Christmas 2015

Well, Christmas has come and gone once again for another year.
I'm always sad to see the 27th come because it tends to mean it's the end of the celebrations for us. I thought I'd share a little bit of my Christmas experience with you all..

It all starts on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve we all go for food at a restaurant in the afternoon. I say we, I mean, myself, my partner Nathan and his mum, my mum, my dad and my sister.  After the meal we head home, I usually do some sort of baking, this year was a chocolate cake malteser christmas pudding. It was a bit of an experience but I finally got it done! Then, I head to my parents house where I sleep the night.

Christmas Day comes, and so do all the crazy presents!

Of course, the pets open their presents first..

Now, you probably all know I'm a child at heart and love the minions. So you can imagine how much I loved this little guy....

We settle down for our dinner..

and of course, Peaches has to get involved..

we then head out to the cemetery to visit our loved ones and leave them flowers. We head back to the house to relax. Then we go to Nathan's grandparents where all the family gets together to play games then back home to bed - phew.

Boxing Day consisted of the football and a relax from the crazy days beforehand!

What does your Christmas look like?



Seller Spotlight Sunday: Della Larsen's Class

Welcome to my Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog there is a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up this week is Della Larsen from Della Larsen's Class.

My name is Della Larsen and I teach kindergarten in a large urban setting. I’ve been teaching for over 25 years. I love being a kindergarten teacher because you get to be a child’s “first love”. 

What can I have my students doing while I am having guided reading groups?

This is a question that comes up all the time between teachers especially in kindergarten when the kid’s independence is still just beginning to grow.  How can I keep my kids actively involved in a meaningful task AND keep them from needing me?
The answer for me has been interactive notebooks. 
My kids LOVE them and quite frankly so do I!

For the past month my kids have been working on a new sight word interactive notebook. The critical piece is that I need it to be meaningful and have them independent. Interactive notebooks address both needs.


I give the kids a small cup to keep all their cut pieces in one place. No more lost letters!

My district uses DIBLES to assess the kids so I use the DIBLES list for my sight words. I also call them my trick words, or my “I know them by heart” words.
The more sight words a student has the better their reading fluency. These words can’t be sounded out, and you can’t get any visual cues from pictures they honestly just need to know them by heart.

This pack has 24 words that come up frequently in emergent readers. The pages have just the right amount of folding, cutting, and writing with different tools to keep the kids interested. But it’s not too hard for them. The cutting is mostly on straight lines and the folding is straight forward. Each word follows the same pattern week after week. The kids can predict what will come next. Each day of the week brings a new template and by Friday they usually have mastered the word.

Check out the product, and let me know if it works for you.

Once the kids have mastered a new word they earn a “Smile Card” I add a new word to their ring. They feel happy as their ring grows. I love these smile cards I leave them in a box so those fast finishers can grab them quickly for a review. I also use them to fill a few minutes while we wait to transition. I make an additional set to send home for extra practice. You can download this for free at my store.

If you are interested in trying out my interactive notebook check out my store at Della’s Larsen’s Class   

You can follow me at my blog heremy Facebook page here or my Pinterest here.


Christmas Fun



Commiserations to those of you who still have a few more days to go, but I seriously could not hold in that excitement anymore! It's official, we are on Christmas break -and boy, do I need it! Exhausted doesn't come close! 

Anyway, there's no Five for Friday link up this week so I sat pondering what on earth I could fill this space up with today, when I remembered that I have some great photos of some crafts and cooking that we have been doing in class during the lead up to Christmas. I can't post all of our crafts on here as some have pictures of the students, but I've posted some for you to have a nose at!

The last picture is our table that we decorated for our Christmas Dinner. All the classes get given a theme for their table and decorate it accordingly, we had snowmen this year! Can you tell?!

Next year, I'm going to be a bit more organised and post some walk-throughs on my blog on how you can make things like us!



My Favorite Things: Holiday Link Up!

It's me, again! You're probably all impressed how many blog posts i'm managing to churn out this month compared to last month! I'm finally getting back into routine.

Anyway, last night I was busy nosing around at other teacher blogs when I stumbled upon this wonderful linky - how had I missed this?! It's called 'My Favorite Things' and is hosted by Southern Fried Teachin'

You all know how much I love Christmas - you've probably seen my endless Christmas tops/jumpers/dress on my insta! So, this is just a perfect linky for me.

So, here are the questions I'm going to answer.. 

Here goes..

1) Favorite holiday song
It's got to be Fairytale of New York, I don't know why but I just love this song and it genuinely doesn't feel like Christmas until I have this song on in my car on the way to work! I just love it.

2) Favorite holiday guilty pleasure food
Hmm this is a tough one. It's probably the pancake stalls in the Christmas Market - they are to die for! So yummy, especially with a hot chocolate.

3) Favorite holiday tradition
Every year, me and Nathan go to a big shopping centre about an hour away on the 23rd and then follow it with some food just us 2. I love being able to spend time as just us 2 before all the craziness sets in and we are with everyone else. On Christmas Eve we all go out for food; Me, Nathan, my mum, my dad, my sister, and Nathan's mum. It's a bit of a tradition and we do it every year, I love it! This year I'll be wearing my Christmas dress to the meal! :)

4) Favorite holiday book
This is tough. Growing up, I loved so many different Christmas stories and would love reading them or having them read to me during the run up to Christmas. However, this year when buying gifts I came across this book..

You probably guessed, I live in Swansea, so this book is just amazing! I ended up buying some for younger kids that we buy for at Christmas. Every page shows Santa travelling through a different part of Swansea, it just makes it feel so real for the kids!

