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Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Funniest Gift Exchange Ever!

Hello Friends! Just dropping in on a quiet evening before Christmas to share a fun little activity that I did with my class this past week. Feel trree to pin any images and save this idea for next year. It is definitely one that I will do again!

For a little background, I work in a Title I School in a very low income area. My students struggle to have the necessities, and it is even harder this time of year for them to come up with anything extra. On my teacher budget, I didn't have much extra to get them myself!

I always love doing a gift exchange. However, this year it wasn't in the cards for my sweet kids, and I still wanted them to have some fun before our party. So instead of doing a traditional gift exchange, we decided to have the "Worst Christmas Gift Ever! Exchange. Students had a few rules to follow in order to participate.

  1. Nothing stinky. If it smells, it goes in the trash.
  2. Nothing that could spread disease. (We had a big discussion on this!)
  3. Nothing wet or sticky.
  4. No bodily fluids. (including spit, poop, earwax, boogers, etc) Fun discussion.
  5. It has to be a terrible gift to receive, and its wrapping must be bad as well.
To tie this into the curriculum, students were notified that they would be writing an opinion paper discussing the worst gift, and the characteristics that qualified it as the worst gift ever. And I have to tell you.... some of them were horrid! And the kids absolutely loved it! It was hilarious, all in good fun, and a creative way to tie in a piece of boring writing that last week before Christmas break. I will be sharing links to some resources below that you can use, as well as a few photographs of our horrendous Christmas gifts! Enjoy!

 Priceless.... A lovely potato makes a terrible Christmas gift... It was wrapped in wrapping that looked to have been shredded by a small animal. This one got a few laughs from the kids.

Pretty gross one here... A bag of old candy wrappers, enveloped in cat hair trimmings. It was pretty gross, when you got up close. Twas also wrapped in a lovely sheathing of old aluminum foil.

Lovely mustachioed Barbie doll... at one point she was decapitated and her head was being passed around. She wasn't wrapped at all!
 This one was pretty creepy. The hairy blob you see was once a Barbie Head. She was given a haircut, covered in glue, and dipped in her own hair clippings and paint. She was also given a pencil neck, a bed of broken bracelets, and a lovely wrapping of brown paper bag. The gift that keeps on giving.... you the creeps....
 Sad...Sad...Sad.... iPad Mini box. The kid who got this one was really excited... and then opened it to find a measly little bookmark. I think this one got the biggest round of giggles.

And a final entry into the foray of horrible gifts.... Here we have a teddy bear made from toilet paper and tape, then covered in dryer lint. It smelled of hairspray, so I'm guessing that was the adhesive for the lint. Honestly, it was a little creepy looking. And it was wrapped in a Doc McStuffins Pull-Up.... Definitely a terrible thing to wrap a gift in.

All in all, the activity was a big hit with my kiddoes. They went straight to their desks after the present passing, and started jotting down characteristics and ideas for the gift that they felt was the worst. Once their ideas were in place, they were able to jump online and start a rough draft essay using the document linked below. Feel free to click the link and make yourself a copy. If you use Google Classroom, and Google Slides, you will find that it may be useful for your students.

As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you will come back again soon and check out what is going on this spring!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I Have Returned!! A Reintroduction and a Classroom Tour

Holy smokes, Folks!! It has been a long time since my last post here. Between life, school, and a toddler who is wide open pretty much 24 hours a day, there hasn't been an inkling of time for me to get in here and start sharing again.

As an update, many of you know that I made the move two years ago to middle school. While I really enjoyed the kids, and the fun literature that I got to teach to my 6, 7, and 8th grade kids, the environment that I walked into was not a good one. I stayed for two years, and couldn't do it anymore. I loved my kids, my coworkers, and my curriculum. However, administration made it very difficult to love my job.  So this year... I was lucky enough to voyage my way back into elementary school!!

I left the middle school, and walked right back into the same elementary school that I left two years ago. This time, I was happy to accept a fifth grade position that specialized in Mathematics. So currently, I am teaching three segments of Math each day, one Advanced Content Reading Block, and a Block of Language arts. So far, I'm really enjoying it! The math is brutal, and has a huge learning curve...but I'm readjusting once again. I feel like I am back where I needed to be, and I couldn't be more happy. 

So as a reintroduction, I am sharing my classroom this year. I'm two doors down from my old classroom, and the layout is pretty much the same. But my love for Harry Potter reared its head and made its way into my classroom. Below are all of the photos of my Harry Potter Classroom this year! Hope you enjoy them!

The far wall of my room. Bookshelves hold my materials.. Students are allowed to sit in the black chairs. I brought in my personal collection of Harry Potter stuff to decorate this space. The Hogwarts banners are from Amazon, and the rules posters are free ones that I found online and printed!
Red bins are file crates that my students use to store their interactive notebooks and other materials in. Each bin is labeled with a class period. Place value line is one that I made, along with the math alphabet line at the top. Classroom library is down on the end in the multicolored crates. 

Another shot of that back corner. Class rules poster is one that I made and had printed on Vistaprint. File hanger on bulletin board is for absent work.  There are also flying keys hanging from the ceiling as well!