12 Days of Christmas – Day 12

Would you rather bake or eat Christmas goodies?

Oh my goodness, it’s already day 12!!! This has been such a fun experience this year!!! I’ve LOVED the would you rather theme, it’s added such a fun twist to this year’s Blogmas and it’s all thanks to the amazing Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl!! Thank you Abbey for once again making my December extra exciting!!

All right so this is going to be a short post because I think I’ve already mentioned something like this in an earlier post. I would definitely rather bake Christmas goodies over eat them! I used to be a sweet tooth but as I got older, that went away. I’ve always enjoyed baking when I was younger but I also loved eating as I baked. Now, I just love the baking and I’m 110% okay with giving away everything I make to others.

When I was in high school, I used to spend Sundays in December making batches of different goodies for my friends. I would wrap them up all cute and hand them out at school on Monday. I loved being able to share what I made with people I loved and that has not gone away!

Unfortunately, due to this year being as it is, I didn’t get around to baking anything because I knew it would all go to waste. I haven’t been seeing people because of COVID so I knew if I made anything, they’d only be for me and I know they’d sit in my freezer until next Christmas. (Plus, I HATE cleaning up after I bake or cook ANYTHING so I didn’t want to create multiple messes for no reason.)

Again, I can not believe this year’s 12 days of Christmas is over!! Where did the month go? This is my FAVORITE time of the year but for some reason, I just can’t grasp that Christmas is already tomorrow!? As slow as this year has gone, I think December went by way too fast!

I hope you all have a wonderful and SAFE Christmas! Please, enjoy your family and your break away from the craziness that is 2020. (I also can’t believe this insane year is almost over!) I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay healthy right now! I’m still recovering from COVID that I tested positive for OVER A MONTH AGO! There are days that I feel great and then there are days that I feel awful again. I know that I’m a relatively healthy and fit person so I can’t even fathom how others handle the side effects of post-COVID syndrome. Be smart friends, as much as seeing and being with family right now is great, everyone’s health is much more important!

Have a very merry Christmas! Here’s to Blogmas 2020!!

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12 Days of Christmas – Day 11

Would you rather wear light-up Christmas lights or wear a red nose every day during the holiday season?

Oh my goodness, before I even get started I just have to say how crazy it is that this is already day 11 of Blogmas!! It’s crazy how fast this goes by and I’m sad it’s coming to another end. I love doing this every year and I have been honored to take part in this again!

Okay so the question…would I rather wear light-up Christmas lights or wear a red nose every day during the holiday season? I think I would for sure choose to wear light-up Christmas lights every day during the season rather than wear a red nose. I love those necklaces you can buy at Target or Walmart that are Christmas bulbs and they light up. I find them so fun!

I think I would for sure rather wear the lights than the nose because I think the lights are less abnormal and more festive! I think because of those necklaces, people are used to seeing others wear Christmas lights on their body. Sure, you’d probably be wearing more than a necklace but I think it would still be less strange than wearing a large red nose.

I also just love Christmas lights more than anything! They are so pretty and festive!! I would love to wear them every day just to show how into the season I am. I like Rudolph but I wouldn’t want to walk around with a giant red nose on my face.

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my most recent posts!!

Holiday Week 2020 Style

Well people, we made it to break! (Or if you’re not at break yet, you’re very close!) This is usually my favorite month of the year because of all the activities we do and the projects I have. In fact, my first few posts ever were from December activities that I wanted to share! It’s been hard adjusting to this new normal. This whole month was spent getting used to distance learning rather than enjoying the season. These past 2 days, I wanted to change that. I wanted us to have fun. I wanted to be as creative as possible so my students still felt the fun of the season even though they’re at home.

My favorite Christmas movie of all time is Jim Carrey’s The Grinch. (The reason is because when I was little, I used to look identical to Cindy Lou Who. My parents also used to tell me her character was based on me because our personalities were so similar as well.) I always like to have a whole day centered around Grinch themed activities. I was not letting that go this year.

