December 13, 2013

Five for Friday FREEBIES

T.G.I.F! It's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for...

We are still celebrating Advent, or trying to! It's hard to contain the Christmas spirit, what with all the commercials, TV specials, carols on the radio, and shopping expeditions,  but to wait in patient hope is wonderful! The anticipation of Christmas is tremendous, so to maintain a bit of calm while focusing on the reason for the season is indeed awesome. It is humbling to engage my sixers in conversations about the Advent season. They see its simple beauty and purpose and can talk about their struggles with keeping Christ in Christmas. To help them along, I really try to keep Santa, the elves, and all those kinds of Christmasy things to a bare minimum and focus on Adventish items. Here are a few things I've used this past week. They are yours for the taking just by clicking on each graphic.

Advent Notebook Foldables: The fifth graders and I used these with the popular Christmas novel "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. It's a great book to accompany our pageant practice time. First we created an anchor chart that helped us focus on how the author used particular words in her writing (verbs and their tense, adjectives, and adverbs). We used post-it notes to record our ideas as a group, then the foldables to record our individual ideas.

Integrated Language Arts/Religion/Music Activity... I used this with my sixers and my eighth graders. The quintessential Advent song is "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." I used the lyrics to create a language arts worksheet to help my kiddos practice some grammar skills and become a bit more familiar with the hymn.

Speaking of Advent... We decorated our Jesse Tree this week. It starts out as a Charlie Brown type tree that is Advent violet (it matches the decor in our classroom, too), and ends up looking gorgeous as my sixers place their Jesse Tree ornaments on it. For anyone who is unfamiliar with a Jesse Tree, it is simply a tree decorated with ornaments that represent the members of Jesus's family tree. Jesse was King David's father, and one of the Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah stated, "A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse."  The ornaments on our tree range from Adam and Eve to John the Baptist.

Of course, during Advent we are preparing for Christmas. This week my sixers spent time making stars for the stage decorations for the Christmas pageant/concert that will be held Tuesday of this coming week. We had glitter EVERYWHERE! But the stars are REALLY neat. They started out as flat pieces of paper. After coloring, scoring, and folding, they become nearly three dimensional.

Last year I found a photograph on Pinterest of a really cool Christmas hallway display idea. It featured Christmas tree light cut-outs that were turned into book reports. The title of the display was Reading Lights Up Our Lives. I loved it and pinned  and moved happily along my way to other pins. When I returned to the pin and tried to find the actual website from whence the idea came, it was a dead end. I wish that I could credit the original poster, but his/her idea was enough and I was able to create my own cut-outs. Our fourth, fifth, and sixth graders re-created the display last  year, sharing a lot of good books, and receiving MOLTO compliments for their display!

This year our entire elementary school, K-6, joined in the display "Books Light Up Our Lives." I tweaked my cut-outs to make them a bit more grade level friendly (only a picture to draw for K-1, words and a picture for 2-5, and only words for 6). You'll notice the different types hanging along the electrical wire (yarn) throughout the elementary wing. We finished stringing the lights this afternoon.

If you'd like the patterns to do your own holiday hallway/book report display, just click on the graphic and they're yours. Only two are shown in the graphic; however, there are three in the file that you will download.

Completely not school related... Please meet the newest member (I hope) of my household, Pansy Lou. Daisy Mae, my old queen is not happy about her new little sissy. It's only been a week since Pansy has joined us. I am hoping and praying that Daisy will come to accept her, otherwise I'm afraid Pansy will have to return to her former home. Luckily that would be at my niece's home, so I could still the little cutie!

Be sure you visit Doodle Bugs to check out all the other Five for Friday posts.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

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