Teachable Thursdays

Today was such a fun day in first grade, although I have to say, it was a little obnoxiously loud.  I know most teachers probably wouldn't say this, but I'd rather have the kids with lots of personality and that may be loud, than the ones that are quiet.  For one, I always know what the loud kids are thinking. On top of that, I also get GREAT stories.

Before I get into my crafts and telling about Disney, I have to tell you a the funniest part of my day.  I ended up hitting the dirt.  Well, technically wood chips.  One of my teammates decided she was going down the slide.  I thought it sounded like fun, but I wanted to be behind her so I could "accidentally" bump her out of the slide.  I ran to try to get in front of her kids, my foot found the black rubber that outlines the playground and holds in wood chips, and smack!  I trip and my hands and knees go skidding across wood chips.  I have to say, it didn't hurt as much as concrete, but wood chips definitely hurt.  I still have a red mark on my hand.  I think my pride was hurt more than anything.  I had 6 or 7 first graders saying, "Mrs. Wheeler, do you need help?"  and "Mrs. Wheeler, are you okay?"  I found out later that my teammate saw the whole thing and was trying not to bust out laughing.  Glad I can entertain!

Alright, now for what you've been waiting for - crafts a.k.a. parent gifts.  The first ornament was our snowman ornament.  I saw the idea on Pinterest a few weeks ago and loved it.  I passed out the balls (Accidentally bought breakable ones) and the snow stuff on a plate.  My students worked on putting it into the balls for several minutes.  Then, I used my orange paint marker to put on noses.  To make sure they dried, I made my kids blow on them for 120 seconds.  I figured this would be good practice for counting.  After that, I passed out Sharpies and I told them to make sure they made the snowman look like the one on the board.  The last part I did after school.  I hot glued the pipe cleaners and red pom poms onto the ornaments to make ear muffs.  I think they turned out pretty great.

Now, a little advice for you so you don't make the same mistakes I made.  I wish I had bought paint pens instead of using Sharpies.  I ended up going over the Sharpie with a black paint pen.  I needed probably 6 to pass around, so that will be a definite purchase for next year.  Also, if one of your kids decides to turn their snowman into a monster, a dry erase marker and a tissue will allow you to erase Sharpie pens.  That trick also works on dry erase boards.
The second ornament started off a little rough, but only because of a little mistake I made.  Take it from me, don't use spray glitter in a classroom.  It's much smarter to take whatever you need to spray outside.  Also, when it tells you to shake the bottle for two minutes, follow directions.  I didn't and learned that the can will continue spraying a continuous small stream.  Oh, and before I forget - don't try to spray it into the ornament.  I was told that ahead of time and thought it couldn't be that tough.  Yeah, I should've believed my friend.  

Well, since I got all of the difficult hints out of the way, this is what did work.  I took the shredded paper and sprayed it with glitter spray.  After that, I put it outside and let it dry out.  Then, I gave my students their next ornament (These were plastic - yay!) and they stuffed them with the shredded paper. Once they finished, we put the tops back on, I painted "Merry Christmas 2012" on them, and put ribbon on the ornaments.

I almost forgot to tell you about the adventures of Disney.  Well, the kids, as expected were pretty excited about the setup.  I'm not sure much morning work got done today because they spent most of the morning discussing how he got there, what they were creating, etc.  Since they were so wound up today, I decided tomorrow would be a nice day to have a break from Disney.  He is now hanging out in the hallway with my teammate's Grinch.  Since the Grinch isn't very kind, Disney decided he may need a disguise.  He cut up some paper, threw a bandanna on him, and called it a day.  I have a feeling that tomorrow my kids won't be the only ones a little excited.

Oh, and if you work for the company that created Elf on the Shelf contact me!  I have some design ideas - I've decided the elf needs magnets added to his hands, feet, and bottom.  Plus, he needs something added to his arms and legs that allow you to make him stay put or standing without using tape.  Seriously!  I'm ready for Elf 2.0.  Imagine what you could do with a super elf :)

Alright, have a good night and will hopefully blog in the morning.


  1. Fun Christmas ideas! Love the snowmen ornaments.

    The Hive

  2. Looks good! It is always so hard to find gifts that they can make themselves. I spent a lot of years making my kids presents to their parents. Hard to find really easy ones. Thanks

    1. These are definitely ones I will do again, especially the one with the crinkled paper. I'm like you. I want to pick gifts that involve the kids more than me. We're making reindeer bags next week, so I'll make sure to post how that goes.