Yesterday was my Grinch day! We started the day by doing a series of Grinch would you rather questions which were amazing and hilarious! My kids loved it and it was interesting to hear their reasons for their answers. After a little fun, we had to jump into our reading lesson. I love doing the lesson where you listen to “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” and then find similes and metaphors in the song. I’ve done it every year since I started teaching but I had to be creative with it this year.

We have been using Seesaw and Google Meets as our teaching tools. We pretty much are on our Google meeting live all morning while they submit assignments on Seesaw. I created a Seesaw assignment where they first had to highlight the similes and metaphors in the song. I had them highlight in two different colors so I could tell they knew the difference between the two forms of figurative language. After they highlighted, they had to pick one simile or metaphor and then had to decorate their Grinch to represent what they chose. It was very fun to see how creative they were with it.

For math, I made another Seesaw assignment full of Grinch themed word problems. I split them into breakout rooms and let them work on them together in small groups. I organized the groups so they were with kids who were at all levels but who they also felt comfortable with. It was fun to just bounce back and forth between the different rooms and listen to their conversations. The one thing with distance that is lacking is having the opportunity for them to just talk to each other.

Because of our schedule, that was most of the Grinch themed activities we did. We spent the afternoon making our parent gifts (which were adorable snowman ornaments made out of buttons) and catching up on work while students went to their intervention groups. It wasn’t as much as I usually do, but it was something and that’s all I cared about.

Today I wanted to have fun and even though we were distant, I still wore my traditional “day before break candy cane” dress (because that’s fun!)

I wanted to throw them a surprise virtual holiday party. I tried hard to come up with fun activities to do throughout the day to keep them entertained. I wanted them to have a special day because that’s what this day in elementary school is supposed to be. The day before Christmas break is supposed to be full of treats, movies, and presents. I didn’t want them to lose out on their last elementary school holiday party!

We started the day doing a fun little “Guess the Mystery Sound” activity. I had a Google Slides presentation that had them listen to a mystery sound and then guess what they thought each sound was in the Google Meets chat.

We then did a real reading activity to get some sort of school in. We read an article on the science of the snowflake and then discussed different parts of it. (I definitely didn’t spend as much time on it as I should have but at least I can say we did it!) We then moved into our math time. For math, students had a holiday packet that was sent home last week. I put them in breakout rooms with their friends and they got to work through the packet together.

The packet wasn’t math related. It had a bunch of puzzles, mazes, and coloring pages. It was more of a way to allow them to work together again while having fun. Again, it was so fun jumping back and forth between groups. I miss seeing and talking to them so it was nice to have silly little conversations with them in small groups. I even had a competition with a couple of my kids over who could finish a sudoku first, it was a blast!

We spent the afternoon having our virtual holiday party! I started the party by having Christmas music playing in the background while they all slowly popped back on to our meeting after lunch. We then played a few different games. I first had them take out a piece of paper and a marker. We did the directed drawing activity where they had to follow my directions on how to draw a snowman while the paper was on their heads. I LOVE this activity and was so happy to be able to share it with them even though they weren’t right with me. I also made another Google slides game where they saw a zoomed in picture of something holiday themed and then had to guess what it was. We then shifted into a few rounds of holiday charades which was super funny. I then had an ugly sweater making contest. I assigned them a blank sweater template on Seesaw and gave them five minutes to create the ugliest sweater they could. We then went through each one and voted on their favorites. My favorite was one with my name on it. I don’t know why but it made me laugh way too hard.

We finished our party by doing a winter themed Kahoot followed by a directed drawing on Arthub of a winter village. It was a nice and fun way to end the day.

Finally, during the day I had my kids go onto PixtonEdu to create their own personalized avatar. I then used those avatars to create our virtual class photo. I know some of you have seen these before! I’ve seen them a few times and thought they were the cutest thing ever. Today I had to do it as a special little surprise to “give” them at the end of the day.

