What a joy it is to be on my Thanksgiving Break! I hope you are getting to rest this week as well!
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is time for me to reveal my table decorations for this year.
We had our annual feast last Wednesday and it was quite successful! I can’t ever let this day go by without putting some cute decorations on our table.
For the past 2 years, I have made sure that my table decorations have items on them that the families can take home. I knew that I wanted to make turkey handprint paintings but I wanted to do them a little differently this year.
So off I went to my favorite craft resource site…..Pinterest!
I found instructions to make these….
The entire project was a little more time consuming than making the handprints on potholders. However, the results were well worth it!
Click HERE to find the instructions on this cute turkey display. The instructions came from Stacy at “Things to Share and Remember”. Two things I did differently: 1. I didn’t make a name card to glue on the front. (I just ran out of time!) 2. I used a rectangle cut from a brown paper lunch bag for the back piece instead of cardboard.
Do you notice the pumpkins in the picture?!? They were my favorite!!! I. LOVED. Them!! These decorations were very easy! However, they can be costly. They were well worth it for me, though. Can you guess what it is giving the pumpkin effect? It is a roll of toilet paper. The single roll of paper that you buy.
that makes me wonder who buys single rolls of toilet paper?!?!
The picture above shows the one I made at home. Click HERE to get the instructions for these. I found them from Montserrat. Her blog is called Cranial Hiccups. My pumpkins look a little rounder, because I wrapped some tissue paper around the toilet roll before I covered it with the fabric.
Here are 2 of my little kinder turkeys enjoying themselves on our feast day!!
You may have noticed the little cards on the table. What I do there, is this:
I find out what every kinder is thankful for and why. Then, I type that on a template. Next, I take pictures of each child using some really cute photo props I found for free!! Then, I put the pics on the template as well. Next, I print them in color, and laminate them. They fold easily. One of my teacher friends mounted hers on colored cardstock and that element added some depth as well.
These photo props are so cute! There are several to choose from. Click HERE to get your own Thanksgiving photo props.
I have a thankful turkey that the Kinder Cubs do as a home project. It is so sweet! I cut out turkey feathers using black poster board. Then the students take them home and decorate them to show what they are thankful for.
Here are a couple of pictures:
What thrilled me this year was that each kindergarten class had their own Thankful Turkey. They looked awesome displayed in our hall!
Well Thanksgiving is almost upon us……
I have so much to be thankful for and I hope that you will find much to be thankful for as well!!
I thought it may be fun to make my five into thankful points at school.
I am thankful for my blog!!
I know I don’t have thousands of readers to my blog….
yet…..(I am still hopeful that someday, my numbers will reach to a thousand….goal setting at its finest!!)
However, I think of my blog as a journal of my teaching experiences with my awesome Kinder Cubs
and the privilege of what I get to do with them on a daily basis!
I can’t tell you how often I go back on different posts of mine and look at things I may have done in the past to see what I did and how it looks so I can model it for this year!!
Well, this week, I had to do a lot of that because I ended up repeating a few things I did last year.
I know I could look back on my lesson plans, but Y’all!! I need pictures!!
I am thankful for my home projects!!
When I began teaching kindergarten 4 years ago, I decided to start having a monthly home project. Each month, I have something special that I want the families to work on together. For November it was a Thankful Turkey Feather. I get black poster board and trace and cut out turkey feathers.
I can usually get about 3-4 on a poster board.
Then, on their November homework sheet, I type this on it:
Thankful Feathers: Your child has a cardboard replica of a turkey feather. It needs to be decorated with things that represent what he/she are thankful for. It can be photographs, stickers, pictures from magazines. The sky is the limit!! This will give an opportunity for you to talk to your child about thankfulness and what that means. The feathers will be displayed on our turkey display. Before I display the feathers, each child will give a presentation and talk about the things he/she are thankful for.
Then, I set a deadline.
I had all but 1 child turn his/hers in and they all loved talking about their own feather!! Usually, if a child doesn’t turn in a home project, I send a reminder home or I get my paraprofessional or a volunteer to help the child complete his/hers. The child who was missing hers is not one who has done that this year, so I left a spot for her in case she brought it the next day.
I took brown butcher paper and found a large circle and medium circle in my classroom (a small round table and a base to my globe) and I traced and cut those out. Then I free handed the feet, waddle, beak and eyes. I cut those out. Next, I found a nice big spot on a wall. I taped up the circles. Then glued the pieces on an…..
Voila!! a Thankful Turkey was created!!
I am thankful for our Thanksgiving Feast!!
Every year at our school, we have a Thanksgiving Feast for PreK, Kindergarten, and First Grade.
We all enjoy decorating our tables with items that our kiddos have made.
For the 3rd year in a row, I have used the burlap that you see pictured above to decorate my tables. It is so easy!! I’ve used butcher paper in the past, but this burlap is so durable. If anything gets on it, we just wipe it off, leave it out to dry and then I just roll it back up to save for the next year!!
I’m telling you!! I love it!!
For my decorations this year, I made my tried and true handprint turkey painted on a potholder.
Here’s a little picture tutorial of how I do these little keepsakes. After the brown paint dries, I paint a different color on the other 4 fingers and they press them right above the brown turkey body. Then, with yellow, and red paint, I help them free hand feet, beak, and a waddle. Next, I get a black sharpie and make a little dot for the eye. To finish the keepsake off, I write the year on the back and tie a little yellow yarn bow around the loop.
This year, I used blue potholders instead of red and I liked that better!! These potholders were just 2 for 88 cents at Walmart!! What a bargain!!
Do you like the photo prop pics? I had the best time creating these!!
