Monday, December 15, 2014

Gingerbread House 2014

Last year, my students created this awesome Gingerbread House bulletin board!
It was fun and a lot of work!

This year, I wanted to go bigger!  So bigger we went!

Next to my room is a small room that we use as a display room.  It has big windows to see through.  I wanted to make something that would go in there.

I started collecting boxes from my colleagues.  They definitely came through with them!

The morning of "construction" started off with my awesome co-teacher Mr. Rivera, doing a lesson on the parts of a house.  (By the way, he probably just started cheering after reading the prior sentence.  He's probably saying "Oh Yeah! I am awesome!")  The cutest part of that lesson:

Mr. Rivera:  Name another part of the house.
Student: A chimney!
Mr. Rivera: Great! A chimney! What's the chimney used for?
Student: It's for Santa Claus at Christmas!

Yup, we definitely laughed at that one! :-)  So cute those first graders are!!!

After going over the parts of the house, we showed the students pictures of small gingerbread homes people have made and gingerbread house bulletin boards.  We let the students think for a few minutes on what they wanted their house to look like.  Meanwhile, I took out all of the boxes and set them on the floor in one area of my room.

Next, I told the kids they were going to collaborate / work together quietly and politely.  They would have 5 minutes to take the boxes and stack them in such a way that it looked like a house.  I told them Mr. Rivera and I were not going to help them, they had to do this on their own.

I can't even begin to tell you what happened next as Mr. Rivera and I were laughing so hard!  I have 1 picture:

I took video but can't post it online.  They actually worked VERY well together!  They were quiet and polite.  They didn't run around my room.  They also used every, single box!  We didn't quite expect that.  Afterwards, we drew some house ideas on the Promethean Board and the kids went back and fixed the house.  (They took away some boxed, ok a lot of the boxes!)

The next edition of the house looked like this:

Next step?  Taping the boxes together:
So a few things happened next that I don't have pictures of because I was so into watching them work on this!  First some pictures of the finished house before it was put in the display case:

A few notes about the house:
1.  They covered the boxes with brown paper.  (I gave the students brown paper and they used watered down glue to stick it on the boxes.)

2. The roof was a bit more complicated.  They covered the box lids with white paper.  Mr. Rivera helped put the roof on.

3.  On top of the roof are peppermints.  The students wrote doubles facts on the peppermints and my other co-teacher (Mrs. LaVeck) and I covered the mints with saranwrap! We tied the ends with red string.  They look SO CUTE!

4.  I love working on number words!  So my kids wrote numbers and number words on "gumballs."  Those gumballs are all around the top of the house!

5.  The kids colored in strips of paper to look like candy canes.  They cut and glued them around the door and windowa.

6.  I had help with the icicles / frosting / icing (Whatever you want to call it!)  The kids took paper plates, cut out the circle on the inside, then cut what was left, in half.  We had tried to glue it on but it wouldn't stay so I used my stapler while they held the house so it wouldn't move!

7. Chimney!  Amazon box wrapped in white paper painted like a candy cane!

So something else I did was have the students make gingerbread people.  On the people they wrote adjectives about themselves.  They wrote the adjectives with crayon.  Then they painted brown on top.  It made the crayon POP.  I decided I wanted a path leading up to the house so my students took tissue boxes, covered them with circles they colored in, and we placed our gingerbread people on small pieces of cardboard, which were then placed in the boxes.  Once everything was done, we put it in the display case and this is what we have!

This project was long and exhausting but the kids and I had the BEST time doing it!

I will have more holiday posts coming up by the end of the week hopefully! :-)

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving x 10!!!

To borrow words from Cara Carroll, Thanksgiving pretty much threw up in my classroom!

For the past three years, my Thanksgiving celebrations have become bigger and bigger.  I think I outdid myself this year!

Where do I even begin??????

My firsties and I read Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times.  We also read parts of Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition.  We discussed the wetu, (the Wampanoag home) and we talked about the Native Americans.  We discussed and listed the parts of the wetu and what they were made of.  The class was then divided up into 3 groups.  Each group was given a piece of white butcher paper, shades of brown paper, and glue.  They made their own wetu!  Check it out!

Group 1: My group that figured out how to arrange the brown paper first.

Group 2:  The group that collaborated the best!

Group 3: My perfectionist group:

After the wetus (I forget the plural name for it,) were completed, I put them in the hall.  Students then worked on their Native Americans.  We discussed how the Native Americans helped the Pilgrims - how they became friends. We then brainstormed a list of how we can be friends with someone new to our classroom.  After their writing craft was done, I hung up the Natives with their wetu.  Here are some pictures:

Next up were our cornucopias.  Those were a BLAST to make!  It tied in with us talking about fruits and vegetables / healthy eating.  On the cornucopias, we wrote something we were thankful for.

Next up, it was Pilgrim time!  My co-teacher read Samuel Eaton's Day and I read Sarah Morton's Day.  The kids wrote about what it was like to be a Pilgrim Boy / Pilgrim Girl.  I had a Mayflower I had created so I put it in the hall with the Pilgrims sailing on it! :-)

I meant to put "water" under the Mayflower but that didn't get done! (Also, no room for the sails!)

Thank you if you've made it this far.  I'm closing in on the end!

Finally, we had our Thanksgiving Feast!

First we discussed table settings and the kids made table setting place mats:

Then we made little Mayflower name tags for where they were going to sit.  (You'll see those pics in a minute!)

The kids wore costumes! Half of the students were Pilgrims, half were Native Americans!  (They chose at random what they were going to be!)  They created their costumes during art center.

Native Americans



Oh yeah! I'm rocking the head gear!

 Finally, it was meal time!!!  We had quite the meal! Deli turkey, sweet potatoes, corn, cornbread, green beans, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie!!!

Looks like water on the desks!

Mayflower name tags

The students took the leaves from our fall tree and made a collage with them!

Gobble Gobble!

All of the food!


Well thank you for following our Thanksgiving journey!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Hello everyone! My name is Stacey Lynch and I’ve been teaching for thirteen years now.   For several years I was good about meeting wi...