It was for sure not the way I would normally have spent this day but I made the most of it. The best part was how grateful my kids were. They were very appreciative of the activities we were able to do. I know they know this is not how we would normally have celebrated but they were troopers and loved whatever we could do.

I am SO happy to relax for the next two weeks! I know for a fact we will be distance learning for at least another month so I’m ready to have some screen free time and some family time. The best part of today was realizing teaching in 2020 is officially over! 2021 is going to be a much better year, I can feel it. If we made it through teaching in this, we can make it through teaching in anything!!

For more day to day activities and live action, go follow my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher!

Go check out my recent posts!! Blogmas 2020 is almost over 😢 so don’t miss out on our fun 12 days of Christmas would you rather game!!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 10

Would you rather have to put up outdoor Christmas lights for all your neighbors or wrap all the holiday presents for extended family members?

This one is an obvious choice for me. I would so much rather wrap all the holiday presents for extended family members! I’ve never put Christmas lights outside so I think I would fail epically if I offered to put up all the lights for all of my neighbors.

I LOVE wrapping presents. I think it makes me sound crazy but there is something so relaxing about it. One of my favorite parts about buying gifts for people is the wrapping that comes after. I thoroughly enjoy making every gift look nice and embellished. Growing up, I know my mom despised the day she had to wrap all of our gifts. I never understood that because it gives me so much peace.

Another reason I would totally choose the gift wrapping over the light hanging is the fact that my extended family isn’t even that large so there wouldn’t be a whole lot of gifts to wrap. On my mom’s side, there is only 9 of us. That’s a piece of cake. We also are all adults so we don’t have a whole lot of gifts that we give to one another anymore. We are more into spending the day together rather than the presents. My dad’s side is a bit bigger. There are 12 cousins, 4 pairs of parents, my grandma, and 3 kids of cousins. Wrapping all of their gifts would probably take up the most amount of time, but again I wouldn’t mind. I would make the day of it. I would have Christmas movies playing all day long.

Growing up, my house never had lights on it. I love looking at Christmas lights but since I never watched my parents put them up, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Plus, staying outside all day to put up the lights would be freezing and miserable! (Remember, I’m a Minnesotan so being outside this time of year for long periods of time is not fun!)

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day activities and live action!

Go check out my most recent posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 9

Would you rather always know what the perfect gift for someone else is or get the perfect gift from others?

Well this one is special to me because I think I’m a pretty good gift giver if I do say so myself. I would totally want to know what the perfect gift for someone else is rather than getting the perfect gift from others.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year for many reasons but one of the main reasons is the gift giving. I LOVE searching for the perfect gift for everyone in my life. Ha December is easily the month of the year my bank account hates the most. I feel like I’m financially stable up until holiday shopping comes around and then, not so much!

I definitely spend way too much on people but it’s just so fun to put together something you know they’ll love and truly appreciate. For example, my best friend is a Star Wars nerd as well as super into vinyl records. This year I got him the original 1978 Empire Strikes Back Vinyl that has the whole score for the first movie on it. Since it was an original from 1978, it wasn’t the cheapest but it was so worth it because he loved it!

I am the worst when it comes to buying things for my sister. (When I say worst, I mean I’m the best at getting her what she wants but the worst to myself because it leaves me broke!) I have a soft spot for her and Christmas really shows that. The first year I actually had some money in my bank account, I got my sister an iPad….I still don’t know why I did that but I know she wanted one so bad and I wanted to make her happy. (That easily cleared out my bank account that year.) When she was little she LOVED anything pink and sparkly, so one year, everything I got her was pink and sparkly. Just seeing her so happy makes me happy. (She’s also obsessed with bows so I always get her a giant one every year to embellish her gifts with because it adds just a little big more of that joy to her face!)

Now that I’m a teacher in the real world however, I don’t have much money to spare when it comes to Christmas. I know how over the top I can be so I’ve started a tradition to buy custom mugs for my family members. It’s a cheap thing to do that is also super personalized to them. I’ve loved watching their faces these past few years when they open their yearly mug.