I found the photo props from Pinterest.
Click HERE to get your free Thanksgiving photo props!
I put a piece of blue butcher paper as a back drop on my board and then I let each kinder cub choose a hat and food prop or the “so thankful” sign. After I took each picture, I had the them developed. Then I cut cardstock in half lengthwise and glued the photo on 1 side. On the other side, I made a border using power point and I typed what the kinder was thankful for and typed his/her name with the year. I printed each one out and cut around the border and glued it to the other side of the photo card.
Then, I laminated each one. As the decoration on the table, I folded them to set up like a placecard.
I have to say…..as I say A LOT….
I LOVED IT!!
Here is a pic collage of a fun time at lunch!
I take pictures of each family with their child and got them processed.
Then, I will write a note to each child about what it is about him/her that I’m thankful for and put the picture in the note as well. I will get the notes in the mail before Thanksgiving. It is just a simple way that I make sure my precious kinder cubs know they are loved by their teacher!
I am thankful for reading!!
I think just about every time that I blog, I add in about how I adore the Guiding Reader series that I use from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills! Well in the November packet, there is a unit about the book Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. I love reading this book aloud to the kids and they did a great job with comprehending it and writing about it. One activity that we did was to unscramble a sentence and learn how to draw the turkey when he was disguised like a rooster. Y’all!! My kinders love to see the step by step directions on how to draw and they do such a fine job with it!
Look at these drawings and see for yourself!!
On Friday, a 3rd grade class came into our classroom and each 3rd grader took one (or 2) of my kinder cubs and read to them. My teacher friend of the class, had the student pick out the book he/she was going to read and they practiced the day before. Not only did they read to my kinders, they asked engaging questions to encourage my kinders’ comprehension skills.
Now here is the kicker…..
These 3rd graders earned a reward for making good behavior choices.
They voted on what they wanted to do as a treat and reading to my kinder cubs was the winner!!
Isn’t that just simply awesome!!
Here is a pic of a few of them reading:
Doesn’t that just make your teacher heart go pitter patter!! I know!! Me too!!
I love giveaways!!
This weekend, I have entered a few giveaways and it is time that I have one as well!! I am so thankful that you are reading my blog. It truly makes be feel even more blessed!! So to possibly help you with your Black Friday shopping, I am giving away ….
A $25 Walmart Card (applause inserted here)
a $25 Target Card (applause inserted here)
$10 TpT gift certificate (can I hear applause here again! :)!
So just get on the Rafflecopter below and enter!!
I will choose the winners on Wednesday evening , Nov. 23rd around 10pm.
Well that is my Five For Friday!! Hop on over to Doodlebugs Teaching to see other blog posts that might help you out!!
I bet if you are in the USA and you are an elementary school teacher, you have or about to have a Thanksgiving Feast at your school. Yep! Me, too! We had ours today, it was wonderful. Our talented lunchroom ladies chefs at our school create a Thanksgiving meal and all of our students’ families are invited to attend. This year I only had 1 parent who was not able to attend. I thought that was terrific! The one child without a parent, got to have ME as her “parent”. She loved it!! We even took a selfie together…..I really think that made the other students a little jealous..
But I’m getting off the subject….
Ok- What I wanted to post was the way I decorated my table. Every year, I want my kinders to make something that the parents can take home. Well, to keep it as simplistic as possible but yet meaningful, this is what I did.
First of all–
Notice the pretty burlap!! I found it at Hobby Lobby. I had a 40% off coupon for it and it was well worth it. Here’s another pic that shows it more on the table.
I found the orange burlap in a roll…..for 50% off! I love the colors! Don’t you?
Ok…back to the other decorations. Now, let me start with the handprint turkey pot holders. I found the pot holders at Dollar Tree. They were 2 for $1. I used acrylic paints for the turkeys. Now, the first thing I did to create these keepsakes was to brush (I used an inexpensive sponge paint brush) brown paint on each child’s palm and thumb. Then, I pressed this onto the pot holder. By the way….my students love to have paint brushed on their hands. They love that ticklish feeling!!
The next day I poured 5 different colors of paint on a plate with a sponge paint brush for each. Then, I asked each kinder to choose the 4 colors to paint on his/hers fingers. After I brushed the colors on, I pressed the painted fingers right above the turkey body. Once all of that dried , I put a small dip of paint on the child’s pinky and made the waddle. After all of this was dry, I had the sweet kinder draw a beak and feet using an orange Sharpee.
To polish off this Thanksgiving project, I found ribbon from Hobby Lobby and I tied bows around the loops of the pot holders. Then, they could be used as a wall hanging….NOT a real pot holder. On the picture below, you can see that I tied a yellow bow on that turkey creation. I really loved these and the parents were as pleased as could be with them.
Now on to the cards…..my room parent helped put these together. It is always so terrific to have great room moms!!
First of all, 1 day last week my room mom took the children out one at a time to ask them what they were thankful for. Then, I took their quotes and typed them up on a label template and printed them out on 2″ by 4″ inch labels. The next day, I cut yellow ovals to look like corn and the children used their pointer finger to make the kernals. My parapro cut the cardstock in half and she folded the cards. We put the quote with the corn on one side of the card, then my room parent took strips of paper from a small brown paper bag and put that on the corn to look like husks.
Then on the other side of the card, she took pictures that I had made of these precious kids (by the way…I’m very thankful for them!) and glued it on the other side of the card.
And that is how these lovely decorations for a Thanksgiving Feast were made. Oh yes….the leaves were just leaves cut from a die cut machine.
The parents were so thrilled over these keepsakes……I think this activity is a keeper.
Let me know what you do for your Thanksgiving Feast!