December in the Classroom (2016)

Hi friends! Have some of you started your winter break already?

We have another week to go! I wanted to share some December/holiday ideas for those of you who still have another week and need some ideas to get you through the week!

CENTERS

HOLIDAY SALT TRAY


Our room neighbour made us these awesome holiday themed salt trays! She added glitter to the salt and had the kids write in the salt with candy canes.

So easy and the kids absolutely loved this activity! Our kids are also obsessed with my Mr. Sketch markers so I wrote some sight words with my Christmas scented Mr. Sketch markers and set them out with the salt tray to entice kids to write them :P

CHRISTMAS STENCIL CARDS

I got these from the Scholastic Elf (December) catalog and they have been a hit with the kids! It is great fine motor practice and for adding details to pictures, labeling the picture etc!


TRIM THE TREE

We drew a tree on the presentation board, the kids painted the tree and then my ECE added the bow, white felt and bow. Then she added the velcro on the tree and the ornaments so that the kids could trim the tree!


There are sight words on the back of the stockings, numbers on the back of the gingerbread men and dots for the students to count on the back of the ornaments!


CHRISTMAS NUMBER CLIPPING

I got this centre idea from @joysofkinder on Instagram!


I set out jumbo popsicle sticks, Christmas clips (they are from Michaels) and wooden numbers (also from Michaels) and had the students clip and create sets.

You can see more centre ideas (with lots of freebies) in my past December posts here and here.

PARENT GIFTS

ORANAMENT

This year we made these finger print ornaments for the kids to give to their parents. They made a finger print with brown paint and once it dried they added the antlers and eyes with a black sharpie and a nose with red paint and a q-tip.


I outlined the circle with the dashes and the kids got to choose whether they wanted their ornament backed on red or green paper. I either wrote their name or some kids wrote their own name.

At the end I glued it on to a doily  and put some twine at the top and tied it to make it an ornament!

It was easy, cheap and cute! My three favourite things for parent crafts :)

GIFT BAG

We made these gift bags to put the ornaments in. We set out holiday themed cookie cutters with red, green and white paint and had them stamp the paint onto the paper bag. They had the choice of sprinkling on a little bit of gold glitter before carrying it to the drying rack.


This one is my example but this always turn out so pretty and unique!

CARD

For the cover of the card I just let the kids decorate with holiday stickers or stamps.


For the inside they either used my example and wrote their own or used a template and filled in the blank/traced the message.


You can download the template for the card for free by clicking on the image below:


Click here to see what I did two years ago!

CO-WORKER GIFTS

I can't remember where I originally saw this idea, but when I saw that they had a 10-pack of Blistex at Costco, I knew I had to make these!

I wrapped the lip balm in glitter tape (I used the Scotch glitter washi and I had to hot glue the seems to keep it down) put them in a cellophane baggie with some hershey's kisses and added the tag & twine.


Easy peasy and 10 gifts cost me under $20!

You can grab the tag for free by clicking here.

WINTER BREAK CHALLENGE

Every year I send home a little winter break challenge in an attempt to encourage the kids to incorporate reading, writing and math into their day during the holidays.

Last year I sent home this booklet that with the book Sneezy the Snowman.

This year we are giving them the book "Snowman for Little Bear" by Trace Moroney and sending home this Winter Break Challenge.


The first page explains what the winter break challenge is all about:


Their first challenge is to read books on 10 different days. There are some comprehension questions at the bottom to encourage the parents to talk about the book with their child.


For the kiddos who are still learning their letters I'm putting in these alphabet tracing pages:



And for the kids who are ready I am putting these CVC and sentence practice page instead.


This page is for the kids to write about something they did over winter break...


and it has a little writing checklist on the back to help parents remind the kids about writing conventions.


We have a shape tracing section to reinforce shape ID and a number tracing section on this page to practice number formation.


I also recently taught ordinal numbers but when I did my summative assessment I realized many of the students need more practice with this. So I included this ordinal number button colouring page as well.


Lastly, lots of my kiddos still need practice with creating sets. So I included this page to help them practice that!


If this looks like something you could use too you can grab it from my TPT store by clicking on the image below:


I hope this post was able to give you some ideas for December in the classroom! What are your favourite activities and resources for December?

- Yukari

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