Reflections of 2015 ~ A Linky Party

I am thrilled to be joining some amazingly talented bloggers whom I have admired for quite some time.  Their blogs are ones I make sure to read each and every time a new post is up.  Hadar of Miss Kindergarten, Traci of Dragonflies in First and Kristin of A Teeny Tiny Teacher are all sharing their favourite memories from 2015 and I am linking up.



Here are a few of my favourite memories from 2015:

My daughter and I went to the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships Gala.  I love figure skating an have been a fan for a long time.  It was great to see some of my favourite skaters up close in our home arena.  





2.  Each year we drive to Florida to enjoy a week of sunshine.  We have been going to Sarasota for the past several years, since we started travelling in our RV.  We love Sun N Fun, which is a resort campground.  The kids have a blast because there is so much to do right at the park.  





3.  As soon as the weather turns nice we spend time at our cottage.  Waterskiing is a favourite sport for my husband and son.  I for one like to be a spectator!




4.  This year we added a new addition to the cottage - a wood fired hot tub.  My husband loves the hot tub at home and his brother had one so he had to have one too.  We love it!  It was quite the production getting it to our water access only cottage! 



5.  Once our school is out for holidays we always plan a longer RV trip.  This year we headed into the US to explore Maine.  We started out in Portland and then worked our way north to Bar Harbor.  We enjoyed Lighthouses, walking and touring around Portland and the kids and my husband had an experience ziplining and tree top trekking at our resort campground.  It was a definite highlight! 



6.  We loved spending a few days in Bar Harbor.  The highlight of this stop was a outing on a lobster boat to learn more about lobstering.  We also cruised past an old lighthouse and got to watch a large group of seals playing while the sun was setting!  




7.  Our next stop was Lunenbourg in Nova Scotia.  On our bucket list was to go on the Bluenose, a famous racing schooner, which is docked at Lunenbourg.  Unfortunately my timing was wrong and the ship was not in port.  That was my only disappointment of the trip.  We did get to go out on a much smaller boat, but as luck would have it, there was no wind so we really didn't get the experience of sailing.  The kids did get to steer the boat for a good part of the trip.  




 8.  Another highlight occurred back at our cottage.  Our daughter was determined to learn to ski but had not been successful to date.  Finally, with the help of family, she got up, stayed up and made it around the lake.  Seriously proud moment for her and especially her waterskiing loving father!


9.  The holidays are always a highlight.  We bought new living room furniture and then decorated.


10.  My final highlight is the birth of my nephew.  He is simply adorable.  I am sure he will be spoiled by his much older cousins.



Thank you for stopping by and checking out my top 10.  Happy New Year to you!

Until next time,

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Elf-tastic Adventures - Week Two! A Classroom Elf on the Shelf Linky



Welcome back to another week of the adventures of Snowflake, my classroom elf, and the happenings in our classroom.

I have another crazy week planned for my first graders and Snowflake likes to help our where he can. On Monday we were writing our letters to Santa.  The kids have been writing to the North Pole for a while already using my Letters to the North Pole writing center.  Snowflake let us know last week that he would deliver mail to the North Pole for us.  He has been a busy mail delivery elf.



Today we were all writing to Santa. He brought us a book, a mail basket and paper to use to write our letters.  The kids loved using candy canes as little spacers.  We listened to some Christmas music and wrote out our wish lists, after telling Santa a bit about ourselves and asking him some questions.  As always the letters are priceless.



If you are looking for some quick and easy writing for this week check out this center or tuck it away for next year.  It is perfect for the whole month of December!


They are starting to really get crazy now and I wanted them to get the message so Snowflake made sure they knew what they were supposed to do.  Unfortunately they did not heed Santa's and Snowflake's advice.


We had another busy day filled with lots of holiday fun.  We read one of my favourite Christmas books and one that is not very well known so no one had heard it before.  It is called Santa's Secret Helper.


We read part way through and then they went off to draw what they would do if they were Santa's secret helper.  They had some great ideas ranging from helping with the reindeer, working out in the workshop with the elves and even flying with Santa to help with deliveries.  They were so happy and engaged because it was all about drawing since I planned the writing for tomorrow.  





We have also just started our graphing unit and were making concrete graphs with our snowflakes. We used a ruler for our starting line and they figured out how they were going to create their graphs as a table team.  


When we came to school on Wednesday we could not find Snowflake anywhere but found this note instead.  You should have seen their little faces.  On the day previous one of the girls "almost" touched Snowflake.  There was quite an uproar about this.  They were really having a hard time with listening and following instructions too since the beginning of the week.  This was the perfect opportunity to try to reign them back in.  



Santa wrote us a letter telling us that Snowflake was staying at the North Pole for the day but he would be watching very closely to see if everyone was doing a better job of listening and following instructions.  Well let me tell you, this letter worked it's magic.  Everyone was far better behaved knowing that Snowflake's return was riding on their behaviour.  