I am going to add that I wouldn’t mind getting the perfect gift from someone. I have to admit that I am a hard person to buy for so if I was surprised by something perfect, I would love every minute of it.

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader Abbey’s page at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas along with her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day fun and live activities!

Go check out my recent posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 8

Would you rather vacation somewhere cold or hot during the holidays?

Let’s see….this is actually difficult for me. I live in Minnesota so Christmas is NOT Christmas without the cold and the snow but a nice hot holiday vacation wouldn’t be too bad either. I think if I’d have to pick I’d choose to vacation somewhere cold on Christmas Day but then spend the rest of my break somewhere nice and warm. (Haha that’s probably cheating but I’m going with that answer!)

Like I said, being a Minnesota girl means a white and cold Christmas. I truly can’t imagine what a hot Christmas would be like and I wouldn’t want to start now. I think the perfect cold place I’d want to vacation to over the holidays would be to some cabin in the mountains of Colorado. I’ve always wanted to go to Colorado and I think spending Christmas in a small little cottage in the middle of the snowy mountains would be perfect!

The weather has always been a huge part of Christmas for me!

Now, like I also said, I would spend Christmas Day in snowy Colorado but then I’d jump on a plane on December 26th and head to someplace nice and hot like to an all inclusive resort in the Bahamas! I’ve never been on vacation to a “hot” place before. I’ve been to the Dominican Republic but that was a volunteer trip and not a vacation. I would love to spend a week of my break off from school sipping drinks on a beach while getting a nice tan. To me, that sounds like the perfect way to relax and enjoy the last week of the year!

I mean come on, who wouldn’t want to look at this when it’s -15 degrees at home?

I know I’m not being very decisive but those are the firsts thoughts that came to my head. I love white having a white Christmas but I would love a nice hot vacation as well! This is Blogmas, anything goes right?

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey at Three Cats and a Girl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my most recent posts!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 7

Would you rather meet Frosty or Santa?

Two of my favorite holiday characters, Frosty and Santa! Who doesn’t love these two classic magical characters? If I had to choose one to meet though, I think I would choose to meet Santa.

This is going to sound crazy but I’ve always had this weird idea that, like in some of those classic movies, Santa’s son would be on earth looking or a wife, he’d find me, and we’d become the new Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
😂😂😂 I know, I sound like I’m losing it but I’ve seen too many cheesy movies growing up that my imagination has definitely gotten the best of me.

I’ve also always loved the classic Santa Claus is coming to town and the Santa Claus movies! I think it’s fascinating to see the different interpretations of the same character. I would love to see what version I would meet. Frosty is a great character but there aren’t too many versions of Frosty. What you see in one movie is what you get in another. At least with Santa, you’ll be surprised by something.

Which is your Santa?? Tim Allen is mine!

Finally, I’d want to meet Santa just to prove that he’s real. We’re all little kids at heart and what kid doesn’t want the concrete proof that Santa exists?

Gymnastics Christmas party 2017 with my best friend playing Santa!

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my latest posts!

Outside Cafeterias and Masking Up – COVID Classroom 2020

Our first full week is complete and I’m shockingly not as tired as I have been in the past. It was a good week full of lots of housekeeping and FINALLY starting some curriculum lessons! This week started off with a pretty normal couple of days but then the bomb came. We found out Monday … Continue reading Outside Cafeterias and Masking Up – COVID Classroom 2020

12 Days of Christmas – Day 6

Would you rather star on a popular holiday music single or star in a popular holiday movie?

This is a quick and easy one. I would LOVE to star in a popular holiday movie!

I am one of those hopeless holiday romantics who love Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes, they all have the same plot, but they are all so sweet. I’ve always wanted my life to play out like one during the holiday season. I think it would be so fun to star in one of those movies. For a few weeks, you could pretend you were actually living in that world and take in the Hallmark magic.

