ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

{from Katie at A List Maker's Life}

{from Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot}

{from Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom}

{from Ana at Ingles360}

Have a wonderful week of celebrating!  We will look forward to hearing all about your holiday activities when we return from our own winter break on Jaunary 3, 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Elfing Around: Elf Crafts, Snacks & Lessons

There are Christmas elves burning up the internet this year.  Every time I log in to Facebook a friend is sharing pictures of the crazy tricks their house elves are up to.  Inspired by the silly little Santa's helpers I did my own search for fun elf ideas to share with you today.
Gourmet Mom put together a clever snack, sure to fire up your child's imagination - Elf Tinker Toys.
Crazy for Crust mixed up a batch of Elf Munch and shares the printable with you for gift giving.
Teaching Two shared an elf inspired writing activity - Elf Applications has several online elf activities and games for your little ones to enjoy.

Cackleberries gives a step by step tutorial on How to Draw an Elf. explained the following elf themed game:
Santa & the Elves - One student is “it” and sits with his back to the rest of the group. The teacher chooses one “elf” to hide. Santa turns around and tries to guess which elf is missing.

This Elf Project lesson written for third graders intends to excite young writers.

Mrs. Russell's Class followed up their reading of The Elves and the Shoemaker with a cute elf craft.

The Pike Fam used their adorable little hands to make elf prints.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snacks That Look Like Santa

Strong Start made a simple Santa's Hat Snack out of strawberries.

The Weight is Over shares how to make a healthy Santa snack.

Cookies and Cups posted about the ingredients necessary for making a great Santa snack mix.

Dukes and Duchesses has the perfect milk to go with Santa's cookies.

Taste of Home put together cookies that look a bit like Santa.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Show and Tell #81

Today's Show and Tell will be the last for 2011, wrapping up another year of fantastic links from all of you!  Thank you for participating in this weekly celebration of learning.  Show and Tell will return the first Tuesday of 2012. Until then keep making, and recording, those special memories we will look forward to reading about them in the new year.
Mommy's Little Helper shaped candy canes into sweet shapes and letters after heating them up a bit.
Living Life Intentionally put together a sweet "Grow your own candy cane" kit.  
Raising Memories linked up with a recipe for Candy Cane Cake.  Yum!

It's your turn!

abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Teaching with Ticia: Family projects

This is a post, I'm still thinking through, but is on my mind because my kids just did an oral report for our history co-op. So, I'm going to be checking back off and on all day to see what people's thoughts are.

What is everyone's thoughts on family projects? like them, hate them,

 Back when I was teaching we did one family project a month. I tried to find my masters so I could share what we did, but I can't find it anywhere in all of my school stuff. As we used it a family project is something that would be hard for your student to complete completely on their own, and they would need some help. It was a great way for our students to spend some time with their parents and learn more about their family. Here's a few suggestions for family projects: 


 Where I live- Draw a map of your house and memorize your address. The school I taught at many of the students entered not knowing their address and phone number.


 Fire Safety- We taught them how to call 911, memorized their phone number and how to escape their house.


 Hide Tom Turkey- At this point we started to require more writing, and so in addition to creating a disguise for the turkey, they were also required to write two sentences about how they hid him.


 Family traditions- This is the one I really wanted to share the printable with you. There were 4 questions for them to answer, and to the best of my memory it was fairly non-specific to a certain holiday.


 Any suggestions?


 Famous person report- Since this month has President's Day, and right before it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Write a report on a famous person, this included when they were born and died, where they were born, what they were famous for, and one other interesting fact. Homeschool Creations has a great famous person report (scroll halfway down the page).


 Animal report- They had to find information about where the animal they chose lived, what it ate, how long it lived, and one other interesting fact about it.


My insect- This is always a fun project, they had to create an insect that follows the rules of insects (so 3 body parts, 6 legs, etc) and come up with its' habitat and where it lives and as many points as possible.


