Ringing in the New Year Giveaway!

Happy New Year to all of my friends, readers, and fellow teachers!
To ring in 2013, I'm hosting a fabulous giveaway with lots of goodies for all!  Over 70 teaching resources were donated for my giveaway.  I'm so grateful for the generosity of my fellow bloggers and TpT sellers!

I've arranged the goodies into five categories:
K-2 Math, K-2 ELA
3-5 Math, 3-5 ELA
Clip Art/Other resources 
You are welcome to enter all five categories for a chance to win over 70+ awesome products!  
The entry period will end up on January 9th at 12:00am.  Winners will receive their prizes by e-mail following the giveaway period.  Best of luck to all, and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
I decided to add a BONUS Giveaway at the very bottom of this blog post, so make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to win something very $$$SPECIAL$$$.

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Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments

'Tis the season for Christmas books, crafts, lessons, and activities!  December is my favorite month of the year because of all of the exciting and fun lessons I get to do with my students.  
Today, I wanted to share with you the Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments that the kids make to give to their parents.  
I also wanted to share a few of my favorite Christmas books/lessons!  
All you need to make these NON-EDIBLE ornaments is applesauce, cinnamon, and glitter!  I ask parent volunteers to send in the ingredients we need.  I start with about 3 cups of applesauce and 3 cups of cinnamon.  Depending on the weather/humidity, I usually need to add lots more cinnamon.  {Hint: Have lots of extra cinnamon available or you will be begging the cafeteria manager for some!}  Work the applesauce and cinnamon into a dough that can be rolled out with a rolling pin.  

Put cinnamon on your hands, the rolling pin, and the baking mat before rolling out the dough.  Cut the dough with cookie cutters.  Poke a hole in the top of the dough with a drinking straw.  Allow the dough to dry for approximately 2 days.  {I usually make the ornaments on Thursday/Friday, and let them dry over the weekend.}  
On Monday, have students apply Elmer's glue to the hardened ornament using a paintbrush.  Then let the glitter fun begin!  :)  
I let the students choose any shape they want...gingerbread man, Santa, star, stocking, bell, etc., but I've found the easiest shapes to "glitter-ize" are the stars and stockings!  
After the glitter dries, add ribbon so the ornament can be hung on the tree.  Finally, my students wrap their ornaments in several sheets of tissue paper and wrapping paper.  They create a gift tag, and their gift is ready for their parents!  
These ornaments smell AMAZING!  The picture above is of a few of the ornaments I have on my Christmas tree at home.  I made those particular ornaments FIVE YEARS AGO and they still smell of cinnamon!  You won't regret making these ornaments, and the parents will love this sentimental gift.  Have fun!
Here are two books I'm super excited to read aloud in December:
Lesson Ideas for Merry Christmas, Splat:
1. Have students write a persuasive letter to Santa explaining how they have been "good" this year
2.  Have students make a list of things they have done to be on Santa's nice list
3.  Have students write a story about a time when they waited up for Santa
4.  Have students recreate an illustration from the book  (Don't forget Seymour the mouse!)
5.  Have students write/draw about Splat's Christmas gift from Santa

Lesson Ideas for Turkey Claus:
1.  Have students create an alternative disguise for Turkey.  Students can write about it, draw it, or create it with construction paper and art supplies.
2.  Students tell which disguise was the best and support their claim with three reasons.
3.  Students write a letter to Farmer Jake convincing him not to have turkey for Christmas dinner.  
To check out more great books and Christmas activities, stop by the Teaching Blog Addict's latest post.  Just click the button below!  
Christmas Week

Manic Monday: FREEBIES!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Calling all K-2 Math Teachers...You will LOVE my latest FREEBIE!  
These Christmas inspired story problems are sure to keep students engaged before the holidays!
Use these task cards in whole group, small group, at a math center, or as a class scavenger hunt! This freebie includes 16 task cards, an answer key, and a student recording sheet. 

You can download this freebie by clicking any of the images above.  Enjoy!  

Currently December!

It's hard for me to believe that it's already December.  My husband and I got married on December 17, 2011 so it's almost been an entire year.  Wow!  The time has just flown by!  :)

I'm linking up with Farley for Currently December!
Also, I made a Christmas countdown for a friend!  We'd seen a bunch of adorable countdowns on Pinterest, so I decided to create my own.  There are several different styles.  You can print it out and put it in an 8x10 picture frame.  Maybe add a little ribbon or bow to the frame?  Then just write directly on the glass with a dry erase marker.  It would make a super cute Christmas gift!  :)  

The third poster doesn't have a background in case you want to print on festive scrapbook paper!  :)  
Merry Christmas from ME to YOU!  

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