I wouldn’t mind staring in my own holiday single but I can’t sing to save my life. It would not be pretty! I love to sing Christmas songs but I also like to be good at what I’m doing. Being a teacher, I think I know how to put on a show. I think I would be much more successful staring in my own holiday movie than singing my own single.

All 3 of us love our Hallmark Christmas movies!

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my recent posts!!

12 Days of Christmas – Day 5

Would you rather eat gingerbread every day or candy canes everyday?

I honestly had to ask my students this question because I thought it seemed like an interesting one. The results came back even more interesting, it was almost an exact 50/50 response. Half of my kids would rather eat gingerbread and the other half would rather eat candy canes. Personally, I think I would pick candy canes.

I do enjoy both gingerbread and candy canes but I prefer the taste of peppermint over gingerbread. A candy cane is a nice little treat to have that will also freshen your breath. I can’t finish a full sized candy cane but the mini ones are perfect! I’m not the biggest sweet eater but a nice mini candy cane is perfect for me.

Candy canes are also a nice little reminder of my mom. She used to stock up on the packs of mini candy canes during the holiday season. She would buy so many of them that we had one every night with our hot chocolate until the end of July. I would love to have a candy cane everyday just to pay tribute to my mom.

I do enjoy gingerbread but it’s not my favorite thing in the world. I enjoy a gingerbread cookie maybe once a year and that’s good enough for me. I get my holiday cookie fix in and I’m good for another year.

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day live action and activities!

Go check out my most recent posts!

The New Normal

What world are we living in right now? It seems like things get more intense every single day. I don’t know what to think. Up until yesterday, I was doing okay handling all of this. We were told on Sunday that Minnesota schools would close officially as of today until at least Monday, March 30th. … Continue reading The New Normal

What is Happening

Well well well…I feel like I need to share my thoughts on everything going on considering the education system is being effected pretty hard. I know some other states are closing schools but Minnesota has yet to follow in their footsteps. Our neighbor state Wisconsin announced yesterday that they will be closing for the next … Continue reading What is Happening

12 Days of Christmas – Day 4

Would you rather have holiday decorations up all year or never be able to put them up again?

This one is a piece of cake for me. I would totally rather have decorations up all year long instead of never having them up again.

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. Along with putting up the tree, putting up other Christmas decorations has been something my family does every year the day after Halloween. Christmas decorations are just so pretty and soothing. There is something about them that make me so happy. I don’t think it would be Christmas without decking the halls.

One of my favorite parts about finally moving out to live on my own was the chance to decorate my own place when Christmas came around! Before I moved out, I would decorate my room from top to bottom. I even had a bed spread and pillows designated to the holiday season. I was so excited to have my own place just so I could decorate all of it. This is my 4th Christmas living on my own and it still makes me giddy to decorate my own place for the season!

Granted, I know having them up all year long would take away the uniqueness of the decorations but I’d rather have them up all the time than get rid of them altogether.

Here is just a little snippet of my decorated living room this year. ❤️

Come join our 12 days of Christmas Blogmas fun!

To join in on the festivities, go check out our amazing leader’s page Abbey@ThreeCatsandaGirl! If you find her 12 days of Christmas tab, you’ll see her posts from this Blogmas and her past 3 YEARS worth of Blogmas posts!! If you want to read more Blogmas fun, go check out the pages of my other friends; AJ at Petite Slice of Life and Amber at To the Great Western World!

Go check out my Instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher for more day to day action and live activities!

Go check out my recent posts!!

Hot Mess Alert

Well it’s been a hot minute guys. I apologize for being a little behind on posts but life has been crazy busy. It’s crazy to think that I was going to share on Valentine’s Day about our party, and now here we are 2 weeks later and there has been nothing. Today’s post is going … Continue reading Hot Mess Alert

Fairytaletopia

If you’re anything like me, you LOVE read alouds with your students. Back when I was doing one of my teaching practicums in a 3rd grade classroom, I heard the most memorizing story I’ve ever heard (apart from Harry Potter of course!) The story was called The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris … Continue reading Fairytaletopia