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The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 8 (Kindness Day)

I think today was one of my favorite days so far! We had a great day discussing how we could show kindness to others in school, at home, and in our community!

First we read this book:
It's an adorable story about this kind hedgehog who is traveling to see Badger-- and along the way he stops to help other forest animals. His kindness is repaid in the end. My kids definitely enjoyed it!

After reading we wrote about the lesson we learned in the story and how we could apply it to our own lives. I had the kids come up with a list of people in our school we could show appreciation to (I told them it needed to be an adult). We came up with a list and them I had students (in about groups of 3-4) volunteer to make a Christmas card for that person. After we created our cards we delivered them! The kids loved it!

You can get a FREE template of these cards by subscribing to my email list (plus access to a growing free resource library!)-- all I had the kids do was color the words and tree-- then we used paint on our fingertips to make the "lights" and "ornaments". We filled out the inside with our thank you's-- and we were all set! It was fun and easy!
One of my sweet girls surprised me with a card she had made for me! I happily hung it up on my personal bulletin board!
I hope you have a very "merry and bright" week!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 7 (Stocking Day)

Today was stocking day-- and we started by reading a picture book. This one was hard to come by, so I actually purchased it for the Kindle on the Amazon website-- and then just projected it on the screen while I read it to my kids:
Afterwards we filled out our graphic organizers and had a great discussion about the book's setting!

I thought it would be fun to make small stocking ornaments-- and it was pretty easy! Here is the finished result:
Here is how we created these little stockings:

  1. Draw a small stocking outline on a piece of cardstock (I made mine about 3 inches long). Cut it out. 
  2. Use the stocking you just created to trace and cut out enough cardstock stockings for each student.
  3. Trace stockings onto the back of various pieces of scrapbook paper. 
  4. Give each student one cardstock stocking and one piece of scrapbook paper. 
  5. Have students cut and glue the cardstock stocking to the scrapbook paper stocking. I also had mine write their names, grade, and year on the back of the stocking. 
  6. Laminate for longevity.
  7. Hot glue cotton balls along the top of the stocking-- I cut the cotton balls in half and then spread them out before gluing.
  8. Punch a hole near the top of the stocking and tie on a ribbon. 

Also, it would have been fun to buy real small stockings for students and let them decorate with buttons, ribbon, puff paint, etc.

I hope this gave you some fun ideas! Thanks for reading!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 6 (Santa Day)

Tuesday was Santa day in our 12 days of Christmas! If you missed my other posts and want to start back at the beginning-- click here.

We began our morning by reading the book "How to Catch Santa". It's such a fun book! My kids loved it!
After that we practiced using transition words as we wrote a little paragraph about how we would go about catching him. The kids were totally into it!

You could easily incorporate a study about Santa around the world-- like what is he called in other countries, etc. Here is a freebie you can use to have your students take some notes and write a quick summary of facts!

Later in the day we crafted these adorable multiplication Santas from Not So Wimpy Teacher. I like them because you can pick which set of multiplication problems you want your kids to work on (a good way to differentiate).

Lastly, I created a set of multiply and color sheets-- and one of characters is Santa! These can be found in my TPT store-- you get 4 pages (plus answer keys) in the download:
You can find that product by clicking the picture or clicking here.

Thank you for stopping by-- and I hope you're enjoying the last few days before break!


The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 5 (Snow Day)

Monday was snow day in our classroom! My kids were pretty excited because we have yet to have any real "wintry" weather this year!

We started out by reading the book "Snowmen at Christmas"-- there is also "Snowmen at Night". I love having my kids write short stories about what snowmen really do at night! I use it on my bulletin board every year!
In math we had ourselves a little review over measuring the nearest 1/2 inch. Most of my kids had forgotten how to use a ruler! So it was a good review! We ended by having a little snowball fight. My kids were so excited to toss the paper balls around the room-- I may have even thrown a few myself :) You can find that activity here in my store. I also have an activity called "Snow Much Measurement" if you'd rather work on measuring the 1/4 inch! My kids just weren't ready for that yet!
Lastly, we worked on making some snowflakes using borax and hot water-- the recipe is down below. Hope it's useful!
Thanks for stopping by! 

Welcoming the New Year in Your Classroom!

I don't know about you, but I have always loved planning Christmas and New Year activities for my classroom! The last few weeks before break usually fly by-- they include posting grades, making ornaments, planning a class party, and more! I don't want to get caught up and miss out on the amazing moments (like celebrating the new year)-- so that's why I plan ahead. Here a few ideas to help you plan, too!
1. Set the stage: I think we all know what this means! Go out and buy some cheap party horns, party poppers, confetti, and silly hats! If you are celebrating after Christmas break then everything should be on sale! I found these horns at a local dollar store for about $1 for 8! You could also buy some cheap plastic cups and sparkling cider-- the kids would go NUTS!

2. Turn off all the lights and replay the countdown timer from New York! I know you would be able to watch it on youtube! If you're uncomfortable with using YouTube simply drop the link into a website like "View Pure"  and it will edit out all the ads and bad things that sometimes pop up! Then, relive the countdown with your kids (not all of them stayed up to see it!)

