Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Customs & Belated Friday Freebies


Saturday is here and Christmas Break has begun!  Well, in my case it's a 4 day weekend, but I'll take it.  I confess I am very jealous of my peers right now that get a two week break.  But I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a good break, and I can't wait to see the exciting stuff you create!  :)

What a busy week it has been!  Between practicing for the Holiday Song Program, doing the Holiday Song Program, recovering from the Holiday Song Program, I'm not sure how we accomplished anything at all!  But accomplish we did, and largely thanks to you, my wonderful fellow blogger teachers!  I am so thankful for the great resources you make and share, they were a lifesaver this week for sure!  Here's a look at our week of Holiday Customs Around the World:

Art

Snowflake Craft Stick Ornaments (Parent Gift)


These turned out so great!  I poured some craft (tacky) glue a bowl and they used Q-tips to place glue onto their gemstones.  Then, they put the gemstones onto the craft sticks, which I had previously glued together in the shape of a snowflake.  I attached some cute ribbon so it could hang from the tree and voila!  12 cute snowflake ornaments ready to go!  :)  I found this idea from Thrifty Fun via Pinterest.  There is also a button version of the craft- check them both out here.


They also made hand print Christmas tree cards for their parents.  We used glitter glue sticks to decorate the trees and glittery foam star stickers.  (Note: I do NOT recommend getting your glitter glue sticks from Dollar Tree.  Normally, I love that store, but it seems every time I try to buy highlighters/glitter glue/dry erase markers, they are always dried out.)

Hand Print Menorahs


We made these after reading Runaway Dreidel by Leslea Newman, which was a fabulous book!  We looked through the book and compared the similarities and differences between Christmas and Hanukkah.  I have to say, my kiddos were stuck on eating fried pancakes (latkes).  They thought that was just the strangest idea!  :)  Most of all, though, we focused on how each holiday is a special time for family.

Shape Wreaths



We also made these shape wreaths as a combination math/art activity.

Present Boxes



These are so adorable!  We made present boxes made out of rectangles.  After they glued the shapes together, my kiddos picked a bow they would like on top and I attached a picture of their faces to peek out of the box.  You could also have students draw a self-portrait.  Now these little cuties are spicing up our coat hook and name tag wall!  :)

Literacy

Rhyming Words



Almost every book we read this week was a rhyming book.  We spent some time identifying the rhyming words, and then generating more.  Here are some words my class came up with after reading Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson.  I also (subtly) suggested that perhaps some of them could try using rhyming words when they write books, so we'll see how that invitation turns out!  :)

Rhyming Mittens


Many thanks to Julie Van Alst at Make, Take & Teach!  I purchased this fabulous activity from Teachers Pay Teachers (which you can find here) and my kiddos loved it.  I have groups of 4 students each, so I gave each student 5 pairs of mismatched mittens to sort and find the rhyme.  Some students preferred to spread them all out at the same time, others preferred to put one mitten down while they looked through the rest in their hand for the match.  With my lower group, I really encouraged them to say the words out loud and listen for the rhyme.

I am considering adapting this activity to be a Memory Match game next week- flip over two mittens and if they rhyme, keep the pair!

P.S. That's my crown.  :)  I started wearing it during Fairy Tales & Legends as a visual symbol for when I'm with a group and cannot be interrupted.  So far it's worked out really well!  We practiced quite a bit what their options are when I am busy: ask a friend, wait, or (in the case of conflict) use words and if that fails, walk away.

Math

I cannot think of a WORSE week to introduce a new topic!  And this is supposed to be the only week we spend on 3-D shapes.  Are they mad?  I am going to use next week to review 3-D shapes, especially considering that half my class will be gone, so it would be pointless to introduce patterns anyway.  This week I introduced 3-D shapes and we read this cute poem daily to help us remember them.  Again, many thanks to Marlana at Lil Country Kindergarten for her post with this cute poem freebie!  I had to adapt it a little since we aren't learning about prisms, but it worked out great.  My kiddos wanted to change the bouncy ball line to basketball or soccer ball, so we changed that as well.  :)

3-D Shapes Poem



Dramatic Play

North Pole



This week my little elves were busy at work building, repairing, and wrapping toys!  I got the wrapping paper from the Dollar Spot at Target and it was the PERFECT size for little hands, no way could they have managed a full-sized roll.  They loved it!  Next year I really want to go all out and integrate literacy too, perhaps by having children's written toy requests to Santa... and maybe some visual directions for blocks on how to build toys... Hmm...


Manipulatives



Christmas cookie lacing cards!  Yay!  :)  You can grab these cuties from Karen at PreKinders for FREE by clicking here.

Other Shenanigans

We made our first snowman... (he was very small, due to the absence of packable snow!)


We made our first gingerbread house... (don't laugh!  I am so domestically impaired it's a miracle it stayed up at all!)


And we played an adorable version of Christmas Bingo that Vicki Johnson, over at Green Eyed Girl Crafts, emailed to me!  My cards don't look as pretty as hers do (didn't have time to color them in yet).  Check out her blog post here to grab yours!


We also had our class book exchange.  We played pass the present with one of the presents our elves wrapped this week to Christmas music.  Whenever someone got out, they went to the gift table and grabbed a wrapped book.  The only rule was that it couldn't be your own present!  :)

Here's a look at the great books we read or had available at the Listening Center and Library this week:



Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.  Don't forget to grab my Valentine's Day heart background freebies while you're here!  :)


Grab all the other great Friday freebies too!

Freebie Fridays

9 comments:

  1. What a terrific freebie! Thank you for sharing this last week at TBA, you are my featured link up tomorrow!
    ~Fern
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!
    Fern Smith’s Pinterest Boards!

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    1. Wow, thank you Fern! I am so excited! :) I've been wanting to get picked for ages! (Okay, ages meaning since I started blogging in November). Thank you for always hosting such great linkies!

      ~Jessica

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  2. Thanks for the freebie! I am a follower, and I just realized that our teaching history is very similar! I have been in Kindergarten for 4 years and taught 6th grade reading prior to that! You have some awesome ideas! Thanks again.
    Faith
    Kindergarten Faith

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    1. That's so funny! I remember my first day with my PreKinders and I thought, "I am so out of my comfort zone here!" But now I don't think I ever want to leave the littles, there is something so magical about the early grades! :) What about you? Do you think you will ever go back to the higher grades?

      ~Jessica

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  3. I am a new follower! We made the hand print menorah's too!! So cute! Thanks for the great freebie!

    Greg
    Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

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    1. Thanks for following Greg! I wish we had more than one week to explore other holidays around the world, there are so many great things to learn and fun art projects to make!

      ~Jessica

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  4. Cute Christmas activities, Jessica! Glad you enjoyed the lacing cards. :) Thanks for visiting my site & commenting!
    Karen
    prekinders.com

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  5. Oh my gosh...you taught 6th grade and then moved to pre-k...how brave. I taught pre-k for eighteen years and I know I could have never have moved to 6th grade. You are so very brave. I love your blog. Thanks for the freebies. I am now a follower.

    The Convenient Teacher

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    1. I don't know about brave, some days I feel more like insane! :) But I am so glad I did, I can't imagine a more magical and amazing age than PreKinders and Kindergartners. Thank you for stopping by and following! (I get so excited when someone I follow decides to follow me!) :) I love your blog as well, I am so grateful for all the veteran teachers who share their advice and ideas. It helps SO much as a new teacher!

      ~Jessica

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