Take Me Back Tuesday Wednesday

I know it's technically Wednesday but I was looking through some older posts and came across this gem.  This is a REALLY old post (November 2011!) but I was just starting the handprint calendars with my kiddos and we had just made our Christmas Chain countdowns.  I know we're already 4 days into December but it's not too late to make a countdown! A few of the links are a little outdated.  Here's the Little Giraffee information about the Handprint calendars. I didn't do mine exactly like theirs but pretty close.  You can read more about our previous calendars HERE. For some reason I didn't take many pictures of the calendars last year, this was all I could find.

I laminate the front cover and then bind all the pages using an ancient comb binder.  I also then have all the kids wrap their calendar and fill out a name tag for whoever they want to give it to.  The calendars are a ton of work (and messy!) but I always had such nice feedback from parents.  I am sad that I won't be able to make them this year since I don't technically have a "class".

 Unfortunately, I couldn't find a 2014 Calendar template but, in years past I have printed a large horizontal monthly calendar and simply put the handprints at the top without the poems. 

Originally Posted 11/22/11
How difficult is it to teach before a holiday?  We had 2 1/2 days this week which isn't really long enough to teach new objectives so, we did some fun things.  (shh...don't tell anyone) My kiddos had review Thanksgiving themed centers to work on because if I don't give them a center contract they get mad.  I tried this once, you know to shake things up and they were seriously upset.  I guess they just love the routine, so I gave them "fun" centers that focused on thanksgiving themed activities but still put them on their literacy contract so it looked like normal but really I snuck in some fun things.  Aren't I so sneaky : )

Well we also started some Christmas things just to get a head start.  The three weeks after Thanksgiving break just FLY by so, I wanted to make sure our christmas chains and calendars were done or at least started.  We started our handprint calendars that I mentioned before.  I am pretty excited that I am up to April already!!  (minus the kids that were absent and need to catch up when they return) Here are some pictures of what we have done so far, please keep in mind that this is times 20 and I have no assistant (to be fair I do have one but she is only with me once a week and has not been able to join in on the painting fun) or aid or volunteer parent.  Just me, painting ALOT.  They really are just so stinkin' cute which makes it worth it.  Plus they get so excited when we wrap them up and they get to take them home to put under the tree.  The easiest part of this project is that all of the pages are available for FREE download from The Little Giraffes.  You can download the calendar pages by clicking, here!

 We also cut and stapled our Christmas chains to start the countdown on December 1st.  The kiddos all cut their own strips. When I taught kinder and 1st I pre-cut the strips but my 2nd graders had no problem cutting strips.  Some were just a bit skinny or fat but they worked out in the end. I gave them each a piece of red and a piece of green paper.  They each cut 12 red strips and 12 green strips.  I did have to staple all of them which is a tad time consuming but I made some then took a break and then made some more.  You can see them hanging in the hallways ready for December 1st below!

 We stapled the bell to the last loop at the top.  This bell is from the oldest workbook ever.  I'm talking it had purple copy edges like from a rizzo machine when they copied in purple (anyone remember those or still have those at your school??) So, I made a new bell with the poem and you can download it for FREE by clicking on the link under the picture.  Thanksgiving break is so close,  I can't wait for 4 days of sleeping in!

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