Math Fun, Grinch Prep, Gingerbread, and I Got My Shop On :)

Does it seem like this year is moving in fast forward and you can’t find the pause button?!  Ummm…hello, Christmas?!?!?!?  ALREADY?!?!?!   INSANITY.  Just like everyone else, we’ve been pretty busy around here. During Thanksgiving break, my boys were BEGGING to go back to school.  They wanted to make pictures for their teachers and couldn’t wait to get back to a routine.  Have I mentioned how much we love their teachers?!  Because we really, REALLY do!!!!  Now, this might be a proud momma moment, but I have to share because I know y’all will appreciate it.  Landon…my little Pre-K man…has a crazy photographic memory.  He was writing all of his friends’ names out for his grandma and then he decided to write her name, too.  Please look at the words that are circled…


He wrote “Grandma Rita”.  I die.  His new favorite thing is stretching out his sounds.  I’ve gotta give serious props to his teacher!  She’s working wonders with him!!  Now if I can just help him out with those fine motor skills.  Poor little left handed baby!  HA!

Moving right along…

  I found this GREAT idea on Pinterest a couple of week ago.  Well…I found it via Pinterest, but since Pinterest is NOT a person, I need to give credit where credit is due!  Thank you, Sarah Mackey!!!  This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?!” kinda ideas.  GENIUS, I tell ya!



I felt like my kids were really ready to tackle this skill and I love to challenge their little minds.  We practice making different number combinations every.single.morning during our calendar routine.  Since we were working with Gingerbread Men last week, we took Sarah’s idea and adapted it to fit the theme.  We started small with ways to make 5 a couple of weeks ago.  We made combinations of 6 this time around and my kids did AWESOME!!  Thank you, Sarah, for this AWESOME idea!!!


Right after that, we did a little {joining} word problem using those same itty bitty gingerbread men.  I didn’t take pics of my kids’ work, so here’s my sample.  They’re getting so good at solving word problems!!!   gingerbread8

Speaking of Gingerbread, we read a BAZILLION different versions this week {okay…maybe not THAT many..but it felt like it!!!} and followed it all up with some story maps and fun little activities.

First up, a little story map fun.  After reading The Gingerbread Baby, by Jan Brett, I assigned each of my kids to draw different parts of the story…problem/characters/setting/solution….and then added their pictorial representations to the story map.  Each time one of our friends came up to add their picture to the map, I had them use their own words to retell that particular part of the story.



We also used our little story map to sequence the events using ordinal numbers.  Too fun!


Here’s a little activity my kids LOVED from Deanna Jump’s Gingerbread Unit. We bit off different parts of our gingerbread cookies and then graphed the results!  This was definitely a class favorite!  PLUS, it gave me the opportunity to introduce pie graphs.  It was really cool to hear them talk about the differences & similarities between bar/picture/& pie graphs.


I used our week of gingerbread fun to introduce the concept of descriptive writing.  I made little gingerbread templates and had the kids decorate it however they wanted using buttons, yarn, poms, and crayons.  I LOVE the way they turned out…all SO different and adorable!  We talked a lot about descriptive words and how we can use them in our writing.  This one is one of my favorites…

Look at those glasses!!!  HA!!!  KILLS me!!!  “My gingerbread is colorful.  He has glasses.”


Now we’re gearing up for some pretty exciting days ahead…Reindeer fun, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, Polar Express Day, Grinch Day, etc.  Speaking of Grinch Day, if you’re getting ready for yours, check out these shirts I found at Wal Mart…


Some of them were in the men’s department and the rest were randomly dispersed throughout the women’s section.  If you want some fun ideas, activities, and printables for Grinch Day, check out what I did last year and the year before.  Can’t wait to share what we’re doing this year!!!!  But you’ll have to wait a while…we’re not celebrating ‘til the 18th!!  Speaking of Grinch Day, our little town had a Christmas parade last weekend and our campus had a “Whoville” float.  We all dressed up and threw out candy to the kiddies and it was too dang cute. 

grinch2  grinch3

Now I’m off to get ready for my baby sister’s baby shower :)  Eeeek!  SO excited to add another BOY to the family…in a month!!!!!  Another baby to cuddle and love…and then give back to mommy :)  HA!!!  Before I head out, here are a few things I’m LOVING this month.  I guess you could say, “I got my shop on”. ;)  Nothing beats a good sale!!!!!  HA!!!!



HAPPY WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. I am LOVING your Whoville hair! ADORBS! :)

    Bren P.
    The Teacher Diaries

  2. Seriously that hair is too fab!!! Love it!!
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  3. Would you PRETTY PLEASE share your making 6 gingerbread / word problem sheet? I'd love to do that this week on our gingerbread day! THANK YOU!

  4. Gah! Thanks for sharing your Grinch activities!! I've got a Grinch door right now and they kids are loving the book so so much... I'm thinking I'll have my own Grinch Day the last week before break :-)

    Thank you thank you thank you!
    Mr. First Grade

  5. I so love when my own girlies started writing and stretching out their words! Makes me feel so happy when they can write what they "hear" in the words. :) So exciting!


  6. Is the "How many ways we can make 3,4,5,6, etc." shared or for purchase anywhere? That would be a GREAT recourse! Thanks for your post!

  7. You are an amazing teacher! I love the things you do, your creative and drive and motivation! I hope to have a teacher like you someday for my children!!


  8. I love the Making 6 Recording Sheet! Would you be willing to post as a freebie (or for purchase?!) Thanks, Cara!

  9. Cara,

    Would love a copy of making 6, 7, etc. Do you have it anywhere for purchase????


  10. Hey Cara! I also would love a copy of the making 6,7,etc. page. Is it available for purchase?

  11. Your gingerbread unit is ADORABLE and I mentioned this unit in my post.... Check it out..

    Thank you for your creativity!

  12. I remember when my kids started to read and write--it's so awesome. cherish every moment, it goes way too fast.
    You really did get your shop on, where do you find the time? I just read someone elses post about Grinch cookies here:lovely little learners,/a>
    I'm thinking about trying them out--might be a nice addition for Grinch day.

  13. I love the cute gingerbread ideas! The gingerbread word problems page would fit so well with my math curriculum. I hope to try it sometime.

    Thanks for your ideas!

    Compassionate Teacher

  14. I love those Gingerbread shirts! I bought the green one with the Grinch face on it, but I like the one that says "Define Naughty." Guess I'll have to head back to Walmart to get it! Then I will have a Grinch shirt for 3 of the 4 days this week! :-)

    I can't wait to see what you do for Grinch Day! We're reading the story this week and doing some Grinch-y activities this week. I CAN'T WAIT! I love the Grinch! :-)

    I also loved the Gingerbread ideas. I'll definitely be pinning this post for future reference!

    Blooming In First

  15. You have wonderful projects on your site.
    What I wonder as a teacher who also tries to teach international mindedness is during the holidays do you celebrate all faiths traditions? I only see Christian projects.
    Nice job on your math work!

  16. You have wonderful projects on your site.
    What I wonder as a teacher who also tries to teach international mindedness is during the holidays do you celebrate all faiths traditions? I only see Christian projects.
    Nice job on your math work!

  17. Oh, my I never thought that I would see my name on your blog page. It has made my day. Thank you so much for the shout out, I would have thanked you sooner but I have been on maternity leave with my newest bundle of joy!