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Toddler Christmas Fun!

This Christmas we threw a toddler Christmas party for Hudson and 12 of his little friends! 
This is my third year doing this and it's becoming my favorite December tradition. We decked the house out in our Christmas decor and I included this cute Christmas hanging fans from Oriental Trading:
The pattern is only printed on one side, so I had to change where I was planning to place them, but they looked great grouped together in a corner of my kitchen.

To start the party we did a cute ornament craft that I found on Oriental Trading:
The craft kit came with literally everything we needed to make the ornaments: 
We had some extra so I made two sets for each of my kids to give their grandparents for Christmas:
It was a big hit with all of the toddlers (and their moms!) - who doesn't love a cute keepsake?

While the ornaments were drying we ate some yummy snacks and played games!
The biggest hit was this Christmas tree bowling game I found on Oriental Trading
The kiddos LOVED it - and it held up really well to the less-than-gentle playing by the toddlers :)

We also had a winter book station where the kids could curl up with a fun and festive book: 

We had our Little People nativity set out for the kiddos to play with:

These were the party favors:
 I got the cute little Christmas truck pull-back toys from Oriental Trading - My truck-loving little guy was so excited to give them to his friends.

*I was sent these products from Oriental Trading in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are my own. Check out Oriental Trading for all of your classroom and/or party needs!

Happy New Year!

WHO Do You Want to be in 2018?

So many times my students are asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And more than any other class, these students just don't know. I find that the question really stresses them out. So, I decided to take a different approach. I created an activity that focused in on WHO the students want to be, not only what.

Engage your students with this fun print-and-go craft and bulletin board display that asks the students to brainstorm WHO they want to be in the upcoming year. Encourage a growth-mindset as they think about positive character traits they hope to exhibit in 2018.

Instructions:
1. Give each student a body template (I’ve included multiple templates for you to choose from)
2. Show the students the list of positive character traits (or brainstorm a list as a class)
3. Have each student fill out their “body” with different positive character traits that they want to exhibit in the coming year
4. Instruct each student to draw/color the face and cut out the entire body to turn in.
5. Display the students on a bulletin board with the title “WHO do you want to be in 2018?” 

Resource includes:
*Teacher instructions

 *Multiple body templates to choose from (2 to a page for paper-saving printing)
 *Extras: Bulletin Board/Display Title and a Suggested list of positive character traits

Grab this print-and-go resource and simplify your lesson planning today --> New Years WHO Do You Want to Be?


When Book Characters Come to Life


Today I want to share one of my all-time favorite book report projects:


Here's how it works: To complete this project, have your students choose a book to read. Then they will write a short summary of the book from the first-person perspective of the main character. Give each student a large piece of butcher paper. The students will draw a picture of the main character and cut out the face so that they can stand behind the paper and speak as if they were that character. They then present their book summaries to the class.

Here's an example:


This print-and-go resource includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a fun and engaging project to be completed after reading any book! 
Here are some student samples - didn't they do a fantastic job?
 This resource includes EVERYTHING YOU NEED to assign, complete, and assess this project.
Simplify your lesson planning today - check out this print-and-go resource in my TPT store:

I'm Thankful for Books November Book Project

November is the month when students are encouraged to think about what they're thankful for - let's encourage them to be thankful for books!
This fun and engaging resource includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book)

This resource includes two different sizes of the booklet pages - you can choose which one you'd like to use based on the age of your students and the space you have to display these.

My students always LOVED filling in these monthly book project - and I know yours will too! This gave me an excellent way to put my students' knowledge of story elements to the test - and it made a wonderful bulletin board display, just in time for parent-teacher conferences!

This resource is in a series of monthly themed book projects - check out the others in the series:

Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation: Preschool Activities

This year (2017) is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Teach your students about Martin Luther and the bold steps he took to ensure that everyone could read the Bible for themselves. He fought tirelessly to drive home the idea that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

I know the story of Martin Luther and his fight against the Catholic Church is a little over the head of my preschool students, but I thought it was important for them to be introduced to this important Father of our Faith. 

We started out with the basics of Martin Luther's life in the 1500s and the way his life changed when he started reading the Bible for himself. We discussed the 95 Theses, or problems he had with the corruption he saw, and we "nailed" the document to a piece of styrofoam with golf tees to represent his nailing it to the church door.
We then discussed Martin Luther's seal - or a piece of wax with an individual design stamped into it. People use it to close a letter or document – it is a specific sign that it come from the person who sent it. It is like a signature or an autograph, but in picture-form. 

Martin Luther's seal had specific colors which symbolized important biblical truths:
Black cross – The cross causes pain and kills, but Jesus dying on the cross gives us life
Red heart – Faith in Jesus will keep us alive for all eternity
White rose: Faith causes peace and joy
Blue background: The sky reminds us to look up so that we look forward to heaven
Golden rim – Endless joy that awaits us in heaven

We then practiced our handwriting and focused on the letter M for Martin Luther.
Then we wrapped up with a color page and review our Bible verse for the week - Ephesians 2:8 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith..."

All of the activities we did are available in one print-and-go download in my TPT store. This resource includes print-and-go lesson plans with stories, activities, crafts, and more - perfect for the busy teacher, Sunday School leader, or homeschooling parent.

This resource includes:

  • List of materials
  • Suggested Bible verse
  • Suggested lesson plans
  • The Story: Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation
  • Activity: Nailing the 95 Theses
  • Craft: Martin Luther's Seal
  • Craft: My Personal Seal
  • Mm is for Martin Luther handwriting practice sheet
  • Bible verse cards (Ephesians 2:8) - 10 per page 

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to check out this print-and-go resource:


Halloween Book Project for ANY Book: Reading is a SWEET TREAT


Halloween is a fun time where students are eager for tasty candy treats. Build on their enthusiasm for candy with this fun twist - Reading is a Sweet Treat! 

This fun and engaging resource includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book)

This resource includes two different sizes of the booklet pages - you can choose which one you'd like to use based on the age of your students and the space you have to display these.
My students always LOVED filling in these monthly book project - and I know yours will too! 

This resource is in a series of monthly themed book projects - check out the others in the series:



Teachers That Pray: Above-Average Students

Welcome to another week of Teachers that Pray!

Today I encourage you to pray for your ABOVE-AVERAGE STUDENTS. Pray for those in your class who excel academically. Pray that you, their teacher, would seek to meet the needs of your above-average students and challenge them in the classroom. Take the time to invest in them: learn about their interests and build on them. Pray that you would have the energy and motivation to differentiate your instruction so that these students would feel stimulated. Pray for creativity, wisdom, and patience.

Pray for these students by name. Their intelligence is a gift from God - Pray that they would use it for His glory. I pray that these students would stay focused and motivated in your classroom.

The verse I have chosen for this week is Philippians 4:19 "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." I know that God will meet the needs of these students and of you, the teacher, as you journey through this school year together.



Thanks for joining me, teacher friends! See you next week :)

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