We have been up to our heads in parent gifts!  We made 4 different crafts for our sweet parents this year.  First up, we made these adorable Christmas trees that have been all over Pinterest.  We used Christmas scrapbook paper and cut it into different size strips.  It's a great activity for incorporating largest to smallest.

We made these super cute thumbprint ornaments.  

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product.  But here is the original source.

These were my favorite gifts we made.  We picked up these pots at Ikea on our latest trip.  They wrote with a sharpie "There's Snow Place Like Home."  We used cotton balls to dab on white acrylic paint for the snow on the bottom.  The littles then made the snowmen with 3 fingers painted in white acrylic paint.  Once they dried, They used colored sharpies to draw the rest.  Do not spray when finished if you use sharpies like we did.  The colors will smear.  You probably could spray with a clear spray paint to seal it if you used acrylic paint on the scarves and noses.

Finally, we made Christmas cards for the parents.  Rayann picked up these cute photo props at Hobby Lobby.  I brought my DSLR and we had a little photo shoot!  We were originally going to frame these, but I just couldn't find anything cute for frames.  So I picked up this pack of 50 cards at Hobby Lobby for $9.99.  But they were half off, so I just paid $5.  I also picked up some Washi tape there, too, to match the props.  

I attached the photos to the cards with rubber cement and then put the Washi tape in each corner.  The kids wrote a message inside for their parents.  

Once we got it all finished, we put the ornaments in the pot with some tissue paper.  Then we wrapped them in cellophane and put a ribbon on it.  I forgot to take a picture of that, too!  By the time our Christmas Grinch party was over, my brain was fried!  We had grinch punch and bought the kids breakfast.  I didn't take pics of that either...  Oh well.  I'll leave you with a picture of the three of us leaving Ikea Atlanta last Saturday.  We took a girl's trip down there and loaded up!  I just love spending time with these girls!

 Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!  

One of our second grade common core standards is using information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.  I love to use the story Officer Buckle and Gloria to teach this skill.  
It's also in our reading series.  We talked about how important illustrations are for helping us understand what we are reading.  They love seeing what Gloria will be up to next in the illustrations.

I made this little recording sheet for students to record illustrations from any story.  You could have them write the page number of the illustration or have them sketch the illustrations from the story.  They then use the box below each to record what they learned from the illustration that they would not have otherwise learned from the text.  You can grab this freebie by clicking on the pic below.

I also want to share with you a book my dear friend just had published.  You can check out her Indiegogo project {HERE}.  

We have this great historical mill in our community that has been restored and is now a restaurant and event venue.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  

Her children's book is about a boy who strikes out on his own to discover the mystery of electricity but get into trouble along the way.  There is so much you could do with this book in the classroom!  I hope you will check it out, especially if you live in the middle Tennessee area.  Connie has been a teacher for years and has a true writing talent!  She only has 8 more days for the project to be funded.  The book will then be sold at The Readyville Mill.  

And so sorry for the leave of absence from the blog!  If you're still here, thank you!!!  And thank you for supporting my TPT store.  It means the world to me!  The flu has struck my classroom with a vengeance!  I had never had it before until last week.  And I don't ever want to see that bug again!!!!  Happy Tuesday!