digital Archives. Head on over to my blog to read up on how I use these 2 resources, and how they can help you, too!

I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving, and a SMOOTH last week/days with your students before the break! Good luck, y'all! 


Turkey Favor for home or school

Hello to all my sweet and talented friends out in teacher land!  It's Vicky from Teaching and Much Moore here and I'm happy to share a fun little idea that I saw while perusing the internet.  It's very easy and so cute so I just had to share!  

So here are the Step by Step directions.  I think your students would love this little goodie before they left for the Thanksgiving holiday break.  You could even fill it with dollar store finds ~ think: 
{ little erasers, plastic rings, etc. }.




Tell us what you think:  xoxo, Vicky

Prepping Early with a Freebie!

Hi, friends! It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!

When I read Katie's post yesterday, I thought about the hustle and bustle of the holidays and how we, as teachers, can find ways to lessen the stress. 

One thing I like to do is prep ahead.

Years ago, I learned I removed some unnecessary stress if I prepped weeks in advance. 

Don't get me wrong, things always come up, but I want to be prepared if they do. 

Being prepared includes making sure all my classroom resources are printed and ready to use before they are needed. 

In first grade, we use a lot of printable math resources-
number cards, number grids...tons of number references, including number lines. 

Well, I'm all about seasonal and holiday fun, and my kiddos enjoy using them, too.

If you like changing out references with the seasons, then here are a few freebies for you-

number lines 0-10. 

Even though, we are adding through 20, the Singapore Math program we use is based on ten, 
so we'll use these number lines all year. 

And honestly, many of my sweet friends still need visuals to help with equations,
 especially with those tricky MISSING ADDENDS! Grrr!

Here are three different winter number lines from 0-10, color and b/w.
Click on the pic to download!

And, if you still need fall resources,
 here are three different fall number lines from 0-10, color and b/w, as well. 
Click the pic to download!

I hope you can use these! 
Happy Sunday, friends!

Just a gentle reminder

I feel like we are officially headed in the holiday season! I can feel the pressure pushing in and this year, like last year,  I am making a conscious effort to push back. Here are some of the things pushing in on me

1. Black Friday sale on TpT and I want to finish all 100 units on my to do list. (Impossible, so I am letting go of it and finishing 3 units.)

2. Construction in my kitchen making me crazy (That’s life and a short season.)

3. My son’s birthday, Christmas and kid’s birthday party all at the same time. ( I can do hard things)

4. Lots to do, not enough time

5. Wanting to lose some of this weight.

So here is the thing about my list of pressures that mount during the holidays. of those things are actually WONDERFUL!!!!! I mean even #4 with lots to do. The things on my to do list are wonderful too!!! The thing I am trying to express it that, taking a minute to clear some space in your head and really look around is the difference between a harried holiday and a joyous one. I am going to …

1. Take joy in preparing for the Black Friday sale so that I can bring my students and your students amazing resources!

2. Enjoy my repaired kitchen and new sky light!

3. Have the time of my life prepping for Jackson’s 8th birthday and Christmas all in the same month. It’s like can December hold anymore joy?

4. My to-do list is doable one step at a time!

5. All I can do is lace up my running shoes and enjoy the fresh air.

That is the same list 1-5 but seen with fresh eyes!

I wrote a post a few years ago when I used to be my own inner drill sergeant! It’s not about SHOULD it’s about what is possible. It’s about being the best version of yourself in this holiday season not a Martha Stewart copycat , gotta be just like Pinterest, perfect family.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *originally posted Nov. 23, 2012  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Christmas is coming!  It's the most wonderful time of year! It can be... Or it can be miserable...

After a lovely Thanksgiving week, our household is off kilter. Naps have been skipped, laundry is piled to the sky, clean laundry is waiting to be folded,
the kitchen is .... well.... a disaster from prepping the dishes we brought to Thanksgiving dinner.
The only thing that could make this worse is to try and decorate while everyone is tired, and the house is clearly not ready to be decorated.
So what did we try to do today?

Yep! We decorated and made cookies!
Here is why...
We ALWAYS decorate the day after Thanksgiving.
We ALWAYS eat Pick Up Stix for dinner.
Then we ALWAYS load up in the car and look at the Christmas lights in our neighborhood.
Always, Always, Always....

"Keep moving Little Soldier. This is what we ALWAYS do."

Does anybody else have an inner Drill Sargent?
Does anybody else have a harsh inner critic that is super hard to please?

I do.

So this is what happened...
We threw ourselves into decorating for Christmas and ignored the reality around us.

We trudged forward, over hurtles, tripping over laundry baskets, and piling on more dishes.
Keep moving Little Soldier...

The Mr. and I began to bicker, and for the 10th year in a row, we incorrectly put the tree together and the had to start over.
Keep moving Little Solider...

We kept moving until our 5 year old melted into a puddle of tired tears. That's when it hits us.... ummmm maybe this is a bad idea.

Maybe plans have to change.

Maybe I have to adapt traditions to make room for reality.

Maybe, just maybe, I need to tell my inner critic to shut up quiet down.

Maybe I need to take a look around myself and decide what the real priorities are.

I think this year I am going to let go of should, ought to, and always.

I think this year I am going to do what is right for me, my home, and the people in it.

The rest of the world and my own "drill sergeant"  will just have to sit tight.

Right now, I'm going to...
fold laundry (so we are not naked tomorrow),
then I'm going to print this blog post, and tape it to the top of our ornament box as a little reminder for next year.

I am going to...
Live in sweet reality over Norman Rockwell-esque ideals.
Put first things first.
Be the best version of myself, instead of the version my inner critic demands.
Being the best version of myself instead of a poor Martha Stewart copycat.

I saw these cookies on Pinterest and feel compelled to add them to today's decoration day. This we can agree was a bad idea.  But the cookies were wonderful...They were yummy and easy. But time consuming with all the refrigeration time involved.
Watch your baking time. Mine were done a full 5 minutes before the time written in the recipe.
This is the {link} for how to make them. These cookies are from a darling blog called Our Italian Kitchen.Hop on over. I want to make everything from their blog...after I clean up the kitchen.

Making Pumpkin Pie In The Classroom

Aloha sweet friends it's Corinna from Surfin' Through Second.  It's Throw Back Thursday and I am sharing one of my most popular posts from last year.

Click on the picture to take you to last year's post with step by step instructions and recipe page.  This is one of my favorite recipes to make in class and your kiddos will love it!!