Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Houses.....love it!

I am guilt ridden. I haven't posted in weeks but in my defense it's been an insane few days. Anyone who is a teacher will understand what I'm talking about...there is literally something going on EVERY DAY leading up to Christmas break. It makes for a fun and memorable week with the kids but VERY EXHAUSTING! If I was to close my eyes for more than 5 seconds I know I would fall into a Teacher Coma and may never wake up. ***I wrote this paragraph last Thursday night*** :)

Ok....here's what has been going on in my room...

Two Fridays ago:

To end our gingerbread unit (SO MUCH FUN by the way) we made gingerbread houses. It was my first year embarking on this fun and sticky endeavor but I am so glad I did it. I am also so glad that I opted to do this activity in the cafeteria because I would still be trying to get all the frosting out of my carpet. I felt terrible for my parents that evening...the kids were covered in frosting and overloaded on sugar. :)

When I first decided on making gingerbread houses, I was brought back to a memory from my elementary school years and how we made gingerbread houses. We used milk cartons as the base of the house and put graham crackers up as walls. So last Monday I had the kids start collecting and saving their mini milk cartons from lunch. Hmmmm, that was enjoyable. *insert sarcasm* Cleaning those cartons were the highlight of my week and without fail, someone always left a tiny puddle of milk at the bottom of their carton which would spill in the bag and make a BIG mess. And let's not forget that the smell of milk (even after only a few hours) is fabulous. The night before gingerbread houses I was on Google (oh imagine that), doing research and brainstorming any issues that may arise the next day. That's really what teaching is...planning and preparing for the worst and trying to figure out all the ways a project or lesson can go wrong. All these different websites were recommending that we hot glue the crackers onto the carton. That didn't interest me because I wanted the crackers to be edible. I was feeling torn and conflicted so I emailed my honorary "Class Mom" for advice. She replied that we could make the entire house out of graham crackers and that she would be happy to cut the crackers and get them all ready. I responded with a "Let me sleep on it," response and went to bed....

....a few hours later (around 1am) I awoke to a strange noise coming from the living room. I went out there and found Penny sitting there surrounded by tiny pieces of milk carton. She found the bag of cleaned milk cartons and DESTROYED EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. 

Sooo..... Penny made the decision for me. Plan B won....making the houses out of graham crackers....which meant ANOTHER trip to the grocery store for more boxes of graham crackers. I should just set up a cot and live at Wal-mart.

In the end it was all worth it. It was a blast and the students really enjoyed themselves. It was a well deserved break for them. They have been working so hard and after Christmas it’s "GO TIME" in my room for FCAT (a standardized test which my students MUST pass in order to be promoted to 4th grade).  

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