2013 | Teaching in the Tongass

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

christmas 2013

Because I have a ton of wrapping paper balls to clean up...this linky is going to be simple!
 Post your holiday photos without words and link up below! Easy peasy!






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Saturday, December 21, 2013

fiver, freebies and a clipart roundup

A few weeks ago, I drew Cheeks and his Geet monster (handmade and given to me by my super sweet coworker at my baby shower!)...it must have been fate, because as I was thinking what to do with his lil mini, I got a Shutterfly coupon for a free magnet in my email! Bam! So, I promptly uploaded his mini and ordered a magnet...which he steals from the fridge and I find later on the floor...he loooves it!

For the last 2 years, I've done individual portraits for my students. They absolutely love them! I just use a thin Sharpie and draw in some hair, a smile, a nose, and other little details. Then I fill in with a colored pencil. Of course, I've learned my lesson with teacher gifts and wait until the *perfect* moment to give them out (i.e. I don't pass them out when the rest of them are being passed out and the candy gets all the attention). This is one of those gifts that takes some time, so I feel it deserves a special introduction and I make sure to share each one with the entire class (on our projector) so everyone gets to see everyone's portrait.  Anyway, I can't find the template I used to use, so I made a new one with my fancy frames (you can find these in my store) and drew up a quick head and shoulders template.  You could also give them to students to draw family members, friends or themselves!
And here's what they looked like (with the old template) all colored in.
Or if you're looking for printable Valentine cards--grab this FREEBIE as well!
And I made this valentine parent letter class list for Valentine's Day! Note: it is NOT editable--you'll need to write student names. 

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Friday, December 20, 2013

what the heck is bear bread?

Something I made this weekend: a very Alaskan chalkboard. First, I scored some bear bread. If you have never heard of bear bread, it's a hard fungus that grows on trees. Here's a few fine bear bread specimen (in my creepy scientist voice) in their natural habitat for you to gander.
 While writing this post, I started to wonder why we call it "bear bread" in the first place. Google couldn't really tell me, so if you have a link with info, please post it in the comments! I may or may not have just looked at a whole lot of different recipes for beer bread while searching, but that's not the same, so.....anywho...Here's what it looks like in all of its nature naked-ness on a Dr.Pepper (diet!) case.
Whammy! Chalkboard spray paint. Glorious.
And here he is sittin pretty for his outdoor photo shoot (on my front porch). I plan on putting him in the classroom and writing little reminders to students on him.
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christmas in the classroom

It's Friday!!!! 2 weeks off of school! I have absolutely no plans, but I hope I get to sleep in a few days over the next couple of weeks!  Here are my random 5 from this week!

1.  My class made cookies in a jar for our wonderful volunteers. I've done this for the last 5 years (after reading about it on Beth Newingham's website) and just uploaded this FREEBIE kit. It includes everything you need (well, not really!) to put together your own set of cookies in jars. If it's too late for you to do this, you can still download it for next year :)  Of course, do me the grand favor and leave me some TpT feedback love, will ya?
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cookies-in-a-Jar-Kit-Freebie-1025963
2.  In case you didn't see this last week...
We also made a couple of handprint ornament keepsakes...and I whipped up this little tag to go with them. Another FREEBIE!
3.  I was sick all last week, which sort of delayed some things, including our Elf on the Shelf. But, on Monday, a little box arrived (complete with snow on top) from the North Pole. And would you believe it? I didn't have one naysayer!
After some jets were cooled, we got down to the business of naming our elf. Although I really enjoyed the nomination of "Death Ray,"the class went with plain 'ol "Sneaky."
Here is Sneaky and Matthew Cando doing Roll and Write (math fact fluency)...Sneaky wrote doodles and jibberish for his equations and "math stinks" for the date. What.A.Jerk.
Sneaky also had fun on the whiteboard messing with my magnetic mustaches.
And the "ladies man"...

4.  This week was filled with literacy and math centers and a few crafts sprinkled throughout. We made these cute Santa's!
5.  We had Donuts with Dads (I call it "Dudes" though) in my class and made these craftivities. I love how different they all turn out!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Donuts-with-Dads-Craftivity-673969



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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

throwback post

----Throwback Post----
At the end of the year, I like to go through my Memory Book and look at all of the cute things I've collected over the years.  Thank you cards, Birthday cards, love letters, class pictures...many wonderful feelings!  I turned my box into a binder a couple of years ago simply because I wanted a quick way to look at things when I was feeling down.  You know when you have an angry parent or supervisor? Or just are about to pull out all of your grey hairs? Perfect time to remember how some people appreciate all of your hard work.  If you haven't already created a box or file folder or something like this, I suggest you do now!

If you haven't already started following me on Instagram (search for: tongassteacher), you're missing out on some sweet pics like this from our Tuesday field trip!  I actually took this one with my phone!
And yes! Since my super mom volunteers for my classroom when she isn't watching my baby every day, I got to take her and my sweet Cheeks (his daddy even dressed him in a whale outfit!).


This week we are reviewing every math concept taught this year! Which brings me to the point that this is the first time I have taught Bar Models (our district recently purchased Math in Focus and this is our first year using it).  My conclusion? Bar models are harder than they look!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

happy festivus for the rest of us!

 If you're a Seinfeld fan, you got that. Otherwise...Merry {whathaveyou}! This post is not teaching related. At. All. But, I'm a little exhausted at the moment, so forgive me?