When I grow up- This is a fun end of the year report, to see what their thoughts are on this subject.

When I taught we gave this assignment at the beginning of the month and they had at least two weeks to work on it.  Not because it really takes that long, but because schedules are busy and we wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to work on these with their parents.  When the time was up they presented their report and were graded with a rubric.

So, do you like reports like these?  I'd love to hear thoughts from different sides of the equation.  What do parents think?  What do teachers think?

After I've heard some feedback and thoughts, I'll make up some forms for doing these different reports to share with ya'll.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Graphing Activities

Use the Captain's Christmas Crunch to put together a graphing activity similar to First Grade Fanatic.

Preschool Lesson Plans used marshmallow for graphing.

Mrs. Morrow's Kindergarten has students graphing with M&Ms.

Homeschool Parent shared a coordinate points graphing activity for older children.

Busy Bees put together a colorful holiday themed graph activity and spinner.

Kinder Gals had fun with graphing Gingerbread cookies.

Cooperative Learning 365 offers a printable "Favorite Christmas Song" graphing activity.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gingerbread Lessons and Activities

Mrs. I's Class did a How To writing project on How To Eat a Gingerbread Man.

Mathwire offers some gingerbread themed math games. I especially like the Gingerbread Coordinate Graphing Game.

A Teacher's Touch has put together a great collection of gingerbread  freebies: songs, rhymes, measurement activity, math game, a sort, and more.

Mrs. Kilburn's Kiddos posted many links to help you plan an exciting gingerbread man unit.

Kindergarten Crayons is offering a collection of literacy activities centered around a gingerbread theme. The packet includes over 100 activities and is available for purchase.

The Preschool Toolbox used gingerbread men to practice number order.

Try Sweet Sugar Belle's recipe for gingerbread play dough.

School Marm Ohio suggests several cute ideas for Gingerbread Baby writing projects.

Kinder Gals put together a persuasive writing project using the familiar Gingerbread Man story. 

Mrs. Nelson's Class explains many pieces of their gingerbread themed preschool unit.

Kinder by Kim shared a gingerbread glyph idea that would be fun for kids of many ages.

K2Printables has a glyph kit ready for you to print and use.

Babbling Abby wrote about several pieces of her 1st grade gingerbread unit. 

Just for fun you, or your students, can create their own Gingerbread avatar online at Sprint.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Marshmallow subtraction

It's that time of year here in cold nights and hot cocoa by the fire!

 I first got the inspiration for this from Primary Perspective.
We've been really working on subtraction this week and so I thought I'd incorporate our favorite food and drink into a little problem solving.

Clipart and/or fonts are copyright DJ Inkers and used with permission:
  • Baggies
  • Marshmallow
  • Recording sheet {I enlarge it to 11X17}
  • (Mug handle) small  rectangles {construction or scrapbook paper}- 2"X2" 
  • (Mug) rectangles {construction or scrapbook paper} - 5"X"4" 
  • (Cocoa) brown rectangle 2"X4"

1. I give each student a bag of marshmallows {anywhere between 10 and 20} and the first thing they do is count their marshmallows and write how many they have on the first line.
2. They can then make their mug.  The students just have to cut out a handle {I tell them to cut a "C" out of the small red rectangle}, cut the cocoa {make squiggly lines at the top}, and glue it onto their paper. They'll glue it on the right side.
3. Then, the students decide how many marshmallows they want in their hot cocoa.  They take that amount out of the bag and glue onto their cocoa and write the number on the 2nd line.  
4. Next, the students will count how many marshmallows are left in their bag. They write the number sentence on the bottom.
5. Last, you'll tape their bag of leftover marshmallows to the left side of the paper.

Click the picture for the download

Hope you can use it in your classroom or home!
 For more math ideas, check out my "It All Adds Up" posts {here}.
Happy Holidays!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Show and Tell #80

Playing with Words 365 has put together a reindeer themed mini book and activity for you to print and enjoy!