We started our day working on letters to Snowflake since we could not write about him in our elf journals.  Everyone told him they missed him and that they would try harder to be better listeners.  I love the art work on the back of this letter!   




It was also Gingerbread day so a little stuffed gingerbread man hung out with us for the day instead. We read a classic version and talked about the character of the Gingerbread Man. We have been talking a lot about what characters are like on the outside (appearance) and inside (character traits). We brainstormed different character traits of the Gingerbread Man over the course of the story and noticed how his character changed.  Most kids thought he was very smart or clever in the beginning but near the end they were thinking of words like worried or nervous when he was riding on the fox's back.  They completed a writing activity to tell about one of the character traits and they had to back it up with evidence from the story.  You can get this freebie {HERE} or by clicking on the picture.  



Next we made our own Gingerbread man/girl ornaments with lots of stick on gems and things from the Dollar Store.  The yummiest part was tasting gingerbread and graphing whether we liked it or not. Everyone loved it!  Now I know what kind of cookies to make for next week. :)  



Today was all about reindeer!  We made our reindeer paintings for the parents and read about reindeer.  I had a lot more planned but our Christmas concert prep is taking a lot of time so we didn't get as much done as I would like.  There are the reindeer in progress and the finished framed gifts.  


It's Friday!  Finally....it has been a long week.  Today was our Jingle Bell Parade. We collect food for our local food banks and the whole school participated in a Jingle Bell Parade throughout our community.  We were supposed to dress up as Candy Canes - not sure how exactly we would have done that - so we all had giant candy canes I found at the Dollar Store - what would teachers do without the Dollar Store?  



Snowflake wanted in on the fun today so so he came dressed in a Christmas sweater and brought us candy canes - he hung them all over our Christmas tree.  I carried him during the parade.  All my previous students got very excited when they saw him.  He caused quite a stir!  



It was been a busy week but the busiest is yet to come.  Next week we have Grinch Day, our Christmas concert, Polar Express and not to mention all of the other things that go on.  

Do you have an elf that you are blogging about?  Link up and tell me all about your elf.  


An InLinkz Link-up

Until next time, 
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Elftastic Adventures - A Classroom Elf on the Shelf Link Up




It's back!  Last year I started this Linky and I am back with the adventures of Snowflake again!  Do you have a classroom elf?  If so, then come and link up and share all about your elf antics!  Grab this graphic to use and link back to this post.

Snowflake made his grand arrival on December 1st!  Santa and I have talked about this and I told him there was no way I could have a messy, crazy elf in my classroom.  He was kind enough to send us his most trustworthy and best behaved elf.  Phew!  I didn't think I could handle an elf who started our day off with crazy messes.  Santa even sent a letter with Snowflake to introduce him to us:

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This is how we found Snowflake on the 1st.  He was sitting in his favourite spot in the room - up high where he can see everyone and not be worried about someone touching him!


The students were super excited to meet him.  I was really hoping it was going help as we are starting to go a bit off the rails.

Wednesday we found him wrapping!


Snowflake wrapped up almost all of our Christmas books!  He brought a letter from Santa to to remind everyone to try to be better listeners!  Unfortunately it didn't really seem to help the ones  who really needed the reminder.  


This is one of my FAVOURITE Christmas in the classroom traditions.  The kids were beyond excited and wanted to open them all right then and there.  We counted to make sure that there was a present for everyone and sure enough there was. Now, when it is time to read a story, I use my random name chooser on my smartboard and the lucky student comes up to unwrap our story.



On Thursday Snowflake felt like he needed a better place to watch from and hung out in one of balls hanging from the ceiling.  He felt really safe there!  The kids are loving talking to him but he is not working his magic like he did with my class this year.  My class is super chatty and are really struggling to listen during lessons.  I might need to amp things up next week!


This was also the second day of our Elf Journal.  I love this freebie from Positively Teaching called Elf Antics!  She designed the pages to be super simple with just a little drawing spot.  I assembled the journals and each day the students find Snowflake and write about what he is doing.  They were pretty excited when I told them that they were taking the journal home when they left for Christmas #itsthelittlethings.



Today we also got started on one of my favourite craftivities which goes along with a Christmas poem I wrote that we are learning - Santa's Stuck!  We are working on it for our school Christmas concert in a few weeks.  You can find the poem by clicking {HERE} or the image below.


Our last Snowflake sighting this week found him reading with our class mascot Ellie, Santa, Hippo and some of the reading buddies.  He was enjoying the book we opened on the day before, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas.  He loves to read just as much as I do!



Today we worked on a craftivity to go with our Santa's Stuck poem.  This is such a cute story. We have a battered copy in our library and I guard it with my life as I have not seen it anywhere else and can't find a copy to buy.  I absolutely the love the ideas they come up with to free Santa from the chimney.  



Love their creativity!   

Are you ready to link up.  Click below to add your own post about your classroom elf.  I will be back next Friday night with another link up!  

Until then,

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