Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I am very late on my posts!

Ugh there is not enough time in the day to do all I need or want to do!  I need to post more and now that I am done with my reading classes I hope to do that!  One of my professional resolutions for 2014 is to post more on my blog, create more products, and to be more organized!
So let me go back....here are pictures from our Holidays Around the World event! We had a blast!
The students rotated tables during their travels and put a stamp into their passports
We then got to sample food from some of the countries.  One of my students is from Greece and her mother cooked so many treats for us to try! There were delish!!
We then traveled to Israel and played the dreidel game with marshmallows and M & M's
To end the week, I used this GREAT product from Happily Ever After Education-they are foldable characters and I had the class make a list of what they wanted for Christmas in Spanish.  We practiced  using Spanish vocabulary and writing lists
Excuse the craziness of the Enoboard.....it looked much better before I left for vacation!

Here is the link to Happily Ever After Education's product-she has great stuff:


I also used her Gingerbread around the world unit that is a FREEBIE as my bulletin board display for the month of December. The kids loved it!  It comes with a parent letter as well with websites to use!  

So when we return, we are working on Bossy R and visualization! I have two great products for Bossy R-



I love treaching about r--controlled vowels and there are sone GREAT YouTube videos-I put those on as the students transition from centers to reading or even during snack!  

For visualization, I have been searching for good read alouds or shared reading stories to use with the class.  My fellow teachers found this great book called If and we used it last year! it was a hit with the classes.  We read a page and did not show the pictures.  The students then had to pick one of the pages to illustrate and they created an illustration of what they thought the sentence would show.  After they created their picture, we showed them the real one-they did very well with this activity!

This year, I went around Pinterest, other teacher blogs, and Google and found more poems and read alouds to use, such as Where the Wild Things Are, A Bad Case of Stripes, Piggie Pie, The Gruffalo, Imagine a Day, and Catallina Magdelena (Tedd Arnold).  I only have the first 2 books so I have to either go to the library to borrow them or purchase them STAT!
I also found a poem that is great for visualization-My Neighbor's Dog is Purple by Jack Prelutsky...I translated it into Spanish to use with the class on our Spanish days!

I go back to school on Thursday but they are calling for some nasty weather on Friday so I am kind of hoping for a snow day..I could totally use the day, seeing as how many of the surrounding districts don't go back until the 6th - I still have a lot of work to do in my house!!! 

I created a New Year's Pack with 3 different activities-visit my TpT store and check it out!

Happy New Year!

Alyson Hennessy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hennessy airlines flight 107

Well, tomorrow is the big day!! We are taking our maletas and traveling the globe tomorrow!! We are going to make a tannenbaum from Germany, a La Befana from Italy, a stocking, a pointsetta, and a boat from Greece!! We are also going to make hats with different ways to say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas and learn how to play dreidel! And of course, no celebration is complete unless there is food!! I'm making quesadillas and we will also be sampling potatoe latkes!! I'm excited!! I have 5 class moms coming in to help me at the stations and to also help with the passports and I cook!! It will probably get crazy but they will have fun!! I promise to take tons of pics and post them tomorrow night! 
Happy teaching!!!
Alyson Hennessy 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holidays around the World and The Polar Express

So we are wrapping up our Holidays around the Workd unit! The kids are having so much fun and we are learning a lot!! I can't wait until our trip on Wednesday when we travel from country to country (or table to table!) to make a craft!
Marking the map

I had a great donation from a colleague of paper bags!! Our trip will be sponsored by Whole Foods and Trader Joe's!!! :)
Here are some symbols we found (the last one is for Germany-the actually hide pickles in their Christmas tree!) Tomorrow our elf, Snowy, will be hiding a pickle and whoever finds it gets a prize!
Here is my Making Words template in action too!! I placed it onto my Enoboard with text box tiles of letters and sounds. As the kids made the words, the rest of the class had to try and make them as well!! This keeps ALL of the kids engaged as they listen and write!!
I just uploaded a new product in English and Spanish!! It is for the Polar Express...the class is trying to earn the movie on Friday (they read the book in library)....we shall see if they can watch it!! I'll keep you posted!!
Happy teaching!
Alyson Hennessy

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December craziness!

