Skunks at Christmas Time

I've been trying to teach about mammals now because I'm moving on to penguins and then oviparous animals when we return to school.  To make sure I cover everything, I've been teaching about a different mammal each day for the past couple of weeks.

It's amazing how much children learn in just a few short months.  My kids were reading and writing in their science logs and one of them showed me how long his entry was for the day and it was over a page long!  Yes, I know he didn't start from the left margin, but he has improved so much from the beginning of the year.

Here is a sample from the first day of school:
He actually went back on his own to his beginning of the year entry and he was shocked at how he used to write. He said he couldn't even read what he wrote back then.

And here he is now:
He was so proud of himself!  And so was I!

We also learned about skunks and wrote about them.  I used Cara Carroll's Camping Unit for this adorable craftivity.  I chose to show you these two because they made everyone smile:)  Warning...They may not be the most factual pieces of work. 
 Here is another one.  This one is priceless!
We ended the week with a visit from two special people.
Santa and...
our dear friend Jack!  He even sent us a special gift from the North Pole...an ant farm!  It made it on time to be unwrapped by the end of the day!  How did Jack know that I didn't want anything with hair or that needed to be taken home on the weekends??  He knows it all I guess :)
I am linking up with Teaching Maddeness for Flashback Friday.  Now it's your turn to link up!






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The World's Best Sharpener

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I got an opportunity to try out the famous sharpener everyone has been talking about.  I kept thinking...is this sharpener for real?  Will it really last and sharpen all types of pencils like people keep saying?  Well, I'm here to say that I'm a believer!

I have now had this sharpener for about 5 months! Yep, not a couple of days, I've been using it heavily for 5 months now.  We are never in shortage of good sharpened pencils now because of our trusty sharpener. 

This is what it looks like closed:
 When you open it up, it looks like this:
You squeeze the top black parts to open the entrance for the pencil and sharpen away!  The metal piece pulls the pencil in as you sharpen the pencil.  So easy!

I have some really helpful moms this year and they all want to help me.  So once or twice a week the moms rotate taking a box of pencils home and sharpen them with this sharpener.  Makes my life so much easier!!  I found a tote bag in my room that they can put the box and sharpener in.  The next day the pencils come back nice and sharp!
 Just take a look at how sharp these are after the sharpener has been used on a daily basis for 5 months! 
Would you like to pick up your own?  They are very inexpensive and if you can get together with your team mates, you can order them in multiple quantities and save on each sharpener!

Click on the picture below to go shopping for your very own at Classroom Friendly Supplies!
Thanks to Troy for giving me the chance to use this awesome new tool! 



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Elf On The Shelf

We've been having so much fun with our dear friend Jack.  To get us started we did some elf activities.

We applied to be Santa's Elves first.

This activity is so cute! This idea is from Cupcake for the Teacher.  The original idea was for the kids to create a face and to write a story about elves.  But I wanted the kids to dress up as elves instead and we attached the elf application to the body.  Soooo cute! If you look closely you can even see that the kids had to get finger printed to apply :) Everything here is included in her file.
 The kids blended in so well that Jack wanted to hang out with the rest of his elf friends!
We are so fortunate in having Santa come to our school every year.  Jack left the morning of Santa's visit. How else would he tell Santa who was naughty and who was nice??  I then snuck up to speak with Santa right before my kids got to go to him and asked him to say a little something about Jack.  The kids freaked! They kept talking about how Jack is now at the North Pole and how he is the newest elf:)

I have some more stuff in store for my kids with our little elf friend.  He may be gone but he has not left our hearts!

I am linking up with:
Click here to link up your Elf ideas.

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