Santa Handprint Art and Letters

Don’t you LOVE handprint art done by kids? It is the CUUUUUTEST! Every year I make these “Santa” handprints and we write letters to Santa Claus. We always tell him how “good” we have been to butter him up for our requests!

Santa Handprints and Letters to Santa Claus done by Kindergarteners are super cute! 

This year nobody asked for anything outrageous. Mostly they asked for 1 gift. I liked that. I’m sure Santa will too. 😀

Dear Santa, We have been GOOD this year. For Christmas I want a…….(lots of good sight word practice is showing up here). HERE is a link to lots of “Dear Santa” books from Amazon too. 

Letters to Santa. We have been GOOD Santa! Don’t ya know? 

Here are some of our letters. The paper I got inside of a Scholastic book of stationery like this one HERE at Amazon. You can get it for a penny now! Woot!

My kinders are getting really good at letters now. We practice our writing every single day. 
Letters to Santa are always so cute. The top is a couple of gingerbread men and some candy canes to color. 
Everybody did a great job on their Santa Letters and Santa Handprints. I love them on our bulletin board outside our door! 
Letters to Santa. I hope we are not on the naughty list!! 

I used blue, red and green, glitter glue for the sparkly stars. You just paint the fingers white, the middle palm peachy, and the thumb area and base of palm red, for the Santa hat.

All We Want for Christmas  bulletin board outside in the school hall looks pretty cute. 
We’ve been seeing a lot of Santa this month. My granddaughters on the “Polar Express” in Lindon, Utah. They had fun chatting with him. 

This little one wants a drum set. She drew a picture of it for Santa so he doesn’t forget. So cute.

Santa Handprints will look so cute in our writing portfolio for the year! Along with our Santa letters of course! I hope everybody gets the things on their list this year! 

After white handprints are dry, just dip a fingertip in white 2  times for Santa’s white mustache, 1 fingertip white for the white pom pom on Santa’s hat tip, and 5 little white fingertips on the bottom rim of the Santa hat. Then dip little dots from the wooden top of a paintbrush for the 2 round eyes and a red nose. I did the eyes in geen this year.  If you use green paper background I’d do the eyes blue.

We did blue eyes a few years back. Check out more activities we did for Christmas last year HERE.
Some letters from the past. I liked this kind of paper too. But these kids could do a lot more writing in 2nd grade. 


Q. What did Santa say to Mrs. Claus when he looked out the window? It looks like rain, dear! (reindeer). Get it? 
Q. What does Santa eat for breakfast? Frosted flakes! 
Q. Why does Santa love working in his garden? He likes to “hoe, hoe, hoe!” 
Q. Where does Santa keep his money? In a snow bank! 
Q. What does Santa plant in the fall? Christmas bulbs! haha. 

We will add these to our Writing Portfolio for December. Have some Happy Holiday everybody! I hope nobody gets on the naughty list!

Sight Word Lists – Make a Rainbow

Here is the Sight Word Rainbow for our class to use to see who is learning all their Kindergarten sight words from the list. I put the words in a listing order from easy to harder with some color words sprinkled in. Most of these words make up the 50 most used words in Children’s Literature. So it is super smart to memorize them for reading fluency.

Class Sight Word Rainbow. Add your “sun” with YOUR name on it as soon as you learn the words in List 1.  (is, it, in, on, no, of, us, as, an am, at, the). Each list has 12 words for 72 total. 

If you help your kids learn these words, they will become better readers. It is plain and simple. Sight words are words that are harder to sound out and are better learned my rote memorization.

We have 5 kids so far that have put their “sun” up on the red part of the rainbow, having memorized the first word list of 2 letter words and THE. The words are listed on the back of the homework folder in 5 lists. These kids won a red piece of licorice. Let’s see how many we can get up on the rainbow by Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Pilgrims and Indians

This week we read a few reader’s theaters on the Pilgrims and Squanto and the Indians. Here are a few puppets HERE I found to make to go along with the readings. We also usually do a few Scholastic News’ on the subject of the Pilgrims and Mayflower too.
These Social Studies books will show kids of today how much more we should appreciate what we have in our lives and how much easier they have it than the Sarah Morton’s of the time of the Pilgrims.

Great Social Studies BOOKS on Pilgrims
Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters
Samuel Eaton’s Day:  A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy by Kate Waters
Story of the First Thanksgiving, The by Elaine Raphael
Story of Thanksgiving, The by Nancy Skarmeas
First Thanksgiving, The by Linda Hayward
Thanksgiving Is… by Louise Borden (This is a good one for a writing project)
First Thanksgiving, The by Garnet Jackson
If You Sailed on the Mayflower by Ann McGovern
Story of the Pilgrims, The
 by Katharine Ross
Thanksgiving Day by  Gail Gibbons

Thanksgiving Pilgrims.jpg
Make up these finger puppets (BELOW) for the kids to color, cut out, and then sing this tune while they move them around and dance to the music. 

