Gift Tags for the HOME!

I just posted some free gift tags for you students, but here are some you can you use for YOUR friends and family!  I just started wrapping my gifts (late, I know...) and I didn't have any tags!  I made these bad boys, printed them out, and added them to my presents.  :)


Click HERE to download! :)

P.S. I LOVE being at the mall during the Christmas season.  I love the hustle and bustle, the crowds, the long lines, the Christmas decorations...all of it!  But I have a new conclusion.  I love it BEFORE December 20th.  I went to the mall yesterday and seriously wanted to pull my hair out...it took me 45 minutes just to get out of the mall traffic!  I totally envy those people that are done with their shopping before Thanksgiving, but I am SO not one of those people.  Here is a picture of Herc...and this is how tired I felt after braving the mall...


(omg he is so cute!!!)

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Christmas Gift Tags

I was just sharing on my Instagram (@ApplesAndAbcs) that I am wrapping my students' Christmas gifts.  I made these cute little tags to add to the gift.  Some lovely ladies asked if I would share them, so I hopped on the computer to see if anyone else wanted them too!


I have two different versions that you can download.  If you are computer savvy, then there is an EDITABLE version for you.  You just download the PPT, and type in your own name and print!  

If you just want to write your own name in, then you can download the PDF!



I hope these little tags will be helpful for you!  Hopefully you aren't as last minute as I am! ;)

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Christmas for the Classroom Giveaway

We are having an AMAZING Christmas for the Classroom Giveaway!  I am so excited to be partnering with some brilliant bloggers to giveaway one GRAND prize...and several small prizes along the way!  

Here on my blog, I am giving away something that is a MUST in the classroom: a set of 17 colorful Expo Markers.  During this time of the year, I have lost some of mine, or they are starting to get dried up, so I thought it would be a good prize to share with you, too!  


Enter to win the markers below!



For the grand prize we are giving away wireless HP laser printer!  This is seriously the best printer ever and one of YOU could win!!!!





Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers that are participating in this giveaway!  Each person is having a giveaway on their blog, so make sure you hop around and participate!!
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Gingerbread Man Painting

We are studying The Gingerbread Man all week long!  I am reading all of the different gingerbread stories and the kids are LOVING it!  I decided to try a gingerbread painting with them!  


First, we wrote a sentence about the story, suing simple sentences and sight words! ;)


Then I traced a gingerbread outline on a piece of large construction paper.  The kids painted the inside of the lines brown.


Ok, I don't know if this is a horrible idea, because it isn't washable (shhhhh), but I let them make squiggly lines with puffy paint.  I won't do this again next year, just because eventually someone will get paint on their clothes.  This went smoothly though, I monitored a table of them all painting at once and we didn't have any problems!  #Iluckedout


The following day we painted white eyes, three glitter buttons, and one red smile!



Download the gingerbread and writing template HERE!

Along with this painting craft we have been using parts of my Gingerbread Language Arts and Math Unit!  





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Facebook FREEBIE Hop!!!

We are having a Facebook Freebie Hop!!! Hop through the bloggers' Facebook pages and get 13 freebies along the way!
Head to my Facebook page to get started!
(click on the image below!)


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Gingerbread Man: A Christmas Book Inspired Craft

I’m joining in with a few of my friends to bring you a collection of holiday themed books and some inspired crafts and activities.

December is always an exciting time of year, full of joy and wonder for young children.  To capture this, I want to share some gingerbread activities with you!

The Gingerbread Man
(You can pick up a copy on Amazon)

Here is my Gingerbread Math and Language Arts Unit that I LOVE using with my class!


I am just teaching my students how to "clap" syllables.  They LOVE using this center as they practice sorting the pictures by the number of syllables that they hear.


We are practicing counting and matching it with the number.  I have some advanced students that are able to actually read the number word!  This activity allows me differentiate among my learners.


The students have the MOST fun making the gingerbread craft!!! I let them pick if they want to make the boy or girl!



I found these gingerbread cookies at my local Albertons grocery store!  I want to have them decorated as a boy and girl, and then we can all eat a piece after we read the story!


If you want a chance to win a copy of my gingerbread unit.. please enter below!


There are so many more holiday books that have AMAZING resources to accompany them!!!  Hop through the blogs below to see all of the bloggers that have linked up!



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Dab it! Sight Word Practice

I am having an EXTREMELY difficult time getting my students to memorize the sight words.  It is seriously like pulling teeth this year.  I needed something fun and engaging to get them excited about practicing the words.  I noticed that they LOVED using the paint dabbers...I thought I would combine the two!