The sight word game, BANG, that was shared by Camp Slop is a simple way to play and learn.

Joyfully Weary shared a wonderful collection of Christmas themed activity trays for preschool age children.

I really like the color combination in this premade digital Christmas layout.  We have shared several links from our friend Liz at Digital Scrapbooking Albums in the past month.  Did you know that if your albums seem impossibly far behind and you know you don't have time to catch them up you can hire Liz to do your albums for you!

It's your turn!

abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Great Books = Great Gifts

A few weeks ago I received a collection of books for review, but I've been having a really difficult time with it.  The reason...
I can't get the books out of my son's (and husband's) hands!
Every time I think I have some time to settle in and enjoy the collection of Reader's Digest Kids Books.  my second grader has once again hide them in his back pack or under his pillow.  
When I finally got my hands on the first title, I was indeed entertained by the facts and tidbits.  I enjoyed brushing up on geography knowledge as I read through the book in no time.  There are a lot of words on a page, similar to a chapter book, but there are also many clever illustration, charts, and tables.

Explore the world's continents, countries, and capital cities, and marvel at the planet’s most extraordinary physical features in a lighthearted mix of text, diagrams, maps, and amusing illustrations that will captivate children and encourage them to keep trekking.  Filled with hundreds of cool ways to remember the tallest, largest, longest, and most desolate, I Wish I Knew That: Geography is the perfect companion to help kids get a grip on the globe.
The next title I brought in the car with our family on a road trip and we used it to quiz ourselves on the kind of facts that would help us win a trivia game.

I Wish I Knew That: Cool Stuff You Need to Know By Steve Martin, Mike Goldsmith, Ph.D., and Marianne Taylor
How would you feel if you knew hundreds of fascinating tidbits—on everything from art, literature, and history to geography, science, and math—from just one quick-and-easy read crammed with fun and cool stuff you shouldn't have to wait to find out about? With I Wish I Knew That readers will speed through science, whiz through history, and take a dip into the classic Greek and Roman myths in no time at all.

There were two other books we read through quickly, but will likely use for reference for years to come.

Need a bit of grammar guidance? Want to spell like a champ? This lighthearted, informative guide makes it easy and fun for kids to conquer grammar, spelling, and punctuation challenges and put their struggles in the past tense. Write (Or Is That "Right "?) Every Time provides a fun-and-easy way to tackle tenses, sort out spelling slip-ups, put a full stop to punctuation problems, and conquer clauses.


Just like adults, kids need easy ways to recall stuff—especially now, when they don't even have to remember a phone number because their cell phones remember it for them. This book is jammed with easy-to-use tricks for remembering lots of stuff—especially stuff they need to know for school. Kids will like learning fun ways to remember stuff and will love getting the good grades that follow.
The books are geared toward middle school and early high school age students, but proved to be engaging for our early elementary children as well.  I appreciated the simple to read, and sometimes giggle inducing, language as well as the engaging graphics and layout in all four of the books.
This set from Reader's Digest would be an enjoyable gift for a family, an upper elementary student, a middle school student, or anyone who wants to brush up on some important basic information.
Thanks to FSB Associates for allowing our family the opportunity to take a look at the review copies of the four books mentioned in this post.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December Sensory Play

Preschoolers enjoy exploring their senses by experimenting with texture, color, sound, and more.  Many of our readers have put together colorful Christmas themed sensory boxes for their little ones to enjoy all season long.  Here are a few for you to check out as you get your wheels turning  - in your mind & on the way to the dollar stores;)

Teacher Art Exchange has an extensive list of ideas for filling a sensory table.  One of there ideas is to fill it with hay and barn animals, which would be appropriate for Christmas, as well as the following suggestion:

"Fill your sensory table with old bows from your Christmas presents and 
tissue paper from gift bags! You can even throw in some gift bags for the 
children to stuff." 

Play Create Explore - how brave are you feeling today?!?!

Wishing you are Friday full of sensory box fun!