Turkey Time Traditions {with Mrs. Decatur's Little Gators}

I just cannot get over the idea of Thanksgiving being THIS Thursday y'all. I am ready but I just can't wrap my head around the fact that the 2015 holiday season is already in full swing! 

I decided to share how I celebrate Thanksgiving with my class and coworkers since we are all already on break and in full relaxation (yeah right!) mode and no longer looking for that one last turkey themed activity! 

With my colleagues, hands down my favorite part about Thanksgiving at school is our potluck lunch! I look forward to it each year! {Chalkboard done by my lovely team teacher, who doesn't blog, but should}

The hospitality committee puts out a sign up sheet and everyone gets to choose their favorite dish to share with everyone else. I love trying other 'family recipes' its neat since most of us just share these dishes year after year with our own families. 

The administrative staff is kind enough to provide the turkey, ham, and drinks each year. It is such a nice time to just slow down for a few minutes & eat some yummy hot food with colleagues. 

The hospitality committee decorates and sets things up the morning before, so the rest of the staff can just pop in and leave their dish in the morning. We did a #thankful board this year, it was a super cute and quick way for the whole staff to connect since some of us rarely see the others because of scheduling. I  wish I would have grabbed a picture after it was completed. 

With my students, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving at school is making butter! Each year after our nonfiction Fall and Thanksgiving unit in November, we make butter. 

I usually show this short video of a reenactment of a Pilgrim churning butter. She is speaking french but its translated into English text & the kids enjoy it! 

You need several small containers with secure lids, I usually go with these 4oz glass mason jars. It just feels more realistic than plastic. I have done this with my class for the last six years, this is the first year we used a marble to help 'churn'. Honestly, it was loud and I'm not sure it made much of a difference anyways. I'll leave it out next year. 

You fill each jar about 2/3 full with heavy whipping cream & secure the lids.

Then its time to shake, shake, shake! I like to have my whole class sit in a circle on the rug while we shake. I make six jars of butter and start them every few kids. Each kid just shakes until they get tired & pass. It takes about thirty minutes, so by the end they each get to shake about five or six times usually.

It should start to look something like this after about ten minutes.

but you'll want to keep shaking until the sides of the jar are 'clean' and the butter is in a bunch on top of the jar or on the side. For best results, let your jars of butter in cool in the fridge for an hour or more before serving.

The best part is of course trying it out on a roll! The kids usually make weird faces which cracks me up because it is actually just regular butter..same flavor. Ha! 

Despite all the fun that Thanksgiving brings, my absolute favorite Thanksgiving tradition is decorating for Christmas before its even Thanksgiving! What is your favorite way to celebrate Thanksgiving at school?

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