 I bought my paint dabbers at Michaels craft store, but I know you can buy them at any teacher supply store.  I also found them at the Dollar Tree!!!


Each sheet focuses on a different sight word.  When I gave these to my students, I was able to differentiate and give them a specific word that they needed practice on!  This sight word practice pack focuses on the Dolch Pre-Primer words.



Some teachers asked how I make sure they don't make a mess with the paint.  I told my students that they got ONE chance to use them correctly.  They were allowed to dab each sight word one time.  If I saw them messing around with the paint, I took it away and they had to complete the assignment using a crayon instead... it worked like a charm! ;)


Another one of our weaknesses is learning the color words.  This became apparent when we were reading our decodable or doing a color by color word math assignment.  I changed the theme of the Dab the Color Word pack to superheros!  The kids LOVED this one!!!!




The students channeled their inner superhero to practice reading color words.  They were completely engaged when we were doing this dabber activity!

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Spider Bulletin Board

For some reason kids LOVE learning about spiders!  That makes me happy because I LOVE teaching about them!  We made some SpOoKy spiders and wrote a sentence on them.  Check out our cute spider bulletin board!


We did this project over two days.  The first day we made the spider craft.  I gave each of them the oval to cut out and they had to make the bumpy legs.  They were really good about helping each other if their partner was having trouble folding the legs correctly.  


After school, I glued the sentence strip on all of their spiders.  Normal I have my students do this, but with this particular class I decided to have it prepared for them.  It ended up being a good choice on my part! ;)

We all wrote, "I see a spider."  This was a directed writing, and we wrote the sentence during our small group time.


Here are our spiders happily hanging on their spider web!


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Trick and Treat with Freebielicious

Fall is upon us and that means it's time for some Teaching Trick & Treating!


 That's right... I have teamed up with my Freebielicious friends again to share some teaching tricks and special treats for you!!!  First things first, I want to share my TRICK!!!

Kids LOVE painting, but it is super difficult when the kids get covered in paint!  I have learned a little trick over the years to help keep their little hands clean!


Here is the tip:  Use a clothespin and pinch a small piece of sponge!  The kids sponge paint and their hands stay CLEAN!!!  This easy tip will go a long way when it comes to saving time in your classroom!





My treat is part of a math lesson that I used when my principal observed me! ;)  My students are having trouble with ordering numbers.  I made these fall leaves for the students to place in the pocket chart.  



To incorporate ELD (English Language Development) we practiced saying, "I see number ____."  They each had their turn pointing at a number in the pocket chart while saying the number sentence!

For extra practice, I made number necklaces and we practiced standing in the correct number order.  The kids that didn't have a number necklace where my helpers and we made sure the numbers were in order.  


Click HERE to grab this freebie!


Hop along to the next Freebielicious friend {Mrs Hoffer's Spot} to see what her Trick & Treat is!

Mrs. Hoffers Spot


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Halloween DIY Centers

I am ALL about centers that I don't have to cut and laminate.  During each holiday season, I go hunting through the dollar bin at Target, 99 Cents Store, or the Dollar Tree.  I found some Halloween items at these stores to help our basic math skills in the classroom.


I wrote numbers 0-10 on this beach ball Jack-o-lantern.  We are having a difficult time remembering our numbers, so I thought this would be a fun activate to get them engaged in memorizing the numbers.


During small group time, we sat in a circle and (GENTLY) tossed the pumpkin to a friend across the circle.  The student caught the pumpkin and read a number that they could see.  They had to point to it and show the group the number as they said it. 


One of my favorite DIY centers are making shakers out of paint cans from Lakeshore!  I just add seasonal goodies into the jar, write numbers or letters on a cube, then the students shake and write what they see.


Some of my kids had never seen or tried candy corn before, so I HAD to add it to the shakers.  And who doesn't love googly eyes?!?!  The students were SO excited to shake and record what they could see.


They write what they see on white boards.  Once they are finished, they read aloud all of the numbers that they wrote down!


I also put out my Fall 10 Fame Mats for the kids to practice counting.  They used small Halloween erasers to use as counting pieces.  


My FAVORITE math center was matching spooky eyeballs with the number trays!  I found these at the Dollar Tree.  My students are seriously struggling with number recognition, so I am trying to get as many simple number centers going as I can think of.


To play, the students pick an eyeball, and match it to the 10 frame ice cube tray.



The students loved working together to get their trays filled up!  I could hear them counting, helping correct each other, and having fun at the same time!


What kind of Halloween centers do you use in your class?


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