By the way, LOOK what I found at the Dollar Store!  Dancing SOLAR Pilgrims and a Turkey! Super Cute! They are solar powered so they dance to the light of a lamp. The kids loved them. 

Solar Turkeys I found at Dollar Tree….SO I put them on my kiddie table. 
The nearby lamp had them dancing the whole dinner through. We laughed and laughed at them! 
My grandkids loved them too. I’ll have to show them to my 2nd graders too! 

Oh Dear Pilgrims (Oh Susannah Tune)
Oh they left their homes in England and prepared to take a trip.
And they climbed aboard the Mayflower and sailed upon that ship.
The year was 1620 on a cold November Day
By the shores of Massachusetts they arrived in Plymouth Bay.
Oh Dear Pilgrims
Did seek to worship free
So you came here to America for Opportunity!
The first year was the hardest, but your neighbors all helped out
They met Native Americans with Squanto as their scout.
They helped the Pilgrims plant their crops, of pumpkins beans and corn.

They all shared in a harvest feast and Thanksgiving Day was born. 

You could also do the Turkey Trot. (Hokey Pokey with different words) 

Turkey Trot(Tune:  Hokey Pokey)
You put your right wing in.
You put your right wing out.
You put your right wing in,
and you shake it all about.
You do the turkey trot
and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!
Additional verses:
Left wing,
Stuffing (Stomach)
Wattle (Head)
Tail Feathers (Bottom)
Turkey Body

A fun choral reading about what kinds of foods they ate on Thanksgiving is HERE at Scripts for Schools. Another activity I did last year was making Indian girls and boys and writing about what their day was like. Check them out. Another puppet idea I found with BOTH pilgrims AND Indian boys and girls was Here at Making Learning Fun. 

Native American children and how they worked and played….we did these last year. This year we ran out of time since we only have a day and a half this week before our Thanksgiving 3 day break. Woo Hoo! 
We decorated them with fringe on the paper and symbols and chevrons and lots of dots and triangles to make them look like Indian pictograms. 


Scholastic has a few good lesson plans for K-2 and a printable compare and contrast HERE. Just scroll down to the bottom for Thanksgiving Then and Thanksgiving Now sheet. We did this just as a whole class brainstorm. Another one to use for individual students is this flip book HERE from Lakeshore Learning. 

Earth Day Activities

Today is Earth Day! We learned a lot about how we can keep the earth’s environment clean.

We painted coffee filters like earth for Earth Day 2013. 

We read books on how to keep our environment CLEAN and how to reduce trash and pollution. 

And we read about Michael Recycle, and the 3Rs (Reduce, reuse, recycle). 

Then we wrote things we can do to help. 

We can do lots to keep the earth clean. 

We’ve been working on planting veggies and herbs and flowers in pots. 

We also learned how to conserve water. We can turn off the faucet when we brush our teeth! 

We can walk instead of drive in the car……

We can pick up litter at the park or school grounds….

We can recycle cans, bottles, and old clothes and toys…..
Or we can reuse things like paper bags and boxes or make them into something new! 
Like these plant holders we decorated and made out of tin cans and scrap paper.
We planted vegetables of all kinds, and herbs and sunflowers too……
Everybody chose something different…..

And we’ll be able to see the roots growing from our Root Viewer…..

We are watching potato roots growing like crazy too!

Then we played a sorting game to decide what type of recycling each item needs to go with; paper, plastic, glass or metal……
Also, here is a Word Scramble on Plants  I found at ABC Teach. The kids loved it!
Then we made Earth Day bracelets. I got the “going green” beads from oriental trading. And  HERE  are some
foam peel and stick shapes for Earth Day. You could make bookmarks on foam 2 x 4 pieces.
  We had a great Earth Day 2013! 

Hobby Lobby has Christmas Ornaments

I just got back from Hobby Lobby and guess what I saw there? Rows and Rows of Christmas Ornaments! And they must have been there for at least a few days (end of July) because they had like 3 rows of stuff already set up. What is up with that? Christmas in July?

Hobby Lobby racks and racks of Christmas Ornaments in July! 

I love having all the fall stuff up because I am getting kind of excited for Back to School. I have done a lot of work in my classroom this summer redoing some of my bulletin boards, rearranging the set up and redoing my classroom library.

And at HOBBY LOBBY I even loved seeing some of the Fall and Thanksgiving colors and fall leaves everywhere and pumpkins and ribbons and statuary and things.

Isn’t this cute? This would be a darling  BACK TO SCHOOL welcome wreath for your classroom.

