Category Archives: Uncategorized

On the 12th Day of Christmas…

On the 12th day of Christmas Creation Castle gave to me

But first here’s my answer to the 12 Holiday Questions:

1. What’s your favorite Holiday song?

I love all the traditional songs, but my recent favorite has been “His Favorite Christmas Story” by Capital Lights.

2. What’s your favorite holiday memory?

Every year, I still think back to when I was a little girl and the whole family would pile into my grandparent’s station wagon and we would look at Christmas lights. I love those sweet family memories!
3. What’s your favorite holiday indulgence?

Candy canes.. well the cherry flavored ones. I’m not a huge fan of peppermint. 

4. What’s your favorite holiday food?

My family doesn’t have a big traditional dinner. We always have crackers, cheese, and sausage on Christmas Eve.

5. What’s your favorite holiday craft?

I’m not a big crafter. This year my class made adorable elves and we all loved them! Definitely will be in the plans for next year.

6. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Spending Christmas Eve with my family opening presents. My parents and I always exchange the night before Christmas since there are no kids in the picture at the moment. Opening presents by firelight adds a bit of holiday magic to the moment.

7. What’s your favorite holiday movie?

The Grinch! I love both versions and the message it sends.

8. What do you get your class for a holiday gift?

I looked everywhere for a cheap set of books, but ended up giving them a holiday cup, candy cane straw, and a packet of hot cocoa.

9. What’s your favorite holiday thing to teach?

Christmas Around the World – it is so fun to explore different cultures with kids. We had a blast traveling through 8 countries in two weeks this year.

10. What’s your favorite holiday book?

Any Christmas book is good! I did stumble across a fun Santa coming to Texas story and Turkey Claus this year. My kids were rolling on the floor with laughter!

11. What’s your favorite holiday product?

Hard question… there are so many to choose from. I loved using Simply Kinder’s Holidays Around the World Craftivity Book this year!

12. What do you want Santa to bring you this year?

More time to sleep!

And now for the giveaway…enter below for a chance to win my Jan Brett Winter Books Unit!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the spirit of Christmas I have also included a freebie just for you! Click the image below to get Sums with Snowmen!

If you haven’t checked out the previous giveaways make sure you go enter to win

Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.
Christina Cragg Mauro's photo.

Don’t forget to come back on day 14 for a chance to win EVERYTHING!

Happy Holidays!


December Currently

Catching Up & Fun Announcements!

It’s hard to believe that December is right around the corner! This school year is flying by so quickly that I haven’t had time to sit down and create anything new for my store or update y’all on anything! So thanks for sticking around through my silence!
If you hang around on my Facebook page, you know that I was hired to teach kindergarten two weeks into the school year. Starting late in a grade you’ve never taught is a very daunting task. It wasn’t until half way though this week that I really ever felt caught up enough to even look at my blog!

So here is a quick glance into my Seuss themed room with some Pilgrim/Turkey/Native American flair for you.

My classroom has changed a million times in the short three months I’ve been working in it. I still haven’t found an arrangement that works perfectly for my students and me. Our classroom lacks some basics for a kinder class… like a big book stand! I am the 7th kinder teacher at my school in a district that only had two classes per grade level until a few years ago. Needless to say, my class has received the odds and ends left around the building – and I am grateful for all resources provided!

Yesterday I went up to school and started decorating my room for Christmas with some help! I am so excited to see the look on my students’ faces when they walk into our room on Monday. Here’s a sneak peek for you… although most of our decorations will be coming from student made crafts.

A few special announcements…
Have you heard about the annual Teachers Pay Teachers Cyber Monday sale? I’ll be filling my cart tomorrow and will share a few of the awesome finds I plan to snag for 28% off on Monday.

The December Facebook Frenzy is just around the corner! The dates are Dec. 6th-9th and there will be an abundance of resources available for free… but only for a limited time! I’ll be offering a winter verbs activity, so be sure to stop by and check it out.

And… I have a sweet surprise coming your way on the blog this month as well. Be sure to stay tuned and follow me through Bloglovin’ to get updates!
I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pin it to Win it!

Pin any item or items from our store for a chance to win them!

July… in June?

We’re linking up with Farley for her fun Currently of the month!

Make the Switch to Bloglovin’

Some of you may have heard that Google Reader is going away on July 1st {that’s only 5 days away!}. If you read most your blogs through Google Reader, we have a great new option for you!
Bloglovin is a fun site that gathers all the blogs you follow into one area. It is super easy to use AND to transition to. Simply sign-up through Bloglovin and it will automatically transfer the blogs you are already reading to your new account. Isn’t that awesome?!
For those of you who choose to switch over, we’ve got something special for you! Simply enter through the Rafflecopter widget below to win an item of your choice (for $10.00 or less) from our store! We will choose two winners!

Summer Substitute Series: Preparing Your Lesson Plans

We’re back again to talk about substitutes! Our thoughts for you today are short and sweet, but is something that is overlooked by most teachers sometimes.
Some schools require that teachers turn in their lesson plans each week/month/six weeks. Generally when you are writing lesson plans, it is simply to give yourself a basic guideline of what day of the week you are going to teach something. {Unless your admin makes you include your standards, goals, and all that other good stuff}. 
Regardless of what is required in your plans, usually you are not including specifics on what your students have learned on the topic, points that need to be covered, etc. Here a few things you might want to note in your plans to make sure your substitute is being an effective teacher and making progress while you are out of the classroom. 
1. Are you starting a new topic or is this something the students are familiar with? If you were teaching this particular lesson, you would know if the students have background knowledge on a topic, if you are six weeks into a subject and the students are mostly independent, etc. Let the substitute know how familiar your students are with a topic so they know how in depth their instructions and/or lecture on a topic should be.
2. Don’t assume your substitute knows everything about a topic. When you are teaching about Thomas Edison, either you have taught about him for years and know all the facts about him by memory or you have recently brushed up on your facts. Chances are you substitute was teaching fractions, P.E., or in the office the day before. They may be an expert on Edison, but probably not. Make sure they know enough information to effectively teach your students.
3. Leave detailed instructions or rules for independent, partner, or group work. Every teacher allows their students to do or not do certain things when you are not working as a whole class. Don’t make the substitute ask a student {who will probably take advantage of the situation} for the rules. Students love the question “What does your regular teacher do?”.
4. Be more specific than complete pages X-Z. Let your sub know if they need to teach, read aloud, have the students work independently, etc. Without specifics your substitute will waste more time during the day figuring what the students should be doing than actually getting things done.
Basically, we’re saying don’t just print out your regular lesson plans and expect the substitute to figure it out on their own. If you really want your students to keep learning while you are gone, take 20-30 minutes to type out some specifics for your substitute. It will make their day much easier and you should come back to a class who actually finished their assignments and gained some knowledge while you were gone.

Pinterest Board of the Week: Bulletin Boards

Most of us may be on summer vacation, but our Pinterest feed cannot tell the difference! It is amazing how many teachers are already thinking about ways to improve their class for next year.
One of our favorite things to browse on Pinterest is bulletin boards. We’ve been compiling some of our favorite pins on this board…

Anytime we see a cute bulletin board idea or fun door, we make sure to pin it to this board. These are great for finding inspiration to decorate your own class.

Check out these other awesome boards we’ve found!

Change: to become or make different

We’ve been hard at work the last few days making changes to our blog! Like many of our fellow teacher-author-bloggers sometimes there are a zillion too many things going on at once. One of our goals this summer is to give our blog all the attention it deserves.
Let us know in the comments what your thinking about as your summer begins… or how your surviving until summer does start!

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary