Guest Blogger and a GiVeAwAy!!

Hi there!  No, this isn't Joey connecting with you today... This is Deb Hanson from Crafting Connections!
http://www.crafting-connections.blogspot.comJoey and I thought our blog followers might enjoy a change in perspective and the opportunity to meet a new teacher blogger.  What?!  you may be thinking... I follow Joey's blog to hear from JOEY, not from some other random person!  Well, just hop on over to my blog to see what Joey has to say today! 

First, for those of you not familiar with me, I'll tell you just a little about myself.  I am an ESL teacher in a school district in northeast Nebraska, and I am in the middle of my 16th year of teaching.  For the most part, I co-teach with several third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers.   I love this, as it allows me to provide support for many students and collaborate with some amazing teachers at multiple grade levels as well!
Me with husband Troy, daughters Brooke and Kayla
If you’ve visited my blog or been by my store, you’ll know that I LOVE to create “craftivity” resources … and the only thing better than creating them is seeing first-hand how students are engaged by them, enjoy them, and learn from them. (Check out a post I wrote earlier this year about the benefits I find from doing craftivities with upper elementary students.)

As I mentioned at my blog last week, I especially love doing craftivities with my students during the month of December.  Why would that be?

First, I find December to be great month to revisit topics I have already taught earlier in the year.  December can be a challenging month to keep students focused, but craftivities keep them engaged and allow them to be creative - while reviewing important concepts at the same time!

Secondly, during a particularly busy month outside of school, I appreciate the double-duty benefit of working toward mastery of standards by doing fun, holiday-based craftivities...and using them for my holiday bulletin boards and hallway displays!

I'd like to share an example with you.  Each fall, most upper elementary classes I know touch on the concept of character traits.  Not only is it an important literary concept for students to grasp, but most teachers I know agree that it's a great concept to hit early in the school year, as it affords the opportunity to talk about the character traits that students are expected to display the remainder of the year.

So, this fall a number of the classes I coteach in used this craftivity with their students.
In this craftivity, students are first tasked with reading sixteen short stories. After reading each story, they determine the character trait for each main character.  When they complete this task, they can begin the craftivity!  Students are instructed to label a frame with the name and a character trait. Then, they draw an appropriate face to match the character trait.

I find December to be a great time to review this concept!  So much is being made of "naughty and nice" during this time of year, so character traits are being reinforced at home, on television, etc.  I just recently finished the Elf & Self craftivity shown below, and I am very excited to use it with students in the next few days!
This resource is modeled after the original resource (described above), but it includes 6 short stories about Santa's elves, and also gives students the opportunity to draw their own self-portrait and choose a character trait that they feel describes them.  As soon as the projects are completed, up onto a bulletin board they will go!

Again, check out my blog to see what Joey is sharing today!  Her post includes a featured resource as well, and I'm sure you are interested to see what she's choosing to share over there!

I promised a raffle giveaway in the blog title... here it is!  One winner will receive their choice of my Character Trait craftivities - AND the resource that Joey is featuring over at my blog...  Enter at either blog!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Finally, thank you so much for reading today - even though I'm not Joey.  :)  I hope my post today will lead you to consider following my blog as well!

Best wishes to you and yours this holiday season!


  1. I love that you girls are guest blogging today. Fun!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

  2. Thanks Deb for sharing! Joey, I just bought your interactive writing center and I was wondering what font you used to make the titles? Thanks for a great resource!