Thursday, December 20, 2012

Polar Express Pajama Day!

Did you think I disappeared?! It sure has felt like it this week. I haven't looked at a single teacher blog in a few days, including my own! This is a weird record for me! I'm addicted to blog hoppin! So what happened?? I'll tell ya... Sickness and Christmas! I have had a HORRIBLE sinus thing which made my asthma go crazy so I cough a bunch, plus it was the week before holiday break. I never caught up from the 2 sick days I took off last week thanks to a mean old stomach bug. Either way, it's been an exciting week! Now I'm OFFICIALLY ON HOLIDAY BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS!!!!

So today was Polar Express PJ Day in Lower El. My staff forgot my tradition and asked if A) I spent the night at school or B) Didn't feel the need to shower and get dressed this morning. I quickly informed them my day would be so much better than theirs because I got to hang out in my PJs, drink cocoa, and have Christmas in the classroom all day!

The best thing about PJ Day is my secret present every year... My mom and I sew brand new PJs for each kid in the class. This year I have all adorable boys, so they got matching jammies this year! Super cute!! I should have gotten a close up of the pants. They have super cute little snowmen wearing scarves. Have I mentioned how much it kills me to cover their adorable smiles!! I'm pretty sure the parents sign release forms for photos, but I think it's only for the official school site, so I feel weird putting kid faces out there for everyone.

One little guy was TERRIFIED of the Polar Express! He was plugging his ears and begging me to "fast forward 3 minutes!!!" I had him sit on my lap (the wonders of a private school where I won't get sued for loving my little gems) and whispered in his ear that the whole movie is about the magic of Santa and there is no way anything bad would happen on a magical train ride to meet Santa. By the middle of the movie he was telling me our classroom was the Polar Express and we were having a magical journey!

We also had our holiday singing thing. Does it have a real name? I dunno actually! All I know is my class sang Rudolph and Up On The Housetop. And by "we" I mean all but one little guy. I teach kids with disabilities, and do you know what happens when you put one in a crowd and step just slightly out of sight... a crying fit! One little guy was positively sobbing! I had to rock him in my lap while a counselor took pics of the rest of my kids singing. They were super cute, but sadly I didn't think much about it because I felt so bad for my little guy who was so upset.  It's quite a challenge to quietly sooth my little guys in an insanely crowded room full of parents and students. Thankfully he calmed down. I got to meet his extended family who were in town for the holidays and they were all raving about how much better he is doing since I've been his teacher. They've seen an incredible difference in his ability to talk to them and share things compared to the gibberish he spoke when I met him this summer. He literally could not form a sentence, and now he's cracking jokes. Love it!

My kids and their parents spoiled me rotten this year! I might have the most amazing group of parents and kids this year than any other year since I've been a teacher. They have been so patient and understanding despite the constant chaos in my room. Teaching 3 grades at once, with gigantic ranges in both academic and social skills has been a challenge to say the least. This is by far the biggest academic/social range I've ever had. Every parent is very grateful, thoughtful, and understanding as I'm doing everything I can to teach each of their super diverse kids.

This is one of my awesome gifts from a parent! She made me an adorable crochet purse in my favorite color! She might be the most talented crafty person I've ever met. You should see some of the other amazing things she's made!

Here is the finished product of our snowman presents the kids made for their parents. I got the adorable boxes at Michael's for 50 cents each, maybe less with the teacher discount actually. 

This week I also got an email from a parent of a child no longer at my school. The mom was telling me how she was thinking about me and misses having her son in my class. So sweet!


  1. Awww.......your day sounds like so much fun!!! Are you still doing Whole Brain Teaching? How has it been working for you?

    Extra Special Teaching

    1. I have to do it "miniature style." So I discovered I can't really do it as a whole group since we have so many lessons going on at once, but I use it during my mini group instructions with about 2-3 kids at a time. It works WONDERS during math time. Using movements along with tone/volume of voice for the math concepts is especially helpful. It makes things really "stick" for my little guys. I LOVE the Whole Brain style of teaching, but my chaotic class of ABCs, reading comprehension work, social skills, speech skills all happening at once makes it a challenge to use all day. Whole group teaching isn't really an option 90% of the day in a 3 grade level room, so Whole Brain gets tricky since I have to use it in a way that it doesn't distract the kids next to me working on a completely different concept. We tend to do it in whispers and it works well.

  2. What wonderful activites for your kiddos. I think it is awesome that you make pjs for all your kiddos. I wish I was that talented.

    I’m having a giveaway! I’d love for you to buzz by and enter :)
    The Busy Busy Hive


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