Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Break Comes Early!

I'm linking up on this ice day morning with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday! Today was supposed to be our last day before Christmas break, but we ended up getting an early gift of a day off!  



The students wrote Christmas Pattern Poems this week in writing workshop.  First we reviewed the different types of sentences and then students had to write some of each of those sentence types about the holiday season following the pattern outlined on their rough draft paper.  This is one of the activities included in my Christmas/Holidays Activities Bundle, and here's one of the finished poems.





On Wednesday morning we opened the gifts the students had earned from me since Thanksgiving.  I talked about this behavior incentive in my post "It's Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas (and it's giving me a headache!)".  The students were very excited about all the goodies they had earned!


I drew name sticks, and each student I drew would get to open a gift and read aloud the gift card inside.  I love to hear the cheers when the gifts are announced!


One of the gifts the students earned was making an art project.  Since my students don't have art class, this is a gift they really enjoy.  We made beautiful 3-D snowflakes!


There is a video link showing how to make these great snowflakes in my post "Monday Made It for Christmas". What I love about this project is every student's snowflake turns out fantastic!





Another one of the gifts the students earned was an hour of playing board games.  They brought all kinds of games from home and had a blast playing with each other!  One of the most popular games was Headbanz.  



You wear a headband into which is placed a card that you can't see.  You ask questions of the other players to try and figure out what is on your card.  It was hilarious to see them having so much fun with this!


At our Christmas party I was planning on having the kids make this snowflake ornament.  I got the idea from Pinterest (of course!).  This was the original from Spoonful.com.  Click on the picture and it will take you to their directions.


These are the materials I bought at JoAnn's:  white pipe cleaners, beads, and ribbon.


My ornament didn't turn out exactly like the original.  I couldn't afford to buy enough beads to cover all of the pipe cleaners, and the weight of the beads I did have kept making the pipe cleaners flop down.  I flattened the whole snowflake, and this made it hang much nicer. Since we didn't end up having our party today we'll just have to make New Year's resolution snowflake ornaments in January!


I am so looking forward to the next seventeen days off!  I'm sure you need a break as much as I do!  Make sure you stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching and check out Five for Friday!



Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Made It for Christmas!

I'm trying to get back on track with my once a week blogging goal, so I'm linking up with Tara's Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics.  



Is anyone else having trouble getting things checked off the to-do list or keeping up with the blogging world?  A weekend has come and gone again where I have not even removed the contents of my teaching tote!  I knew Monday Made It was coming around, and I had every intention of revealing my newly leveled library...Well, it is still a work in progress as are most of my projects right now. 

So, today I'm going to share one of my Christmas products that I did finish over Thanksgiving weekend, my Christmas/Holiday Activities Bundle.  I'll just share a few of my favorite things that are in the bundle.  Bingo is a fun, easy thing to do at the Christmas party, but I haven't had time to make up a full Bingo board with pictures.  Instead I made up a Bingo board that you can have your students prepare.



Just copy the Bingo board and display the holiday words.  The students fill in their boxes with the words they choose, and you are ready to go!

I love to have my kids make snowflakes this time of year and hang them around the room. Two of my favorites to make are the Martha Stewart paper bag snowflake and another 3D snowflake.  


If you click on the picture above, it will take you to the video where Martha shows you how to make that great snowflake!  The next snowflake is a completely different look.   



I have included the video on how to make the second snowflake below.  I have had my students make them with white cardstock.  I did make a template showing them where to cut to make it a little easier.  (That template is included in my Holiday Activities Bundle along with links to both videos.) After they were finished we sprayed them with glitter spray paint just to give them a little sparkle.  They were beautiful!  (I will be sure to take pictures of them this year!) 


I really love both of these projects, and I'm torn about which one to do this year!  If you are short on time, the Martha Stewart one does take longer due to the cutting of shapes on all the different bags.  This one is also more costly since you have to buy the bags. Gordon Food Service is where I have found the bags in the past for a pretty good price.

Ever find yourself finishing one unit before break but not really having enough time to start a new one?  I am in that boat this year.  We just finished up our personal narrative unit in writing, and we will be moving on to persuasive essays next.  With only a handful of days for teaching before Christmas, I don't really want to start it now, knowing the kids probably won't remember what we had started after the long break this year.  

What better time to throw in a little review of sentence types and creative writing with this Holiday Pattern Poem.  The students follow a given pattern and write specific types of sentences to create their own poem about the holiday season.  You can read my example below, but your students will come up with much better ones I'm sure!

I don't know about you but I always thought prime factorization and factor trees were so much fun!  So, I made up a two-page worksheet of Factor Christmas Trees.  Love it!


Also, included in my bundle is a holiday version of Sudoku.  So far I have created Halloween Boodoku, Thanksgiving Sudoku, and now Holiday Sudoku.  These versions use pictures instead of numbers.  You cut out the missing pictures and place them into the puzzle.  Another great possibility for a party activity or just filling in a math lesson before vacation.  Four different puzzles are included in the bundle.  They are also sold separately.

These are just a few of the activities included in the bundle.  There are many coloring pages, a crossword puzzle, word search, gift certificates for students to give as gifts, other craft ideas, and more!


You can find my Christmas/Holiday Activities Bundle at my TPT Store.  Make sure you check out the other holiday Monday Made Its at 4th Grade Frolics...I'm off to start wrapping!