Holy Moly! I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. I'm still here; I'm still around. :) I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. My parents came up for a visit. We had a wonderful time exploring Virginia Beach and Edenton, North Carolina, baking, and just getting to spend time together.
Big news: I am now a Grad Student!!! I start in January. It's been over 10 years since I was in college. Eek! I'm very excited and nervous. I hope this will help me feel a bit more connected to the teaching community again. Being out of the classroom has left me feeling a bit removed from all of the wonderful things I see in bloggy world.
Another big development is that my hubby and I BOUGHT A HOUSE! We close on January 30th. (I do nothing by halves. Start college again and move? Sure! Why not???) :P I can't wait to move into something of our own. OMG- we can paint! Living in base housing or rentals has left this gal a little tired of white walls!
I made these last year when we lived in Hawaii. :)
Hubby said they needed a little something extra. LOL
Decorate a Gingerbread Man Here's a link to a great Gingerbread Man pattern from Disney Family Fun. It prints 2 to a page! There's also a snowman pattern included on the PDF. Here's one with more detail to use as a guide for little ones. Print on brown construction paper and let the kids decorate with crayons, yarn, wiggly eyes... You could mix up a batch of colored glue to act as frosting. Just put a few drops of food coloring into each glue bottle. If the glue bottles are too large for little hands, put the glue in these. They are easier to handle. :) These would look great on a bulletin board covered in foil. "We've got a great batch!"
Gingerbread Man Dramatic Play Sparklebox has a great set of masks to place in your Dramatic Play area! In fact, they have a whole section of fantastic resources. Click on the pic below and thank me later! :D
3D Gingerbread Houses
This was great fun in my PreK class in San Diego!
Collect milk cartons, rinse, and let dry. Send a shout out to families for plain ole paper plates, canned frosting (vanilla looks like snow), graham crackers, and various candies such as M&Ms, gumdrops, candy canes (miniature), flaked coconut for snow, sprinkles/jimmies, etc. We used craft sticks for spreaders. Oh, and lots of wipes! This project is lots of sticky fun. Let the kiddos have a ball frosting the cartons, sticking graham crackers to them to make their house, and decorating them however they choose. They work really hard on this and are sooo proud of their creations. Handy tips: Spread a little frosting on the bottom of the milk cartons to stick them to the plates. Give each kiddo their own dollop of frosting on their plate so they can double-dip all they want. Ha! If you like, add a little food coloring to some of the frosting set out in bowls to add a little extra color to the projects. Be sure you have written the kiddos names on the plate edge beforehand and caution them NOT to cover it up. :D Break up the graham crackers ahead of time into squares and small rectangles. Be sure to set out small amounts of each candy rather than bowl-fuls of each type or the kiddos will decorate their houses by the HANDFUL!
Assessment Making Learning Fun also made a nice set of number/numeral assessments with a Gingerbread theme. For each correct answer, have the kiddos place a dot sticker or bingo dot the answer. You could also use these for Bingo games if you laminate them or place them in clear sheet protectors.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium to large saucepan. I didn't give measurements for the spices- just keep adding until you get the scent you want. Mix the water and oil together and add to the dry ingredients. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Turn the dough out of the pan and (wearing gloves) knead the mixture until it is smooth. Be careful! It is hot. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. Place the dough, along with cookie cutters, rolling pins, cookie sheets, etc. in your fine motor/playdough area.
Christmas Cookies Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles
These are on my TPT page. Hop over and check them out. If you like them, please leave some comment love!
Please let me know where I got this from! After reading the story, focus on the page where the Gingerbread Man is on the fox's back as they cross the river and he gets wet. The Gingerbread Man tells the fox he is "melting". Give the kiddos Teddy Grahams (or bake up a batch of Gingerbread men) and cups of milk. Have them dunk the cookies in milk to see if the Gingerbread men really melt. Talk about what the word "dissolve"means. Place one cookie in a clear container of water for students to observe and record (draw) their findings. Time it! How long does it take for the Gingerbread Man to completely dissolve?
That's all I have for now. I have to go to hubby's Holiday Party at work- I honestly forgot it was tonight! Eeek!