The Countdown

Have you started The Countdown??  For me it is exactly 7 days until Winter Break!!  Hurray!!

  I am really looking forward to our break because my daughters and I are headed to my mother's house in Phoenix for Christmas.  I know Phoenix doesn't seem much more Christmassy than Hawaii, but it actually gets very chilly there.  I can wear my sweaters, scarves and boots that I rarely wear here.  My mom also goes all out on Christmas!  She has a cozy little house with a fireplace and fills it with all kinds of decorations and goodies.  She spoils us rotten when we are there!!

My mom and I 

Every Christmas Eve my mom makes tamales. They are the best!! It's a tradition in our family and many other Mexican families.  I have yet to carry on that tradition, lol!!  Actually I did make them one year and they came out pretty well, but I leave it to my mom the expert.

Mom working hard to get them all done:)

There is a great book called Too Many Tamales that I read to my class each year.

It's a cute story about a little girl who helps her mom make tamales on Christmas Eve and thinks she loses her mother's wedding ring in the batch of tamales.  I always read it and explain what tamales are, for students who have never eaten them.  We also talk about family traditions at Christmas time. I plan on sharing it next week.

So in my class this week  we started getting ready for the holidays.  We don't have much time since we get out next Friday.

We actually started last Friday by making our paper chains.

I have one little guy this year who does not celebrate holidays, so I have him do the activities for me.  I asked him if he would please finish my chain so I could hang it up in class, and he happily agreed.

Since I have 20 other students who do celebrate I try to keep things festive but a bit more neutral.  

I have my students make stockings every year and we hang them up in the class.  The last day before break I stuff them with a pencil, an eraser, a candy cane and some  chocolate goodies.  I also put in a little note wishing them a Merry Christmas.  They love it and it's an economical way for me to give everyone a gift.

The stockings are pretty basic.  I start with a template and have them trace it onto paper twice. They  trace the little dots on one of them. Then they cut out both pieces.

Then I staple it together.  They punch the holes on their own.

I give them some yarn and have them weave through.  I am amazed at how hard this is for some of them!!  They get so frustrated, but I make them finish it.

Some do a fancier weave.

Next I give them a few cotton balls.

I show them how to pull them apart and make it look like fur.

They glue it right on top.

Once their stocking is done, I write their name in glue and let them sprinkle glitter across it.
They love seeing their name in cursive!

They look really cute all hung up.  I love the colors! They are nice and wintery, but not so Christmassy.  I had my little guy make one too and I called it a Winter Stocking.  I am not sure what I will do for his stocking on that day. I will probably stuff it anyway with a new pencil and an eraser and just tell him I am happy he is in my class.

We also started our letters to Santa.

Hmm, that should count for something, lol!

I just love reading their writing. It always puts a smile on my face. 

I hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit in your classroom.  I am still looking for that perfect holiday gift for the parents.  I have not quite made up my mind as to what we will do yet.  Hopefully it will be something fun that I can share soon.


  1. 7 days!!! That is so wrong-you lucky girl! Nothin better than mommy time cookin!
    I get sad for the lil friends who don't celebrate any holidays. I understand it's their belief and I respect that but I feel like they miss out on a little piece of childhood :(
    Fluttering Through First Grade

    1. I know it's harder on some more than others.They act like it doesn't matter, but it's hard to be different from everyone else.

  2. We are very excited at school ( and home :). I love how you still make every little one feel involved and special, it can be tricky. Fancy nails there Miss Corinna !!!! Tis the season , love the stripes !

    1. Thank you!! I give myself a mani/pedi once a month. The nails don't last but my toes always look fab;)

  3. How nice that you get to go back to AZ for Christmas! 7 days till break is no time!!

    Extra Special Teaching

  4. So glad you're coming over here! You & your mom look so sweet together! What a fun, festive classroom going on, too! I can't believe you get out in only a week!!

    Amy Howbert
    Little Miss Organized

    1. I know! I had to check the calendar several times before I could believe that was it!

  5. I love those stockings, Corinna! I think we'll do that too. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    And have a blast with your mom. She looks like a happy, fun person to be with:)

    1. Thank you Barb! Sometimes the most simple projects are the ones they love the most!

  6. Jealous! We go until Friday the 21st!! Enjoy your break and eat a tamale for me! Yum!!!!

    Happy Holidays,

  7. Your students writing samples are so cute! LOVE The stockings!

    I also love the story Too Many Tamales!

    Enjoy your break---it's going to be here soon!! Lucky you! ;)

    First Grade and Fabulous

  8. Omg I love that book!!!! It is one of my favorites!! Have a great weekend! I am your newest follower.


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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