5) Favorite holiday act of kindness
Every year I give money towards buying presents for children who are spending Christmas in the hospital. This year I'm also purchasing a little something to go to a very special little boy in England who is going through an awful experience and doesn't have long left to live, he only wanted Christmas cards for Christmas off people, so I thought I would get him a gift card to a local toy store. 

6) Favorite holiday memory
I can remember when iPods first became the range when I was really, really young. I can remember the excitement of having it - I never expected it! I remember my Dad sitting at the laptop for hours with me downloading all sorts of music and putting all the music from our CDs onto iTunes to upload to my new iPod, he sat with me for hours that day, my mother was finishing cooking and we were all singing and dance along to the music, it still sticks with me now!

7) Favorite holiday childhood gift
This is tough, I have to admit I was so spoilt by my parents for Christmas every year, I had more than I could have ever dreamed about, although one year I remember them buying me a keyboard - I had wanted one for so long and I just loved going to my friends house and playing her piano, I think I cried I was so excited to have it!

8) Favorite holiday craft
I love anything for the tree - I just love how over the years you can collect little reminders of what the children have made while growing up! It just makes a tree so much more personal!

9) Favorite holiday movie
This is tough there are so many great ones! Last year I fell in love with Annie Claus and I've already watched it so many times this year! Although, Home Alone and the Santa Claus movies never quite get old! I also love Arthur Christmas!

10) Favorite place to shop for holiday gifts
I love looking for ideas online during the lead up to Christmas, I've usually completed by Christmas shopping by Sept/Oct, we usually go away every August and I will stock up on some presents then - one year, we went to Dubai for August, I bought everyones Christmas presents in their mall and I was done!! I do love going to the Christmas Markets though and picking up lovely little treats - we love going to Bath Christmas Market which I'm sure is about to become a solid, yearly tradition!

11) What you want Santa to bring you
We have had so many bad things happen over the past few years, this year I would just love for Santa to bring happiness to our family, just pure happiness and for everything to right itself and give us just one good year where nothing bad happens!

12) Favorite product
My favorite resource for this time of year has to be these Elf activities.

There is just SO much included in this resource and it's sure to bring some festive fun to your classroom! There are lots of great activities included which will keep students engaged and motivated during the lead up to Christmas!

Don't forget to head on over to find out what everyone else is posting for their 12 Favorite Things!


Seller Spotlight Sunday: Planning Playtime

Welcome to my first ever Seller Spotlight Sunday.
Every Sunday on my blog will now be a guest post from another fabulous TpT Seller. They will be sharing one free resource from their store, one paid resource from their store and something that they have been up to that week or similar! 

So, don't forget to check back every Sunday or sign up for my email list to get notifications of new sellers!

Up first this week is Amy Nielson from Planning Playtime.

My name is Amy, and I am the creator over at the Planning Playtime TPT store and the Planning Playtime blog. I am obsessed with learning, fun, and homemade fudge, and I try to keep all three in my life. I have taught music, preschool, and K-2nd grade reading, and being able to share some of my favorite materials on Teachers Pay Teachers has been very exciting. I try to fill my store with engaging and educational Kindergarten and 1st grade reading, writing, and math activities.

Fun, free alphabet letter games for preschool 

 One of my most popular free products is 5 Fun Alphabet Games for Preschool. This is a fun collection of games to help children learn their alphabet. There are free printable cards included as well as the instructions.

Kindergarten Reading Comprehension 

 I am also excited about one of my latest projects, my Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Passages. This set includes 40 early emergent reading passages, written by work family. The children can highlight the words in the focus word family and color a smiley face as they re-read the passage for fluency. They then get to answer the questions below both by filling the bubble, and writing the word on the line. I've wanted to write my own reading passages since I was a child, and my retired teacher mother taught me to read from passages she had written down on notebook paper. This has been such a fulfilling project for me.

Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Worksheet 

 The project my children and I are working on right now is a series of Minute to Win It reading games to practice building and reading words. These are fun activities that can be used in the classroom or at home. We released our first video earlier this week, and we have more coming soon. You can follow along on my blog or catch me on Facebook and Instagram


Five for Friday 11.12.15

Another week over and done with! 
I can't believe we have just one more week left in School before we finish for Christmas! Time is going so fast and we have been super busy!

It's Friday which means I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for 
Five for Friday!

It's been a busy week, so it was really hard choosing photos! 
Anyway, here they are:

Well, this is a little bit of a sad one. It was two years ago this past weekend that we tried to take the kiddos in my school to Lapland. I'd put together a big 'charity' and worked my socks off to raise as much money to take as many of our autistic pupils as possible. It resulted in us being delayed at the airport then cancelled, we were stuck there for 10 hours. Then, all the wonderful people of South Wales started to donate different things to us. It still brings a tear to my eye now.

You can find out more info from the news articles available here and here. You can also listen to the radio appeal here.

Pictured here with staff from the School who gave up their time to come and take some of the pupils to Lapland, I don't know how I could ever thank them enough!

This week we went on our class Christmas trip. We visited a local farm and had loads of fun! Plus it was just our class of 7 there meaning it was nice and relaxing for our children! We got to pet lots of different animals; rabbit, goats, pony and even got to see some gerbils. Then we had our faces painted and got to see Santa! But, the best part was when Santa left on his sleigh pulled by reindeers at the end !! The children loved watching him go off on his sleigh! 

We have been working hard on our term topic - The 3 Little Pigs. We have been helping the pigs build their houses! 

We have been working extra hard on Frosty the Snowman! Our Christmas concert was yesterday and our part was to sing and sign to Frosty the Snowman! The pupils all dressed up as snowmen and the staff all wore Christmas jumpers!

I finally finished off all my treat bags for the Christmas hampers! Not all of them are pictured here as I forgot to take pics of the Olaf Poo, Build an Olaf and one or two others, but here are the ones I did take pics of :)

What have you been up to this week?!


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