1.  I love getting ready for Christmas. We put the playlist on our Christmas mix (which is all current artists---country, rock and pop---and I LOVE IT!) and just get to making the house look merry and bright.  I am seriously loving Cheeks' age right now. He is so funny and loving. He's learning to say a few words, and we are just getting a kick out of his personality. We decorated the tree and he was extremely helpful. I was so worried he would be taking off ornaments, but, apparently I don't have to worry because he understands their purpose I guess? Or maybe I'm speaking too soon?


Last year, I bought these little advent calendar bags from this adorable little Etsy shop. Cheeks has really been loving little toy cars lately, so we decided to put some of those in the bags. And to spice things up a bit, we bought a handful of little plastic animals too :)  Gotta keep this boy on his feet!

The Etsy shop was so sweet that they sent this adorable plush star ornament for Cheeks with the package last year. LOVE!  That right there, is holiday spirit.
2.  We also visited Santa! My mom is in a philanthropic sorority group (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) that raises money for all sorts of local and national (St.Judes is a big one) charities. They take the family Santa portraits at the mall, which means Cheeks gets to be the model for their Facebook page. Maybe next year they'll pay him in candy canes...
3. "Snowglobes ruined my life." And now, a Christmas story. A few years ago (maybe 10 now?), my mom opened up the Christmas tote to discover that a SNOWGLOBE had broken and caused some decorations to get all moldy. The stockings she sewed (those felt applique kind) for me and my little brother were all moldy and stinky, so she threw them in the wash.  They came out unraveled and RUINED. I cried. My brother cried when no one was looking was also upset. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas that year and all I could ever answer was for her to somehow fix my stocking. Now, keep in mind, I had this stocking for all of my life. My older brother, myself and my younger brother all have the felt applique style stockings with our names embroidered on top. My mommy made it and I was going to have it until I was an old lady. So, without fail, my mom fixed her up and although the thread doesn't match, their are some missing beads and sequins, and the felt coloring is faded...it's a Christmas MIRACLE!  I may or may not have uttered the words, "Snowglobes ruined my life," when my husband wanted to get a little snowglobe when we first started dating. Dramatic? Nooooo.....
And, as you can see from the above photo, I BEGGED and BEGGED for her to make one for Cheeks (his is the one on the right). In fact, I bought 3 of the kits when I saw them at JoAnns 10 years ago so that she could make them for my own children. Crazy or no?

This is MY ornament. I remember making this sled ornament in school and have always wanted to make them with my own class...maybe this year.  Do you have your own ornament that goes on the tree?
4.  It's been pretty cold out lately, so we've been just sitting inside and playing. We did get Cheeks all bundled up in his ridiculous snowsuit (he looks like Thomas from Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch) a few days ago, but we'll wait until it warms up a bit before we do that again! Here are my 2 sweeties that can't be separated at home (Buggaboo is the yorkie with the ears...on the left).
5.  And in case you were wondering (yeah, right)...I switched out the Thanksgiving centerpiece and fall table runner for a pinecone runner and woodsy scented candles.  I think this wooden box and I are going to get along just fine...

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

pesky turkeys

Somehow, I failed to blog about Thanksgiving. Whooopsie. Well, to sum it up quickly, we had a special week of crafts and centers!  Here's a quick peek at our week :)

First up, we had to do Turkeys in Disguise!  These are my favorite :)

We made handprint turkeys (I forgot to take a photo somehow...but I'm sure you can use your imagination), paper plate/toilet paper roll turkeys with thankful thoughts, and persuasive turkeys!
And on the homefront...
Mr. Craftypants was in charge of cooking our first Thanksgiving dinner. As in, we usually go to my parents' house and sit on the couch while my mom works her hiney off in the kitchen. I'm useless and spoiled when it comes to food. BUT...I like to think I can entertain and decorate, so that is usually my contribution. So, Mr.Craftypants cooks every. single. meal. But on Thanksgiving, doesn't have time for pumpkin pie like he thought. I almost cried. Seriously. When I was about 5, I finger-scooped all of the cooked pumpkin pie filling (leaving the crust) that was on top of the stove on Thanksgiving. An. Entire. Pie. Then I went and played in my room. My mom "first-name, middle-name"d me.  I played innocent. The pie all over my face gave me away. Legend has it, I'll eat an entire pie to myself. Anywhoo....when I spoke of the no-pieness to my little brother, he was as appalled as I was. Parents arrived, mom whipped into action and pie was in the oven in 15 minutes. YESSSSS. Disaster averted.
I have no pictures of pie (for obvious reasons if you read any of that), but I do have a photo of my beautiful centerpiece Mr.Craftypants built for this and future occasions....did I luck out or what with him?
{silver place holders are from Pottery Barn}

We went and got our tree from Home Depot...which you may think is weird since I live in a rainforest full of Christmas trees, but we had a gift card and it only ended up costing us $4. Whaaaat?!  While we were there scoping out bathroom remodel stuff, we were let in on a lil secret. Meet Mr.Balloons. This old guy was so awesome. He keeps balloons in his apron pocket and makes these for kids. We pretty much live at Home Depot since we bought this house, so I don't know why we are just finding out about this magic man, but let me tell you, we won't be leaving balloon-free ever again. "Boon!"
I hope all of you had a super sweet Thanksgiving and a fabulous time shopping either on Black Friday or Cyber Monday/Tuesday :) 
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