 September Ninth blog  has a tutorial AND a You Tube on how to do it with 2 packs of 24 crayons. It’s all done with a glue gun and some scrapbook doo dads. 

I went into Hobby Lobby for Back to School supplies. But Christmas stuff already? That is just a little bit C R A Z Y!  What do you think?


I just found a huge list of 2nd grade blogs. How fun is that!  I will have a lot of fun perusing each one for ideas. I just love bloggers!

Gallon Guy, Measurement Man

Gallon Guy Art Project

Gallon Guy is a kind of Capacity Man.  It will help teach the different types and vocabulary for liquid
measurements. This is the one I have in my classroom. It is rather busy though. I would much have preferred a simpler version like Gallon Guy below.  Measurement is limited in our core, but since this is a gifted class of kids, I thought I would add capacity for enrichment, and also it is in our envision math section 14.

I do like this Monster Math Guy a lot better.  He has all types of liquid capacity terms and you could have the kids copy him but make their own “monster” art project just using the cups and pints and gallons in correct sizes but choose their colors and make their own monster face.  You could call it your measurement monsters.

I found this cute pic at Squidoo HERE. It looks fun and easy.

We learned that 4 quarts = 1 gallon, 2 pints = 1 quart, 8 pints = 1 gallon, 4 cups = 1 quart, 16 cups = 1 gallon, etc.

.  This gives you the idea how to structure your own Capacity Man.  I’m going to use similar sizes and colors to this guy to make for my classroom.

A nice blackline master of all the shapes can be found HERE at Education World.

OR….instead of monsters we could do Robot faces instead of the boring, white, paper plate. That would be fun!  

robot kids craft
HERE at No Time For Flashcards I found this cute robot we could use as an idea of where to start on
our “Gallon Guy”. The kids could design their own robot faces for their gallon guy “robot” instead of the paper plate which looks kinda plain.  Let’s be creative with our gallon guy!  Plus we can get rid of some of our paper scraps in the process! 

You’ll need 5 sheets of construction paper, each one a different color.  One will be for his head (or her head, as the girls always  want to make a Gallon Girl), one will be kept whole and labeled “gallon”.  The next sheet will be folded into fourts, cut, and labeled “quart”.  Then, fold another sheet into eighths, cut, and label “pint”.  Finally, fold the last sheet into sixteenths, cut, and lable “cup”.  My kids had a ball making these, and stayed focused the entire time.  When trouble comes your way (in math), call for Gallon Man to save the day! (directions are from S is for Second Grade). 
This cute rendition of Gallon Guy or Gallon Girl is from Coon Dogs. 
The cutest one I found online was this one….It’s from HERE is a free download from Amber Polk at Adventures of a 3rd Grade Teacher.  It is really cute. It’s a Gallon Man with the body of a Superhero! That would be so fun for my kids too.  She has a download for the quart, pin, cup face and chest area.  I’m thinking I’ll still do the robot head.  Even though superhero is also a cute idea.

  2 cups is a pint. 2 pints is a quart, 4 quarts is a gallon. 4 cups is a quart, 2 quarts is 1/2 a gallon. Kids can learn and memorize these volumes with their Gallon Guy.

So HERE are OUR Capacity Robots.  The kids named them everything from Gallon Guy and Gallon Girl to
Gallon Bot 3000. They all turned out looking quite cute.  I like the superhero idea too but I thought my little guys would do a better job making a creative robot face with scraps of recycled construction paper.

Here was my sample and our class brainstorm for names for the Gallon  Robots. They each named their own guy. 
Teaching Volume and Capacity through this art project was great!  
Capacity Man, Gallon Man, Gallon Guy…it’s all the same…..
Some added necks and buttons to their Gallon Guy Robots too….
This one had 3D parts on the face…Love the Billy Bob “Bot”  hehe…

Yes this gallonator looks like a Gladiator, doesn’t it?  
Gallon Girl …but she’s having a bad hair day…..:
Gallon Girls and Guys – All the kids really understood capacity measurement after this activity….
SUPER gladiator!  Eek! He’s a little scary looking! 

We did 5 measurement centers to go along with our math unit in measurement this week. HERE is the link to our measurement centers.

Hope you enjoyed our Measurement Men!  

The kids learned how to tell me how many cups, pints, and quarts were in a gallon.    Her FREE LINK is HERE. It is by Amber Polk. It is really cute weather you go the superhero route or the robot route, both are great learning tools. And our robots turned out really fun!

Having Fun with our 6th Grade Buddies


Here are some samples I found on the web to give us inspiration for a half hour of creative art with our 6th grade buddies last week.

