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Top Ten Posts for 2014!

I really love being a teacher/ blogger!  
This time of year, I get all sentimental and reflect upon the past year.
I suspect others do this, too!

Let's do it together!


So, all you have to do is look back at your stats and see which were the Top Ten posts from 2014!  Or, if you'd prefer, just pick your ten favorites. Here's my Countdown!

#10

#9

#8

#7

#6

#5

#4

#3


#2

#1

Come on and Link up!  Just find your 10 favorite blog posts from the past year, and link up.  Bonus points if you use my image from the top!

If you choose to link up, please visit and comment on a couple of other posts as well!  All bloggers love comments!


Don't Blame Santa!

Don't Blame Santa! Here are some reasons why the children struggle this time of year. It's not really Santa's fault!
I've heard a lot of teachers blaming the holidays for the struggle many children have in school this time of year.

I suspect it's not the holidays that are making it tough for them to concentrate. I think it's a couple of other things.

1.  These little guys have been pushing since August!  They've had a couple of long weekends, but they really haven't had a real vacation!  They're due for a break!

2.  The days are short.  They get up in the dark. By the time they get home from school, the sun is pretty much down. Not only are they not getting outside to let off steam, but so much darkness robs them of Vitamin D, and makes them sleepy!

Some of my little guys can barely hold their heads up during the day! 

I had a little girl today looking lost, so I asked her what she was looking for. She said she couldn't remember.  (I admit, I do that all the time: walk to the other side of the room, then can't remember why I walked over there, but I blame old age!)

Honestly, I think the holidays are the only thing that hold them together!  The promise of fun activities, Santa's watching to see if they're good, seasonal literature and games... there's still some great learning happening, despite their low concentration.

They'll be back on track after a good rest.  We have almost 2 weeks off coming up, if we can make it through 4 more school days!

...but I'm not blaming Santa!  He's the one who's helping them hold it together!

An Educational Winter Art Project

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!
I love a craft that ties into something educational.  
I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.  

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people. 

Sorry, I had to cover the last names.
Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them. 


Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat!


Here's another, aren't these adorable?

One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!


A Weekend in the City


A few weeks ago I went way outside my comfort zone: I took a trip ALONE to New York City!  It was an opportunity to see loads of other teacher/ bloggers from all over.  Some of them I met when I was in Vegas, some I'd never met face to face, but I knew them through their blogs or their TpT stores, and through some of the teacher facebook pages I follow. We'd been planning this trip since we got back from Vegas!


I flew in, although from the Boston area I could have driven, taken a bus or a train.  It all would have cost me about the same amount. When I got to the city, I immediately went to TKTS to see what Broadway shows were playing.  (Yes, I am a huge fan, but rarely get to NYC for the real thing. )

As soon as I found out Carol Burnett was playing in Love Letters, my decision was made. Musicals would have to wait, I HAD to see Carol Burnett, and she didn't let me down. She was amazing!

Here's a review of a the show I saw:  Love Letters With Carol Burnett  


Yes, that's the office of Brain POP! We spent a couple of hours here, chatting with other teachers, eating a free breakfast, and learning some of the new features on the BrainPOP site. If you're not familiar with BrainPOP, it's time you found it!  They do offer a free membership for a month.  I'm more of a BrainPOP Jr. kind of gal, which is geared more to the primary grades. 

The office was on the 17th floor, and gave us the view in the picture at the top of this post.

We had amazing weather for the end of October, and decided to go for a walk through the city after the BrainPOP visit.  We had lunch at Bryant Park (great conversations!) and made a few other stops!


Everyone recognizes me by my pose, not by my logo. Oh well, if it's working, I'll keep doing the pose!

Dinner with 20 amazing teacher bloggers was such fun! Let's just say it wasn't quiet at our table!


There's no way you could find me from this angle, since I was way down the other end. These are the people I didn't get to chat with at dinner because they were sitting too far away!


The next day many of us were able to stop by the Teachers Pay Teachers office!


This is Adam, the CEO of Teachers Pay Teachers. He stopped in to ask us our opinions as teachers. Honestly it's so rare these days to have anyone value the opinion of teachers! It felt good! We had some incredible conversations!

This was such an amazing experience, and such a great group of people! The energy in this room was amazing! Thank you TpT for such a great visit!  I think we were all smiling for a long time after this visit!

As with all trips, the best part was coming home. As much fun as I had, I was glad to come back to New Hampshire and breathe fresh air again! 

We're planning to make this trip an annual event! 

Thanksgiving Resources

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Wow, Thankgiving is practically upon us!  Can you believe it?  After that, Christmas, then another year!  Life, please slow down?

Well, I want to spend the next 7 school days celebrating Thanksgiving. It's a great opportunity to "throw in" a little history, as well as enjoy the things for which we are grateful!

How do I squeeze all this in? Well, I always start with loads of books.  Here's a collection of books I've loved. Some are fun, some are informational. I like to have a lot of books for each interest and each reading level so they all can enjoy them at independent reading time! (Each image is a link to Amazon for more information.)

                                                            

Books are always a great start. Movies are another fun way to enjoy the holidays!


Click the above image for a link to BrainPOP Jr's free Thanksgiving video! Don't you love BrainPOP?

Here are a couple of movies I've found on Youtube with a Thanksgiving theme.  Feel free to preview them and choose what is right for your group!





HERE are some videos from Scholastic that have been filmed at Plimouth Plantation. These are definitely worth a watch!

I try to squeeze in the holidays in all the subjects. This product has loads of math and literacy activities with the Thanksgiving theme  I'll be using these all week! (Click image for link!)
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's a freebie version of the above product!
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

There are a few Thanksgiving themed items in my November Science and Social Studies Printables! 

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

There's an information mini-book about turkeys, complete with fun facts, vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, and a reflection page. (My kiddos LOVED this, especially the fun facts!)

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Plus, there's a sorting activity, where the children have to decide if facts might have happened back in 1621, or if it couldn't have happened back then. Be prepared for giggles!
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Here's a math game with a Turkey theme to practice those +9 facts. My kids LOVE this one!
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's a freebie version of the above game:

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

I'm a big believer in having children illustrate ideas to help internalize learning. Here's my Thanksgiving Story, Informational Text in kid's language, for them to visualize and illustrate.
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

I can't let Thanksgiving go by without a reference to football! When I was a kid, we always had a football game in the morning, and a turkey in the afternoon. (My dad was a football coach!)

Here are links to a couple of football games my kids love!

Counting to 1,000, plus short and long vowels:

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's a freebie version of the above set:
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's is a favorite for my boys:  Past and Present Verbs! Yes, all these verbs have something to do with football!

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Still looking for more?  I have loads of ideas, including lots of freebies, on my November Pinterest board:

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Happy Thanksgiving!











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