So...we have an elf in our classroom and his name is Snowy...usually Snowy hides and leaves a letter for a student, with a candy cane treat, to come find him. Snowy also leaves treats for those students who have a neat table...well...Snowy has had a rough couple of days and Santa has reported that he can no longer leave candy cane treats until the class listens and does their work. Am I the only teacher experiencing this right now!? I hope not! Some other teachers, I saw, actually had their elf leave until the behavior of the class improved...I hope I don't have to resort to that but it is a good idea!! We have an elf journal that we write it everday...let's see what they write tomorrow when they see Snowy is sad and left a sad note. 
On a lighter note, we are day 3 into our gingerbread unit and loving all of the different stories! I think their favorite so far is the Spanish version called "La tortilla corredora".... They were laughing at the end, when the tortilla escapes and rides a helicopter! We have been studying problem and solution with these stories and they are doing a great job identifying them! Here is a sample of student work from my December Graphic Organizers in Spanish
Here are some of the books I'm using 
I am also working on a new product-using interactive notebooks to identify and read syllables in Spanish. Today was there first time using it and I have to say they did very well!
We are also deep into our Holidays around the World activities!! They are loving this!! I purchased a great product from Happily Ever After Education! Check it out here!
Well, let the craziness continue!! We have a TON of work to do and a celebration to prepare for!! Wish me luck!! 
Happy teaching!!
Alyson Hennessy

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Wow!!! I am taking part in my 3rd FB Frenzy!!! For those of you who don't know what that is, a TON of teachers have created FREE, yes, FREE resources for you!  There will be a map posted onto my page tomorrow, when the event starts.  You go from Facebook page to Facebook page and you LIKE the pages.  Once you like the page, you get access to an AWESOME freebie!!!!!!!! There is something for EVERY grade level and even a clip art group!!!  Who doesn't love free clip art??? =)
 All of the freebies tomorrow are winter/holiday based so if you are looking for some great activities to keep those kids engaged and focused during the next few hectic weeks, this is where you need to be!!! My FB page is the place to start for the 1st grade ELA/SS group tomorrow so make sure your flash drive and hard drive are ready for the madness! Also, don't forge the paper and printer ink and laminating sheets!!!!
Enjoy and have a FANTASTIC weekend! The frenzy ends Monday!!! Don't miss out!!!!

Alyson Hennessy

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November activities and preparing for December!

Wow! November is gone!! I had a great Thanksgiving weekend-lots of friends, family, and shopping!! We didn't decorate yet but are going to start next weekend! 
I had a lot of trainings and meetings to attend during November so it was hard try to get everything done that I wanted to...I will say that my class had a lot of fun learning about Thanksgiving, Native Americans, and the Pilgrims. Scholastic has on their website a virtual tour of the Mayflower, Plymouth Plantation, and the Native Americans. They loved watching those and then recording what they learned!
Here is an activity I did-I found these Native American symbols in my November folder-the kids used them to make "head dresses"
We the made butter!! It was good!!
Shaking the butter!!!

We also made a bat informational book as a whole class as an introduction to when ey create their own informational books
Our Thanksgiving word list
Here is a great product from Jennifer Drake over at Crayons, Cuties, and Common Core-here is the link to her store?blog

She has AMAZING interactive notebook resources!!!
And here are some verbs we did in Spanish!! This is from my "Yo pueda escribir oraciones" packet from my TpT store

Now last but certainly not least, TpT is having their cyber sale tomorrow and Tuesday!! My entire store is on sale and I added 4 new December resources!! Go visit my TpT store and check them out!!! Can't wait to use them! 
This is a busy fun and exciting month!! I'll be back next week!!! Love this time of year with my family!!
Happy teaching!!
Alyson Hennessy