It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Chaos!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year- until you break out the glitter that is!  We have finally finished our mid marking period assessments which leaves us with a little time to get crafty and creative to make some festive gifts for our families.  While most of the year we are working hard on curriculum and data driven instruction, I like to spend our last days before break pretending to be elves!  We sing carols, make gifts and cards, and generally just enjoy being together.  This year it is even more special as we have just completed our unit on how holidays are celebrated around the world.  It is so rewarding to see my students discussing the illustrations they are using on cards and how they relate to something that they do in another country.

For those of you new to our blog, we have been virtually traveling around the world over the last 2 weeks learning about how Christmas is celebrated in many different countries.  We journeyed to Sweden, Finland, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, and the United States.   For each country we located it on the map, learned how to say Merry Christmas, watched a short video showing how families decorate and celebrate, read an informational article, answered some questions related to our research, created a small poster, and listened to each countries holiday music.  Below is our interactive bulletin board we created for this unit as well as a word cloud of all of our new holiday greetings.


holday shape



On Monday night, our third, fourth, and fifth grade students participated in our annual Holiday Concert.  It was a wonderful evening of music, artwork, and community.

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Another exciting event for our classroom was being nominated for an Eddie (Edublog Award) for best class blog.  I can’t tell you how humbling it is to know that people actually read what we put out on this site!  Thank you to those who nominated us and voted for us!  We will keep you updated as the results come in!




We are Creating Great Things in Room 11!

The month of December is often one that is crazy busy for most people.  It is no different here in Room 11!  The only difference is instead of hitting the crowds and shopping, we are creating, writing, crafting, coding, and working hard each day.  We started off this month by publishing our first official writing piece.  Students worked hard to write about a time they lent a helping hand to someone.  They then met with other students to peer edit their work, met with me to finalize changes that needed to be made, and finally used Microsoft OneDrive to type and share their documents with me.  We are officially authors!

Peer editing notes, Microsoft OneDrive

Peer editing notes, Microsoft OneDrive

After we finished publishing, we set out to travel the world and learn about how holidays are celebrated in other countries.  We are learning about their traditions, foods, songs, and languages.  For each country we visit, we locate it on our map, learn how to say Merry Christmas (or other holiday greetings), and listen to holiday music in their native language.  We were fortunate enough to have a FaceTime with my sister-in-law, Mrs. Phifer, who shared how Christmas is celebrated in Germany.  She read us a story in German, answered our questions, and shared many of her favorite German holiday traditions with us.  Check out the video she made for us to remember our chat:


Our Christmas Around the World Map

Our Christmas Around the World Map

We also did some creative writing and crafting to help decorate our classroom and hallway for the holidays.  While it may all look like fun and games, there was a lot of measuring, writing, proof-reading, and cooperative work going on to create our own Holiday wonderland!


On December 8th, we participated in the Hour of Code.  This yearly coding challenge was created to have students experience working with code (the language of the computer) and learn about careers in the field of computer sciences.  This year my students worked on coding Starwars, Minecraft, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Disney Infinity, and Flappy Birds.  Students had to use code to create a pattern for their character to move through a maze or complete a task.  They worked on all forms of devices- laptops, desktops, and Ipads.  Check out the link and try it yourself!  It really is a lot of fun and can be modified to challenge even the most experienced coders I know!  Hour of Code


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To finish out our week we will be visiting Spain, Mexico, Sweden, France, Ireland, Poland, and Finland to learn about their traditions.  We will be wrapping up Unit 2 in our Reading series on Friday.  In math we will beginning to explore the idea of division.  We are also preparing for our Holiday Concert on December 14th.