Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Polar Express...All Aboard!

Don't you just love reading
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg every year? 
LOVE.LOVE.LOVE. this story!
I have an ancient cassette tape 
of William Hurt reading this story.
Goosebump worthy!

Can you still hear the bell ring?
Of course I can!
Whip out the hot chocolate and marshmallows...
Kindergarteners are coming to school in pajamas...
And so are their teachers!  Woot Woot!
(Just make sure you don't have to run

errands after your PJ's!)

ALL of my friends who live around
me know that if they see me walking
on the side of the street in my pajamas
any time past 6 pm
to just stop their cars and pick me up.
OBVIOUSLY I had car trouble.
I can't help the time I get home from school 
and take my mandatory wash the gunk off of me evening shower,
Seriously!  I take my showers at night
for the same reason.  BLEK!
I am DONE for the day.
Of course, I STILL have to run my kiddos
to and from after school activities,
so I just go off driving in my SUV in my pajamas.
Luckily I DO have AAA Car Assistance thanks to King Common Sense,
so hopefully that'll save me from walking the streets in my slippers....
I just wonder what the AAA worker will think, when he comes
to assist a crazy haired, pajama garbed, bra-less, frazzled mom.
Hmmmmm.....on second thought,
maybe I should keep an extra bra in my glove compartment.  
Enough of my Ta-Tas....Let's move on to Ho, Ho, Ho's!
OMG!  So many wise cracks running through my head.
"Bra-less?"  Uh, yah the AAA would be appreciative.
"Glove compartment?"  Explain that to the officer
when THAT falls out of your glove compartment as
you reach for your registration.
"move on to Ho?"  What did you just call yourself?
Can you say sidetracked?

The Holidays are around the corner,
and I am ready to hitch a ride to the next
pit stop called Winter Break!
For sure!

Funny Teacher Week Ecard: 'I wish winter vacation was shorter this year.' said no teacher.

Since I'm OBVIOUSLY thinking
of the Season of Giving...
here are some gifts for you!
For A Teacher,
From A Teacher!
Once again, you're so generous!
 The Polar Express is...
The Polar Express has...
The Polar Express can...
Writing 3 sentences CAN be painless!
(Or at least, a little less painful!)
It's all about your perspective.
 Draw a picture of The Polar Express
and write 3 things or 3 sentences about it.
I love this version.  Thanks for the variety.
And here is the SAME activity in Spanish for any of you
Spanish teachers or Bilingual Education teachers out there!
Of course you did!

Ma Chérie came up with a great idea around 6 years ago.
It's one of her Shower Ideas...
Let me define that for you.
Shower Idea: the idea that hits you in the middle
of taking a nice, hot shower in the morning.
The lightbulb moment thought that clicks
as the steam envelopes the bathroom, and then
you ALWAYS think: Why didn't I think of this before?
Ma Chérie has Shower Ideas, I have them,
you have them, we all have them I'm sure.
I seriously need to keep a set of
those bathtub crayons so I can
write down those ideas on the wall.
Otherwise, the idea is gone
as quickly as the steam evaporates from the mirror!
Bathtub crayons? That made me laugh!
I wonder what King Common Sense would say
if he saw my mad scribblings on the bathtub tile? 
That would be a conversation well worth remembering
for our future (way in the future) grandkids!

If you're missing out, maybe you just need
to take a little bit LONGER in the shower.
GREAT excuse for longer, hotter showers...
"Sorry, honey, I was just waiting for my Shower Idea to hit me.
I'm sure the warm water will be back on soon enough!"
Hopefully King Common Sense won't read this post...
or he'll see right through my 30 minute showers.
Wasteful, wasteful woman...that I am!
Shh...we'll keep your secret!

Her idea was simple, yet brilliant!
Have a train with space for writing and/or drawing
the beginning, the middle, and the end
of the story (each part of the story on a different train car).
Now that's a genius idea for making
the beginning, middle, and end more
of a concrete concept for short people.
Well done Ma Chérie!

The Polar Express: Blank Story Writing/Sequencing....
Beginning- Middle- End
 Different strokes for different folks!
Just choose the handwriting lines you like best,
and you can mix and match the engines.

 Here are the engines with no titles, so that you can
 use them with whatever book you'd like.

I figure that any resourceful teacher is going to
just whip out the handy dandy white-out and blot out
the title (as needed) I saved you a step!
True that!

The Polar Express Handwriting Sheets:
Choose the handwriting style that you prefer.   
Have enough copies of both pages for your classroom.
Have your students decide if they would like
to take a ride on The Polar Express or not.
Pass out the appropriate paper to each student.
Have them use their best handwriting to trace the words .

 I made the next activity to help my students read
CVC Words and/or practice their letter naming and
letter sounds depending on what they need to work on. 
I'm thinking that I can ring a holiday bell after one minute.
I'm thinking that I could even get miniature holiday bells
for students toplace on top of the letter or the word
that they finished reading at the 1 minute mark.
The next time they read the letters or words,
they can see if they can beat their own time
before they hear the bell ring!

The Polar Express: CVC and Letter Reading Practice

Wowzers! I wasn't expecting to keep adding
to this just kind of happened!
My Polar Express  FREEBIE has multiplied!

If you like this,
you may like my Cookie Train S.T.E.M.
activity that would go great with a 
Polar Express Day at school.
practice sheet for anyone wanting to throw in some quick math!

All Aboard!
The Teaching Train for 2013 is almost to its last pit stop,
so let's see just how much smarter I can make my kids
(and you can make yours)
in these last few weeks of school before....
Chugga, Chugga.....Chugga, Chugga...
Chugga Chugga...
The brain has left the building!
Oops...I meant "train."
Ha!  Now that was funny!

Funny Teacher Week Ecard: 'I have my students' undivided attention all December long.' said no teacher ever.
*AttaGirl Funnies by Angela Furgal AKA Fairy Funtastic*
If you see this pinned somewhere else...know that you saw it here first!


 photo Queenchaossignoff-2.png


Barb said...

I love this--especially that you have a Spanish version as well! I'm having trouble with the download though :( Is there any way you could e-mail me the packet or post it as a Google Doc? I'd love to use it next week! Thanks so much!
bmaguilar at gbaps dot org

Queen Chaos said...

Hi Barb,
I just sent you my Polar Express activities....that way you'll have them for next week. :)
Did you follow the instructions in the red box for downloading on and it still not work? I'm just curious to know.
--Happy Teaching!

Tamala said...

I can't download your wonderful Polar Express activities either! :-( I attempted to follow your directions, but it did not work past the first gray download box. Is there any way that you can PLEASE email these amazing activities to me?
Thanks so much,
Tami W.

Queen Chaos said...

Hi Tami,
I just sent it to you! I also sent you the writing sheets from the next post (Santa Claus Is Coming To Town) just in case you'd like those as well!
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Merry Christmas!
:) Regina

Queen Chaos said...

I just uploaded all of my Polar Express to Google Docs....hopefully that will help for future downloads!!!!
I'm hoping to have all of my other activities switched over within the next few weeks.
Thanks everyone for letting me know that was such a hassle!
Happy Holidays!

Desirae Gilliam said...

Thank you for the great freebie. I could use the train templates with any book!

Queen Chaos said...

You are very welcome!
Enjoy! :) Regina

Michele Funderburke said...

You are absolutely amazing! I love all of your ideas

Queen Chaos said...

Thanks so much Michele!
Happy December!

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