12.24.2012

I Truly Believe! {Fun Freebies}

Is everyone enjoying their break as much as I am?! This is the life :) I love having time to think, breathe, and totally veg out. Right now I am surrounded by: puppies, blankets, cheez doodles, and sweet tea! I do miss my little angels though, we had such a good time on our last week together celebrating the Polar Express. On Monday, the kids wrapped their gifts for their parents that we FINALLY got finished with. They took a loooong time, but the outcome was completely adorable. I bought an awesome Handprint Calendar kit from Katie Mense on TPT. The calendar pages and headings were fantastic and I was so thankful to have that work already done for me. Getting everything printed in color and having all the handprints done before break was a serious challenge though. It was such a relief to have them done! Here's how they turned out:
 
 
 
The kids brought them home with them on Monday to put under their trees until Christmas day. On Tuesday, Sprinkles had a super special surprise waiting for the kids when they got to school. He had a letter from Santa and golden container labeled "Reindeer Food".
We read the cute rhyming letter from Santa together. It explained that Rudolph was worried that they might not find everyone's home on Christmas Eve, so he devised a plan. By sending our class the magical ingredients, they would be able to make a special batch of reindeer food that will lead Santa's sleigh straight to their house.
 The kids pulled all of the ingredients out of the jar. Inside they found magic glitter, oats, and sprinkles. 
 They scooped a bit of each into their own baggies to take home with them. After they had all the ingredients mixed up in their bag, I stapled a bag topper on each one. The back of the bag topper has another little poem to remind them what to do when they get home.


 To get a copy of the adorable letter from Santa and the bag toppers with the little poem, click on the picture below. It is on sale 20% off until the 26th! It's a great snag for next year.
And now let's talk about the POLAR EXPRESS!! This year I went a little crazy, I must say. But it was totally worth it because the kids had a total blast. We started by reading the story, of course! I turned out all the lights and read it using a lantern that I had from my 'hurricane kit' at home. It looked just like the train headlight :) The kids were completely engrossed in the story. The next day we re-read the book and discussed our favorite memories from the book. We created a graph to see what the most popular part was. With this graph, the students were able to retell the story and create a graph that represents their favorite part! Each student got a printed mug with their name on the front. They then added marshmallows to the top to represent the number of letters in their name. I also created story retell cards to help the kids understand which part of the story the pictures represented. After completing their mug and listening to the story retell cards, they glued their mug on the graph above their favorite part of the story!
How cute is she with her little pinky up?! Ha!



You can purchase the graph parts and story retell cards from my TPT store while they are on SALE by clicking the picture below!
The next day was our Polar Express Pajama Party!Woo hoo! I sent home a cute invitation to remind the parents about the pajamas. Click the picture below to grab your FREEBIE! I printed it on goldish colored paper to make it look more like a ticket.

Don't they all look so cute in their pajamas? I set up the train tracks leading into our room where the big train was set up! It took me foooooorever to get that train finished. I had to work a little Christmas magic just to get it to stand up.

  
As the kids boarded the train, I passed out a ticket to each of them. I hole punched the tickets on one side, just like the conductor in the movie!
To grab your ticket FREEBIE click on the picture below!
I set up a hot cocoa and snack bar and as the kids watched the movie on the train, they came up to get some goodies! They looooved adding the toppings to the hot cocoa all by themselves. They added about a million different toppings too! HA!

After the movie was over, there was a knock on our door. A package had been delivered from the North Pole to our class! It was from Santa himself and it was still ice cold from the snow. (I kept the box in the freezer overnight to be sure it would be extra icy! Even the bells were frigid when we opened it) The kids ripped open the package and found the first gift of Christmas for them - magical bells! I found the adorable little boxes at Walmart for only $2 for 6. I added some polyfill for the snow and attached a sweet poem to remind kids what the bell represents. If you would like to use the poem with your kids next year, you can get a copy by clicking the picture below while it is on sale!





 The kids left the room absolutely ecstatic. They had soooo much fun and all the hard work was worth it. I could never get tired of the Polar Express.
And that was it - Christmas Break time - yay!!
This was probably the longest post ever, but I have more time on my hands then usual, being that it's Christmas break and all!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! I HOPE YOU HAVE A LOVE AND JOY FILLED HOLIDAY WITH THOSE CLOSE TO YOU! AND MAY RUDOLPH & THE OTHER REINDEER VISIT YOUR HOME TONIGHT :)

11 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness - your calendars turned out SO super cute & I love everything you did with the Polar Express. I bet your kids had a blast! Thanks for following me on TpT & I am excited to be your newest follower on here. I'd love for you to visit sometime!! :)

    Kelly
    First Grade Fairytales

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    1. Thank you soooo much! They just love the Polar Express :) Thank you for being my newest follower, I'm so excited! I cannot wait to check out your blog as well!!

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  2. What a terrific freebie! I can't stop looking at all your great pictures!
    Thank you for sharing this at TBA, have a wonderful weekend!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

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    1. Thank you so much Fern! Your comments are so sweet :) you are so awesome! I cannot wait to check out your amazing blog! Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year!

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  3. Wow! The look on the kid's faces says it all! I love the Polar Express train. You did a fantastic job with all of it. I also love your calendars! I am so thrilled to one of your new followers.

    Ann-Marie
    mrsparisisclass.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you very much Ann-Marie. Your comments are so sweet and mean a lot to me :) thanks a bunch for stopping by!

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  4. very engaging activities.

    A new follower
    Lusine

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    1. Hi Lusine! Thank you for your compliment! I worked ridiculously hard that week to get everything done on time, but the kids just had a blast so it was all worth it. I appreciate your following and can't wait to check out your blog!

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  5. Hi! I found your blog through Jill at Cruz'n in First. LOVE your Polar Express Celebration!!!! The smiles on the kids' faces says it all- sounds like you had a blast. :) I can't wait to browse around on your site. I love your energy- it's contagious!

    Rhiannon
    Sliding Into First

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    1. Hi Rhiannon!! Thanks a million, your comments were so super sweet :) I am so glad you found me - I can't wait to check out your blog!

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  6. I love the idea of the calendar. Is there somewhere to buy and download the poems on the pages?

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