Cinderella Fairytale Ball

Today was the day!!! The Fairytale Ball day finally arrived!  The kids were soooooo excited and so was I.  We had a fantastic day...but man, it took a lot of work getting it ready....

Early last week, we made formal invitations for our parents, inviting them to our ball.  The kids colored the scroll paper to look like an old scroll, then crinkled it up to make it look old, and rolled it up and tied it with some yarn!



I know it seems crazy, but they were so proud of those silly scroll invitations.  We even practiced giving mom and dad their best, "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!" when they presented the invitation to them!

As I blogged about last week, we also prepared the kids with formal manners lessons and waltzing lessons!  With our school population being so high poverty and ESL, it is so important to us to expose our kids to some of the "finer" traditions that they may not otherwise get to experience.  The whole process is truly a "Once in a lifetime" experience for most of them!

This week we researched our class' continent--Europe.  Each of our seven first grade classes chose a continent to study and present at our Fairytale Ball.  Our class chose Europe!  We read even more books about Europe.  {Throughout the Cinderella Unit, we read a book on a different continent each week and did some research.  This week we researched even more!}

Because of what seems like a gazillion meetings at the end of last week and this week, I only had one day to make our map of Europe and practice presentations with my kids.  Last year we took about 2-3 days to do this project: 1 day to discuss what should be made and have the kids watch me model how to make a picture for our pictorial continent map and letting the kids make their pictures with partners; 1 day to write sentences with partners about what we would say about each picture; and 1 day to focus on our presentation skills.

So...Phew! Doing it all in one day was like running around like a chicken with my head cut off...seriously!  But we survived...in less than 2 and a half hours we did everything.
****DISCLAIMER: It is absolutely not the best quality of work, but how could I have expected it to be with so little time to model and practice??  Despite it's imperfections, and teeny tiny pictures, the kids were SUPER proud of it and thought it was "awesome!" ...And it is 100% kid made.  And that's the most important thing to me.  All I did was outline the continent.

The sweet castle and crown for the queen of England!

For the trains you travel on in Europe...

Gingerbread, cars, cows with humongo utters {ha!}, and the Eiffel tower off to the Southwest of this picture...

...in the end, I truly love all of the imperfections!  All of our Fairytale Ball plans, the formal invitation templates, more pictures and materials are included in my full Cinderella Unit.

Wednesday after school, our team {and some amazing teacher kids} set up for our ball!  Luckily, I grabbed a few pictures then because I didn't have any chance Thursday morning to take pictures!

Our adorable castle entrance that covers our cafeteria doorway!

One of my teammate's precious girls wanted to make a sign for the entrance to our ball. Pre-shus!
My lil' man got dragged into helping decorate and I snapped a quick pic...that castle door is just the right size for him, don't ya think??
 Last year, our sweet colleague made the castle entrance prop, and this year, she added a rock wall for our stage.  Our goal is to add one new prop each year!  I love the rock wall on the stage!

This is our red carpet entrance for the lords and ladies to walk through!
We have had great luck with table decorations each year!  Last year, our PTA had left over flower arrangements from teacher appreciation week.  This year, we had a wedding shower the day before and stole their table decorations...fresh hydrangeas! So pretty!!


Thursday was the DAY!  We started by parading down our main hallway for our entire school.  The kids walked with escorts and curtsied and bowed on the way down.  Our principal played some trumpet fanfare music through our intercom to make it so special!  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the parade from this year because we didn't have a photographer this year. {Last year, my father-in-law took pics, but this year he couldn't come.  We were able to do our own pictures, but just not of the parade!}  But here are some of last year's pics....

...absolutely LOVE this sweet picture!

Once we all entered the ballroom {err...cafeteria}, each class presented on their continent.  Obviously, I couldn't take a pic of my class, so...sorry Miss Burris...you and your class made the blog!
 Then, the kids used their formal manners to eat their meal.  Each class was responsible for providing one food or drink item from each continent...{in case you're wondering...we used ice for Antarctica!} The loved eating the meal and were SO well behaved!  I think we should dress up in our fancy clothes more often!! *wink*

Then, it was time to practice our waltzing skills...






And oh how I love this sweet ladies!  My team is truly amazing and they are the reason our ball turned out to be such a HUGE success this year!

Throughout our Cinderella unit these past 7 weeks, I have hummed this song over and over...

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

What powerful, powerful lyrics woven into a simple kids' movie....Today as we were cleaning up the "mess" left after the ball, I was thinking of just how many of our first graders had dreams that came true today.

For some of them, prom will be the closest thing to another "formal" event that they will ever go to. {And let's face it, prom isn't winning any awards anytime soon for its classiness...}

For some of these sweet babies, this may have been the only day they will feel like a carefree prince or princess.

For some of my firsties, "no matter how {their} heart is grieving" with the things they deal with on a daily basis, their dreams came true today.  I love that I have a job where I can create memories and grant wishes for children...

And I pray they continue to have faith in their dreams and someday see their rainbow!


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