Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts on a Monday

Here it is Monday...but not a normal Monday. A Monday with lots of questions on my mind and lots of emotions. sadness of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, joy of seeing all of my students this morning, fear and nervousness of how to respond to their questions, confident that I have let my students know how much they mean to list of emotions could go on and on.

As we had share time today I thought for sure that ONE person would bring up the tragic event that took place Friday but not one of them did. I was so thankful that my sweet little kiddos were kept sheltered from this news. Instead they shared with me about their time spent with grandmas and grandpas, moms and dads and cousins. They shared about their decorating Christmas trees and helping wrap presents. These stories warmed my heart. Then we took time to share their journals today, I had one student write "I love my school" and another write "School is Cool". So it just reassures me that we are doing all the right things and that we should keep doing what we are doing! Making a difference in their lives and being role models, someone they can count on in good times and bad and someone to love them when they may need it most!

My heart is still heavy as I try to wrap my mind around what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school. How could someone kill innocent people, especially little tiny children? Why? What did it prove? I have so many questions that I am not sure I even want answers for. I want to wake up and hear that this was all a dream. I wish there were more we could do to stop these awful tragedies. And mostly, I wish for something I have wanted since I was a child... World Peace. A place where EVERYONE feels safe. A place where everyone gets along and a place where we can all work together to make the world a better place.

I have so much on mind but I feel I may be rambling so I will leave you with this:

Tonight as I lay your head on your pillow, I will say a prayer for the 20 children and 6 brave women who lost their lives and for their families. I will say a prayer for the first responders and the faculty and students who witnessed this tragedy. I will pray for the community of Newtown. And I will pray for my students and my colleagues.
I challenge you to do the same if you are religious in any way.
May God bless each and every one of you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Child/Student-made Christmas Ornaments

Looking for different to do for Christmas gift to parents or grandparents this year? I downsized one of my old gifts and made it into a Christmas ornament! Have each student cut out one mitten. On one side have the students write a message to their parents and put the year. Then paint the corresponding hand with white paint and have them leave their hand print on the mitten. While the mittens are drying, have the students cut out the hearts (I drew the hearts and copied them onto red construction paper). Once the paint is completely dry, have students glue the red heart into the center or top of their hand print. Then put their school picture or any small picture inside the heart. I then printed the saying, "cold hands, warm heart" and have the students cut them out and glue them by the finger tips of their hand print! At his point I laminate them they will keep longer but you do not have to! Then just punch a hole in the top, add ribbon and  WAH-LAH...there you have a super cute, child-made ornament! Enjoy! 

Below are some cute gifts that I had students make last year! As you can see the heart was the one that I downsized to make these cute little mitten ornaments! The wreaths are made out of small paper plates and green and red tissue paper. Students just wrap the tissue paper around the end of their pencil, dip it in glue and then put it around the end of the plate. Easy, peasy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Craftivities!

This year, for Christmas crafts,  I wanted to do something a little different than I have the last few years. So I turned on the old brain and started to think how I could spice things up!! I normally do a Christmas tree made from green triangles and mount it on black or blue paper. Then we decorate it with hole punches, tissue paper balls and glitter. We have also done Santa Mobiles and presents. All of which are seen below! To see some other holiday craft activities and parent gifts click here.

I kept thinking, how can I make these tree's look a little cuter? So I decided to change the size and the shape of the tree. They would be tree's "Made from the Heart". So instead of triangles, I made 3 different size hearts and had the students color them and glue them on to and 8 X 8 square. I also showed them how to trace around the edge with marker and then color in with crayon to make the colors pop out AND to help give them a better line to say inside! We then just glittered the "snow" on. 

I didn't choose to make a quilt with these this year but that is why I chose to do this, on the 8 X 8. It would be easy to make into a paper quilt to decorate a bulletin board. 

Then I thought about my Santas...I LOVE those Santas but I wanted to do something different and include the reindeer! Soooo, I went to one of favorite search engines, Google, and I searched for paper sleigh Christmas crafts and found this site. I got my idea from this site and the black-line master for Santa and the reindeer (the reindeer I did have to enlarge on the copier) but the rest I did on my own.  I literally free-handed a sleigh with a black marker and then cut black strips for the runner of the sleigh and for the reigns to go on the reindeer. I had the students angle off the edges of the black strip used for the runner. Then, to make it look even more official, I still had the students make little presents out of construction paper, to put in the sleigh! Cutting out the reindeer was And this is what the final project looked like! I was so excited  because they turned out so cute! And the kiddos had a lot of fun making them! Especially the fact that they got to attach the reindeer to the sleigh and fill it with presents

Then when I displayed them in the hallway...I made it look like Santa and his reindeer were flying over the forest of trees on Christmas Eve night!