3. Make a craft and set some goals! Now that you've celebrate it's time to set some goals for the new year! Here are some pics of the crafts I always make with my students:

You can find this craft and mini book in my TPT store!

4. Do something kind for others. What better way to start a new year than by thinking of others? You could have students write "thank you" cards to school staff, local servicemen, etc. You could also spread some kindness around by giving out New Year treats to staff (or even your own students if you wanted)-- these free gift tags can be found in my FREE resource library (you can gain access after signing up for my emails)
5. Update your bulletin boards for the new year-- I love using this succulent themed goal board since it matches my classroom decor:
You can find this bulletin board set HERE in my TPT store!

I hope this post has given you some great ideas about how to ring in the new year with your students! I know I'm very excited to start fresh!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 4 (Gingerbread Day)

In case you've missed the first couple of posts about the 12 Days of Christmas celebration in my classroom-- click here to start on Day 1! As you read through my daily plans you can also get some freebies to use in your own classroom!

To kick off Gingerbread Day I read my 3rd graders 2 different books about gingerbread characters! They were:
We finished with a lovely discussion comparing and contrasting the 2 books! Next, we practiced some symmetry by drawing in 1/2 of a gingerbread man. We crafted gingerbread houses using paper bags:
I thought this would be a great way to practice descriptive writing! Have the students write about what makes their gingerbread house unique! Teach them a mini lesson over adjectives and have them highlight their adjectives in their paragraphs!

During math I brought out this "Gingerbread Spin To Win" board game-- and the kids LOVED it! We are going to play some more tomorrow! I had some groups using the multiplication spinners, some using addition, and others using subtraction (also a great way to differentiate!). Click here to see this in my store!
After math we munched on some ginger snaps! The kids thought they were spicy, which seemed pretty funny.
We had a fun day! I hope you also have a great day and gleaned some new ideas from my post!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 3 (Elf Day)

Today was the 3rd day of Christmas! We started out Elf Day by reading this adorable picture book:
If you've never heard of it-- I think it's often overlooked! However, my kids were totally into the story-- and after I finished reading they even applauded! It's a sweet story about an old elf and how he needs to get the toys he's created to Santa.

After reading we filled out a graphic organizer and wrote about what we would do if we were elves.

Next, we had some small elf-sized candy and worked on an adorable directed drawing from Learning with Mrs. Parker. Here are some of our end pictures!

Lastly, I created some winter themed brag tags-- and a few of them are "elf" themed:
Click here (or on the picture above) to see the brag tags in my store! They are on sale 50% off for the first few days! Hope this post gave you some good ideas!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 2 (Candy Canes)

Today was candy cane day in our classroom! The kids were so excited! First, we read a silly picture book involving candy canes and filled out a graphic organizer:
Next, I found this wonderful post on Pinterest! We used it to watch a short video about the history of candy canes! My kids were fascinated!

I bought a variety of candy canes and handed them out to everyone. While the kids ate we worked on a small candy craft. I liked this craft because it was quick and simple! I bought red, white, and green pony beads-- and some white chenille sticks. We put the beads onto the chenille sticks and created our own candy canes. The kids loved it!
The last thing I wanted to do (but ran out of time) was complete this graphing activity with the students. We've been studying different types of graphs-- and I know pictographs can sometimes be a tough concept for my kids! I made this graphic activity in my TPT store-- so click here or on the picture below to download!

I hope this post gave you some fun ideas to use in your classroom! Have a blessed week!

The 12 Days of Christmas: Day 1 (Trees)

I am so excited for these last couple weeks before Christmas break (I know, I must be crazy!). But it's such a fun time when teachers can do so much with their students! I plan to do a little Christmas activity every day from here until break. Here are some things I'm planning for the next 2 1/2 weeks:
  • 12 Days of Christmas (topical focus & activity every day-- see the unit I purchased here)
  • Holidays around the world (we will do this the last week before break)
  • Grinch Day (I plan for this to be our last theme day before break!)
So you'll definitely want to come back in a few days to read more about my activities! 

Tomorrow will start the 1st day of Christmas (Christmas Tree Day)! Here are the short activities I have planned:
  • Read a tree-themed picture book & complete a graphic organizer (I'm going to read this one because Scholastic always has great prices on picture books!)

Last week I read my kids the book "Night Tree" and we learned about main idea and details-- this would have fit in nicely! This little tree craftivity came from December's Rooted in Reading

  • Eat a tree shaped snack (I know the kids LOVE those seasonal Little Debbie cakes or brownies!)
  • Create a tree craft! I found this idea on Pinterest and made a FREE template for you! You can can access it through my free resource library (full of other goodies as well!) There is a large one and smaller one-- mine is the larger one. (I am not sure I will do names-- we could do almost anything we are studying!) 
  • Do a Christmas tree themed scoot in math! This particular scoot is geared toward 3rd grade multiplication skills and can be found HERE in my store.  

The unit I bought also comes with printable bag covers. You can buy Christmas bags and glue the covers on-- I found a pack of 13 plain bags in the crafting section at Walmart, laminated the covers, and hot glued them on the front. Every day I plan to put in the craft supplies, snack, book, math activity, etc. Here is my one for trees (I haven't filled it yet!)
 I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you gleaned some amazing ideas for you room! 
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