Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Rewind and New Year's SALE!

I have been MIA for awhile! The last two weeks of school were crazy between having benchmark testing, our cute little holiday show, and gingerbread house building party. The minute school got out, I dove right into all the Christmas festivities, so I haven't had much of a chance to sit and update my little blog until now! I've got pictures of activities to share, so hopefully they will be useful for you to log away some ideas for next year! We did the Elf on the Shelf again this year, and the kids absolutely loved it, but this year I had some skeptical friends that took some convincing on my part to believe in the "magic"! To introduce the fabulous candy cane graph activity from Deanna Jump's Christmas Math and Literacy Fun unit, I had our elf deliver candy canes to the students one morning:

Then we used our 5 senses to brainstorm as many words as we could to describe candy canes; then completed the cute Christmas tree graph to see how many of us liked candy canes or not. As you can see, "yes" won in a landslide!

We participated in a ton of fun holiday themed centers during the month of December.

1. This one is called "String the Lights" and the kids LOVED it! I strung two huge pieces of yarn across our big carpet - one line was to build -at family words, and the other line was to build -an family words. Then they wrote their words on the recording sheet and drew the picture to match!

2. "Bakin' Up Sight Words" - the students chose a Christmas cookie card, read the sight word, and recorded it in the matching space on the response sheet.
3. "Elf Number Order" - I gave each student a number card out of order and they had to work together to put the cards in order from 1-20. Once they completed that part of the activity, they ordered the numbers themselves for independent practice.

All of these centers and much, much more can be found in my Deck the Halls {Christmas Math & Literacy Centers} unit on TPT! There are sight word games, labeling activities, counting on, more/less, and ordering numbers math activities, sentence building games, and MORE! And it's on sale for today only! So even though Christmas is over, you can get it now and be really prepared for next year. ;)

 There are so many great holiday books to read at this time of year, and one of our favorites is, of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We used Deanna Jump's fantastic Grinch unit activity to brainstorm all the ways we would make the Grinch grin.. and let me tell you, my little kinder babies melted my heart with some of their responses. My favorite? "Give him a mom." Love. Here is a web we made of some of our ideas (and can I just say how proud I was of my Grinch drawing? Yeah, it turned out kinda awesome).

We also made a list of adjectives to describe what the Grinch was like before his heart grew 3 sizes.

Here were a few of my favorite craftivities my kiddos came up with. And let me tell you, even though they are young, after reading the 1st ("give him a family") and 4th ("give him a mom") ways they would make him grin, it makes you realize that sometimes kids are pretty astute.
Another favorite story, among many, is Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. After reading the story, I told the students I had made them gingerbread cookies, but when I got the container out to show them, they were GONE! Of course, they had run away just like the cookie had in the story. ;) To make the gingerbread baby come back, the boy built him a gingerbread house, so we did the same in hopes that our cookies would return to us! We made little houses like this, left them on our desks, and thankfully it made the cookies come running back while my littles were at P.E.! What impeccable timing!

There you have a little snapshot and rewind of some of the activities we participated in this holiday season! Now that the New Year is upon us, I have a gift for you! For today only I am throwing a sale in my TPT store - 20% everything until midnight tonight!


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