December 31, 2011



St. George

Lake Powell 


AF Canyon
Newport Beach

Black Hole 
Milcreek Canyon

We had an amazing year. I'd say the most memorable things were Hawaii, graduation, starting law school/teaching, celebrating 2 years of happiness...and Harry Potter 7 of course. 
We have been so blessed and are exciting for the new year and all it will bring.

December 20, 2011

Elfie Strikes Again...

He Decorated our Christmas tree

Had a snowball fight

Celebrated our good behavior!

And read some good books

Can't wait to see what he's up to tomorrow! 

Also...want to make your life a dream come true the week before Christmas? 

Let me introduce The Grinch versus Santa Claus. Santa sent Elfie with presents for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. If the class is great, Santa gets a point. If the class isn't so great, Grinch gets a point throughout the day. If the Grinch wins at the end of the day...he steals our Christmas gift. BUT if Santa wins, we get to open the present! They have been SOOOO good this week! A small blessing for having to even be teaching this week!

December 14, 2011

The Delivery

Today my students and I walked into class and there was a mysterious present under our christmas tree. None of us know how it got there. 

We decided Santa must have brought it through our classroom chimney. 

We found this letter inside the present...

So we opened it up and look what we found....

We named him right away. 

And then we worked hard and followed the rules all day so Elfie could report good things back to Santa.

Rumor has it that tomorrow Elfie will leave prize tickets on everyones desk for nice behavior.

I heard he also leaves notes for nice children...

You better watch out. Elfie is always watching!!!!

December 13, 2011

Holiday Spirit

1st grade + Christmas = Best Ever.

I have never felt the Holiday Spirit quite like this year. I purposely don't say "Christmas Spirit" because I believe that should be focused on the Savior. Call me a bad teacher, but I try to stay clear of teaching the children about Jesus. We just mostly focus on Santa, elves and reindeer. I won't get fired for that. 

My days have been so merry and bright and I have milked this Christmas season for all it's worth. 

Christmas Song & Dance Extravaganza: We sing Christmas songs everyday. I use them for shared reading so we practice reading and phonemic skills with them. Its a good excuse to sing them EVERYDAY! My personal favorite is Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. I let my students get up and sing and dance around the room. It is the best part of my day. They dance their little hearts out...and I am right along side them. They always beg me for "One more time!". Little do they know, I would have them sing it 50 more times if we could! 

I wish....: In literacy centers they have been looking through toy magazines and making lists of toys they want. It is a great reading and writing activity! I put a twist on it though, they have to write lists for their friends, mom, little sister etc. so they aren't so focused on themselves and getting presents they most likely won't get :). It is cute to hear them get super excited "Oh!!!! My mom will loooovve this!". They get more excited for others than they did for themselves.

Magical Stories: I had my students all bring their favorite christmas story from home, wrapped in christmas paper and we put it under our class tree. Then every day I choose a student to go and pick a present and unwrap it. Then we read it. When the student goes to pick the book, the whole class goes absolutely silent, their eyes glued on the person choosing. The chooser always takes at least a minute to decide which present to choose, like the decision at hand is the most important one they will ever make. As the chooser unwraps, the class is dead still silent, with anticipation ever-growing. When it is finally opened and revealed the students ooooooohhhh and aaaaaawwwwww. I read the book and they are completely  mesmerized...even if it is the lamest christmas story ever (like the one that was written BY Big Lots. worstchristmasbookever, yet the children were practically crying). When I finish reading, the children burst into applause and giggle about how amazing it was. I love it so much!

Passengers, prepare for take off: We have been going around the world to different countries to experience Christmas in other cultures. Today we went to Germany and learned about how Germans were the first to start putting evergreens in their homes because they thought they were magic. We were listening to the german song, "O Tannenbaum" and one little girl could not grasp the concept of it being in another language. She kept insisting she knew what the song was saying. When I asked her what the words were, she said confidently, "Oh, probably just don't let the Devil get ya"...? I told her she was wrong :).

And to make my days even more merry and bright, my sister just sent me this for an early Christmas present....My life is now complete.
The book explains how Santa sends Elves to teachers to help them keep watch on children. During the day the elf sits quiet and watches the students. But at night, after the children go home, he flys to the North Pole and tells Santa all the nice (or naughty) things he saw the children do. He also does silly things in your classroom and hides in funny places. 

If you only knew all the plans I have in store for this little elf. 

To be continued...

November 26, 2011

Fall Fun!

So aside from all of the teaching and learning we do in my classroom, I also make sure that we do plenty of art! I think art is really important in the classroom and it is not done enough! Plus I just love it and so do the kids!

Here are some of the fun fall projects we did in the last few months! 

Halloween Pop-up Book

Ghost Plate. This little girl added hair and  a bow! So cute!
"In Alicia's witches brew there are gowst, spitrse, and ants. Would you like some?"
"Pumpkins: When you see me growing, my orange glowing in the sun, It's time to say bye to summer and hello to FALL fun!"
Tissue Paper Pumpkin
This one is my FAVORITE! Got the idea off Pintrest! 

Plate Turkeys! This one is sooo easy. All you need is paper plates and markers!