Volunteer Gift Ideas

Hello friends!

Popping in quickly today to share with you a fast and cute idea, just in time for Christmas!

I have several volunteers who help in the classroom each week. To show my appreciation, I wanted to get them something small for Christmas.

I found this cute idea on Pinterest (where else!) and customized it for my helpers:
I got the small bottles of hand sanitizer from Bath & Body Works.

Then, I decided to also throw in a little treat to munch on: 
(I've also done this with almonds)

I added some festive candy canes and bundled it all together:
Voila! Gift bags, ready to be delivered!

Cute, affordable, and easy!
A win-win-win in my book :)

If you would like a copy of the hand-print or Peanut tag (customizable of course), please leave me a comment with your e-mail and I'll send you the documents ASAP.

Now I'm off to put together my student gifts - more on that soon! :)

Let Your LIGHT Shine

Because I teach at a Christian school, we don't emphasize Santa. I mean, we talk about him, he's in a wordsearch or a Christmas Test I'm giving my students (more on that later...), but we don't make too big of a deal about him. Plus I teach fifth graders, who are "in on the secret."

So in my classroom I do a balance of secular Christmas activities and ones that focus on the true reason for Christmas: the Savior of the world coming to Earth as a baby, to dwell with mankind and provide a way for reconciliation. 
Love this
The Magic Of Christmas... so true... which is why we are doing NO gifts this year... they've forgotten the true meaning so we're gonna remind em. :-)
To enhance our discussion, I asked my students about Christmas lights and why we use them.
tumblr_muow0sFPhZ1sfclluo1_500.jpg 500×750 pixels  This is cool... but I'm not sure where I could put it inside? Curtains kind of cover the edges of my windows... --JP
They are bright.
They are beautiful.
They dispel darkness.
Beautiful Christmas Lights
Just like Jesus.
Just like Christians are called to do.
Light of the World ideas
 So I gave the students a "light bulb" and had them brainstorm ideas of how they could be a "light" to the world:
Then, I compiled all of the Christmas "lights" and displayed them on a bulletin board:

Now I know that many of you don't teach in a Christian environment, but you could still use this idea:
*You could have your students write ways they could spread the light of kindness
*You could do an activity called "Books Light Up Our Lives" and have students do book recommendations on the light bulbs
*You could post a bunch of math problems on different light bulbs and have your kiddos try and solve them
*You could have each student pick a scene from a recent Social Studies chapter and have them illustrate main ideas on a light bulb

Find more ideas that other teachers have TRIED on Holly's blog:
4th Gr Flipper

Happy December, friends!

Engaging Students with Angry VERBS

"It's the most wonderful time of the year...!"
That's right, my kiddos have been singing that song for a couple of weeks now - and not because of the Christmas season. Oh no, they're singing it for a different reason...
There is no better way to engage your students in grammar (and literally have them cheering for English class) than by throwing in something relate-able that they enjoy.

 We started out with a simple review: each student got two "Angry Bird" templates to color. On one, they wrote a vivid action verb and on the other, a linking verb. 
Then, the next day, we colored more angry verbs and put our verb knowledge to the test by writing original sentences and differentiating between action and linking verbs.
Finally, to wrap up our first week, we integrated writing as each student developed a creative story about their "angry bird" running away and having an adventure. 
We planned our adventures using a 
handy-dandy graphic organizer:
(Keep reading for a freebie!)
When they were finished, they underlined their linking verbs in red and their action verbs in blue: 

All of these activities and printables can be found in my
Angry Verbs Unit Packet - available for only $2!

The following week, we moved away from whole-group lessons to individual practice and reinforcement:
 Angry Verbs Unit 2 includes two center (or small-group) activities:
1. Sorting Angry Verbs vs. Not-an-Angry-Verb
2. "In-Tense" Sorting Tensed Angry Verbs 
(past, present, and future)
Both games come with playing cards, a sorting mat, a student tracking chart, and an answer key
Click HERE to purchase the packet for only $4
You can buy both of these activity packets plus my 
Angry Verbs Writing Prompts Packet
in my
Mega Angry Verb Bundle!
Angry VERBS Activity Bundle

Plus, as a special for my readers, I have a little FREEBIE for you! 
Here's a fun graphic organizer that can be used to engage your students and give them valuable practice writing and identifying the different types of verbs:
Hope you have an EXCELLENT week!
If you choose to try any of these products out with your kiddos, please send me an e-mail and I'll feature you on my blog! :)

Need some extra TPT CASH?!?!

We are so excited for the holiday season that we couldn't help but spread some love! Lots of your favorite TPT Teacher-Authors and I have teamed up to give YOU some TPT spending money. We love you and appreciate you (and we wish we could give all of our fabulous followers some money)!

Enter the Rafflecopter below by simply following our TPT stores, and you will have a chance to win one of five $25 TPT gift cards! Good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tried-It Tuesday: Postcard Exchange

Just popping in to share a fun idea I'm trying this year...
a country-wide Postcard Exchange!
Over the summer I signed up to represent Washington state in a blogger postcard exchange.

I created this fun bulletin board to track the states that we receive postcards from:
I got this awesome map from Wal-mart for $5 in August.

Here is the postcard our class is sending. 
I made them on Vistaprint:
 Here are some of the postcards we've received:
It's been so fun to read the news from classrooms around the country. Plus, we sort the postcards by region, so it serves as a great Geography lesson!

I ordered a ton of extra postcards, so if you'd like me to mail one to your classroom (and you're not part of the exchange), e-mail me your school address at joyinthejourneyteaching@yahoo.com

Looking for more ideas to TRY in your classroom? 
Hop on over to Holly's blog to check out 
Tried-It Tuesday.

BIG News!

Hello blogging friends!
Sorry I have been MIA in the blogging world lately, 
but I have a good reason:
Our family will be adding a new little bookworm in May! :)
We couldn't be more thrilled about welcoming this new addition.
I am so thankful that God is blessing us with this sweet little life.

Now that this life-altering news has sunk in a little bit and this little teacher isn't plum-tuckered-out all the time (thank-you first trimester), I'm hoping to get back into the swing of creating and blogging soon.

Raking In Good Books Bulletin Board Idea

To welcome fall, we created a "Raking In Good Books" bulletin board. 
 I gave each student a leaf cut-out and had them record a favorite book and the reason why. Then, when a student is looking for a recommendation, they can go and check out a leaf from our "leaf pile." It's a great way to get kids talking about the books their read and sharing their opinions about what they liked and didn't like about certain series, authors, genres, etc.
I put up these large sparkly leaves with different quotes about reading:

Hop on over to Sugar and Spice to check out other Wordless ideas!

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