Five For Friday: December 18

Hey guys! I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to give you my Five for Friday!
This was the last week before break...
My kiddos were CRAY! But we had a super week filled with lots of fun activities and "learning."
We made our ornaments to decorate our tree at school and their trees at home! They turned out better than I had even expected.
I cut out the circles and the stands for the snow globes. Students got some white paint and made "snow flakes" on them! After they dried I put their pictures on the globe! Then I laminated them. I just love how they turned out! 
A year ago, I was blogging a lot about my new house. We were in the middle of building and had just gotten the front door on! I just love Facebook's Time Hop for reminders like this. The whole process brought back such good memories of building our home. 
I just LOVE it!
Our little school really gets in the Christmas Sprit! Each morning, on the last week before break, after announcements, we play a school wide BINGO game. The kids look forward to this all of December. Student council pulls the words and uses them in a sentence and it's a race between classrooms to see who gets a BINGO and calls the office first! Friday is a cover all...the competition is REAL. Everyone will be racing to call the office. I'm sure of secretary loves this.. HA!

The winner gets baby candy canes. Today, Santa will also be making a stop into all the rooms. Boy oh boy, the room is sure to be chaotic for sure! 
This is Polar Express week. I can hardly get through the last two pages without choking up every. single. year. I just love this story! We have been working through the book with my {Polar Express pack}. I updated it this year, and I'll just brag a little...it's pretty awesome. 
We have sorted vocabulary words, played a matching game, and used them in a zillion sentences. I even noticed students using these words in their writing! I'm working on transforming the way I teach vocabulary and so far its having a positive effect!
We have sequenced important points in the story. Students enjoyed this more than I thought they would. It was like a puzzle for them. 
We also colored nouns and did a super hard word search that I did not make. Even the most advanced kids were struggling with it, but they did not give up!! These kids were determined to finish that word search! 
The Good:
My sweet friend from Education Lahne gave me this super cute clipboard!! I'm obsessed with R's, chevron, and gold...and boy did she know that!! I also LOVE the Tiffany blue that is in with the gold! This is just so me! My amazing husband let me open one gift tonight...and it was a big one! I LOVE Oreos. They are my weakness. I can eat the whole pack in one night, one setting, one hour. (trust me.)
We do not ever buy Oreos because of this... Well, I ate one whole row tonight. And my stomach hurts:) #worthit
The Bad:
OMG This kid had JUST asked me to sharpen this nub of a pencil...after I said no way, not even a full minute later I hear, "MRS. RIGSBY!!!..." UGHHH I was soooo angry!! The pencil sharpener didn't even work in the first place, which he knew. This Christmas break is much needed, for everyone!
Head over to {Doodle Bugs Teaching} to find out what everyone else is up to! 


How I Use Rooted in Reading Units in my Classroom with How to Catch Santa

Have you heard about {Amy Lemons'} and {Katie King's} {Rooted in Reading} packs!? They are AMAZING!!
Our school has the Journeys Reading Series, which is fine but the activities in the Rooted in Reading packs are just more engaging! Amy and Katie provide so many activities for grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. There are many options for each story so you can pick and choose what will work for you and your class! I don't feel so bogged down with all the worksheets and just junk that we have to do for Journeys. 

This week we read {How to Catch Santa}. I had never read this book before, but it is a great read aloud for kids and perfect for this season! 
Vocabulary:
Each vocabulary word has a page for you to dig deeper into the word. I tried to work my dog Willy into each of my sentences and illustrations and the kids just loved it! Coming up with antonyms for some of the words was difficult... thank God for Google! 
We trimmed around the edges and glued them into our notebooks. I think next time, I would like to make a vocabulary book! There is a challenging vocabulary quiz that will help you assess too. 
Writing: 
This story had a sequence that went along with it. We worked on those transition words and I just loved how we practiced with random things then did the actual graded writing part(or the part I was grading anyways!) The random activities were making s'mores and making a PBJ. 
Students had to cut and glue the pictures in the right order. Then they had to use the transition words to write about what happened. They did SUCH a great job knowing when to use the words since they had a visual of what they were doing. My whole writing block wasn't full of groans or whines. It was just fun and made us hungry! After some practice, we started to get down to business.
Making a plan on how students would catch Santa was so much fun! They had some wild ideas. Santa just happened to actually be visiting our preschool that day. One of the teachers came in to tell the kids who was in the building...They FREAKED out! OMG MY PLAN IS OUT!! There was lots of rushing around to finish and put away plans. It was hilarious! 
Comprehension/Guided Reading:
Not only did we learn how to catch Santa, (BTW there is a comprehension quiz included too!) we also compared Christmas to Hanukkah! Katie and Amy put together an amazing informational text about both holidays. 
The kids loved learning about Hanukkah traditions. In our small town, there is not much diversity. It was nice to step outside of small town Indiana and show the students how others celebrate. 
Rooted in Reading comes with several interactive notebook activities. I have to confess, I rolled my eyes when I first saw this because I have NEVER been able to figure out how to incorporate these into my lessons...with Journeys anyway. They fit in so perfectly, we weren't rushed, they didn't even take long when we were rushing, and the kiddos loved doing them! 
We made connections between our own traditions at home and Hanukkah traditions. I really enjoy the weeks we skip a basil reading story and do a Rooted in Reading pack. If you are on the edge about spending the money, just DO IT! It is so worth it, for you and the kids. 
Not enough books:
Yeah, okay, I understand you can't afford to get a book for each student. I bought a teacher copy and used it on the projector. Cassondra typed up the words from the story so students could echo read the story and read at home. We didn't buddy read this story because it really isn't fun to read without the pictures. This story has amazing illustrations. Whether you decide to purchase the unit or not, you should FOR SURE purchase the book! Your students will LOVE it!!
Both gals blog about using Rooted in Reading in their own classrooms too, make sure to check out their posts(by clicking their names at the top of this post) and Amy's {FAQ about Rooted in Reading}!