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Christmas

Oh Christmas Tree-Grateful Christmas Tree

In November, we created a giant turkey to show what we are thankful for.  In December, we have a giant Christmas tree to show what we are grateful for. We first start off with our giant Christmas tree.  This display is a little smaller than my Turkey display because I am just doing this activity with my students.

Oh, Christmas Tree has activities that help students identify what they are grateful for. Students will be able to make a fun craft either at school or at home with families to show what they are grateful for. This pack includes templates to help teachers make a giant tree to show off students gratefulness on their ornaments.

In class, each student gets the popcorn garland to decorate to hang on our tree. Then we wait for the ornaments to be returned.

All of the things that are included in the pack.

Lots of Love,

Erin

The Polar Express Book Buddy

Let me just tell you that one of my favorite memories, when I was a student, was when my teacher read The Polar Express.  I loved the illustrations and the magic of the story.  So when the movie came out, I, of course, had to see it.  I saw it actually 2 or 3 times in theaters because I loved it so much.  When I became a teacher, I wanted to make sure that I had this book in my collection to share with my students.  But I wanted the magic to last longer, and The Polar Express Book Buddy was created.

The Polar Express Book Buddy Includes:

-Comprehension Questions (whole class or independently)
-Characteristics of Characters-Little Boy(Chris), Conductor, and Santa
-Cup of Character
-2 Graphic Organizers
-Step-by-Step Directed Drawings
-Writing Page

The last week of school, during our reading group time, I will read the book to my students, and then we will listen to the CD (I know, what’s that?) a few times.  I have my students complete the comprehension questions and choose a character from the book to fill out the character web and then make their Cup of Character.  We then end with a writing prompt and our directed drawing.

All the things included in the book buddy.

I hope you share your favorite books from your childhood with your students.  I sure love sharing mine.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Lots of Love,

Erin

Easy Class Christmas Party Idea

I am a planner and I would rather be overly planned.  So in the spirit of over planning, I am already planning my students Christmas party.  Let me first start by saying, I am not one of those teachers who LOVES class parties.  In fact, I really dislike them, like really, really, really dislike them.  And before you think I am a horrible teacher, I will say that I don’t mind doing fun things with my class and tend to do fun activities weekly that go away from the curriculum, but when the students know that is it going to be a ‘Party Day’, my little ones lose their minds and this teacher needs a cocktail.

This will be my 7th year of planning parties for my class and I have gotten the party planning down to a science and I want to talk about what I do for my Christmas Party.  I am not sure where this idea came from but it really is the easiest thing EVER and we all need easy during the holiday season.

First, I will create a sign-up genius asking parents to have their child bring in items for the class party. See what I do there?  I have the students bring in the items, so I don’t have visitors in my classroom the last hour of the day when things are CRAZY, right before break!  Also, if you don’t know about sign-up genius by now, please google it!  I use it for everything.  Here is my sign-up that I will be using this year.

If you can’t tell, the theme of my Christmas Class Party is hot chocolate and sweets.  I ask parents for TruMoo chocolate milk and I will put one of the gallons into my crockpot and put it on low.  I don’t use the other gallon until later.  The chocolate milk continues to get warm all day.  Then, I set up my hot chocolate bar.

While my students are watching Polar Express, I start getting the hot chocolate ready.  I line up the cups, add a peppermint stick in the cup and pour 1 part HOT chocolate from the crockpot into the cup and then 1 part cold hot chocolate to cool off the hot chocolate.  When I do this, my students are able to start drinking their hot chocolate right away and don’t have to wait until it cools.  I am a cheeseball and when the students are watching the Polar Express and it gets to the part where they ask the kids if they want hot chocolate, I will pause the movie and ask my students the same thing.  They LOVE it and it has been something that I do every single year.

Also, for the sweets part of the party, I will put together pre-made plates and students can just grab the plate that they want.  This helps with timing, they take forever to pick out a cookie and touch every single one (hello germs) and then students get one of everything.

While my students are enjoying their treats, I will start cleaning up the hot chocolate bar and sweets table.  I am able to have everything cleaned up and put away before the end of the day.

I have had students from previous years tell me how much they loved this party and it was the best one.  If you have any questions on how I do my class parties, leave a comment!

Lots of love,

Erin

Spreading Christmas Cheer in the Classroom

So, let’s be honest.  I love Christmas!  No, No!  I LOVE CHRISTMAS!  I honestly love everything about it.  The music, the decorations, the lights, the movies, the food, and spending time with family.  Since my husband and I have been living together, I have been decorating for Christmas earlier and earlier, like almost right after Halloween, if I could have my way.  But my husband makes me wait until Veterans Day weekend to decorate.  It’s all about compromise.  So our house has been decorated for a week now and since I am on Thanksgiving Break, I am now thinking about all things Christmas and wanting to get ready for the holiday with my students.

I have talked about making craftivities before as one of my favorite things to do with my students.  I do think it is so important for students to practice using their scissors and glue.  So why not make cute little crafts to add to our memory books: Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom!

This was the first craftivity I have ever made and I made it when I was teaching 3rd grade and have had my students make them ever since.  The first craft that I have them make is Rudolph.  I used to stick to traditional Christmas colors, but last year I went for the bright AstroBright colors.

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

Before we make our little craft, I read the traditional Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer book.  Then I have students write about their favorite reindeer.  When students are making this craft, we all sing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.   My students LOVE it!

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

I will also have my students make a Christmas tree and then spell out as many words they can with the words CHRISTMAS TREE.  They sure do love that challenge.

I have other craftivities included like the North Pole sign and a Present.

Spreading-Christmas-Cheer-in-the-Classroom

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!

Lots of love!

Erin