 I think I had about 15 of the  6th graders and about 10 of the 2nd graders in my class for this buddy activity the day before Valentines.  Each of our classes wrote letters to our buddies for Valentines Day and sent them some candy of some sort.  We gave suckers and licorice.  They gave us chocolate mini candy bars…Mmmm!

Some kids in my class have 2 buddies….because the 6th grade classes are larger than 2nd grade classes….
But everybody really likes who they got for a buddy…no matter if it is one kid or two kids….

Then We made creations just using scraps of construction paper from our recycling bin and heart cut outs from red, pink, purple and white. Look at what fun it was for just 30 minutes the day before Valentines!

We’ve played kickball with our buddies…we’ve done multiplication games with our buddies….So we thought,

as teachers…maybe we could do a joint art project with our buddies?

Valentine Creations abounded…..
They also invited us to their production of MacBeth, the Shakesperian play….it was fantastic!  
Here are some close ups of all the “animals” we created…..
And some close ups of the kids who created them….with some buddy help…..
I am not the greatest photog that ever lived as you can see…
I think they were all proud of their creations….

We’ll have to do this again next year! 

Valentines Creative Art Projects….

Hope everybody had a Happy Valentines Day!

Making Giant Paper Snowflakes

A Tutorial is HERE at Paper Zone Blog for how to do a cool, giant paper snowflake.  I used 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper sheets and had each student do 1/6 of the snowflake. Another one with cool photos is HERE at A Cup of Calm.

A Cup of Calm had cool pics to guide me through it! 

You start by using a perfect square of paper, just like in Japanese paper folding, or doing a square snowflake.
Then you fold twice.  The side where there is a single fold you cut 4 lines almost to the edge, that line up with the side with the long side of the triangle.

Don’t these snowflakes turn out awesome? 

Fold the square diagonally to form a triange. Then fold that triangle in half again to form a smaller triangle. Unfold carefully. Attach the 2 outside tips of the square to each other in front. Then attach the next tips in back with tape. Then the next tips in front with tape. That the last inner tips in back with tape.  Do this 4 or 5 more times.  Attach the ends together with a stapler. You will have a 5 sectioned star snowflake or a 6 sectioned snowflake.  hang up in the center of your room for quite a breathtaking display.

Just staple all the 6 parts together to form the snowflake!  All Done!  

A fun interactive snowflake making website with magic scissors that cut a new snowflake every time is called Snowflake HERE is the link. It’s a cool and fun website for the kids to get an idea how to cut a snowflake.


Add caption

We did a lot of things the week before Turkey Day that I did not post. So I’m playing catch up! We did crossword puzzles, we played Bingo, we read lots of books on the Mayflower, Pilgrims and Indians. And we wrote all about it.

We made Squanto and Samoset and “became” an Indian boy or girl and wrote about their lives
during the time of the Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving…
When you open the Indian’ “buffalo skin coat” here is what one student wrote…

LINK HERE  for a cute Turkey Crossword Puzzle.
Another crossword puzzle is HERE at Sunday School Kids.

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

We never had time to do these cute pilgrims and Indians…we made some others…instead… 

Here at Phillyfun4kids  is a cute craft for kids using paper towel and toilet paper rolls.  A utube for directions on the roll “village people” is

We also made these cute turkeys out of butcher paper loops…

And we wrote about what we are Thankful For….lots of kids were thankful for Turkey Dinners! 

Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie
I’m glad I’m not a turkey, a turkey, a turkey
I’m glad I’m not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
They’ll cook you and baste you
And then they’ll all taste you!
I’m glad I’m not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

Darling turkeys (in disguise) made by some of my 3rd grade former students…..

Can you tell these are Pirate turkeys?  So CUTE! They are in disguise so they won’t be EATEN! 

Albuquerque, he’s my turkey- Anonymous
(Sung to the tune of ‘Clementine’)

Albuquerque he’s my turkey
Oh he’s feathered and he’s fine
He wobbles and he gobbles
And I’m awfully glad he’s mine.
He’s the best pet
You could ever get.

Better than a dog or cat.
Albuquerque he’s my turkey
And I’m awfully glad of that.
Albuquerque he’s my turkey
He’s so cozy in his bed
Because for Thanksgiving dinner
We had scrambled eggs instead.

HERE at Family Fun.  is the link to make this cute pilgrim.  It is made with toilet paper rolls too.

We had fun playing Thanksgiving Bingo with our class after we had written down things we were Thankful for.  I hope everyone had a fun time on their family’s Turkey Day.  Soon I’ll some journal entries we did Today called our Thanksgiving Weekend News. In the meantime, we did a weekly graph asking this question; What is your VERY FAVORITE Thanksgiving Food.  Guess which one was the winner?
I’ll post the pictures of our graph and the answer tomorrow.

HERE is a cute BINGO  game from Family Fun that is FREE and downloadable.