Week Before Winter Break

Life is always crazy the week before break.... performances, shortened days, creating holiday crafts, and other things that get added to the calendar... it's always crazy. I know some dread this week, but I really look forward to it! I've figured out what helps us get through them... THEME days!


We usually have 3 or 4 days the last week (we typically get out the 21 or 22, right around there)... here are some things we do.

Grinch Day!


We read the book and then talk about Author's Message. We do a craft where they draw what represents the author's message. 


Then we do a directed drawing (found HERE) and we add in a lesson on similes (which we've done previously with Gingerbread week)




We also do some Grinchy math problems, but I forgot to take a picture of those.

And we end the day with the Grinch movie and Grinchy treats!





Mistletoe Madness!

On Tuesday, we had our Mistletoe Madness, where it was craft mania!! We were really crunched for time, so it was a little hectic, but I LOVE all the crafts!


Their stocking ornament where they sew it up... they use plastic needles and you'd be surprised what a skill this is for them!


Snowmen Socks.... 
This is definitely a 2-person job, so I kept coming back to help out with this station.


But they turn out SO cute!


Measure a Tree - I use scrapbook paper and let them use Q-tips to make the snow on the paper and add a dash of glitter.



You can see past Mistletoe Madness Days HERE and HERE


Reindeer Games!!

Another name for this would be Winter Minute to Win It, and you can see last year's post HERE. After a few years, I have finally gotten this down to a pretty good organized chaos. What helps is that I have all the stations labeled with my photo frames that I have numbered.

This year I had 6 stations....

Candy Cane Pick Up


Snow Nose





Roll an Ornament 





Gingerbread Man Shuffle 




Rudolph Nose 
(we traded out the popcicle sticks each round - you can just slip the sticks in and out of the loop-tie on the end of the stick)




Jingle Toss 


They have so much fun with these games. You can download some directions HERE.

We've also done years where we've done a "Storybook Sleigh Ride" where each teacher in our pod has a book to read and a craft to go with it...

I always do Santa's Stuck. 


With a cute little craft


This year, we have a 4th days, so we're going to do a Brunch - where all the kids bring in food to share and then we'll have Movie day after lunch. 

And we always do a Sock Exchange...it's so fun!!


They wear their new socks 


Happy Winter Break, my friends!!



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Christmas Number Sense Tree

One of my teammates made the comment the other day, "You have one of these things for all the holidays!" lol  I guess I do... I think it all started with the tree though. 

To give the students their numbers, I walk around with a deck of cards and pass out 2 cards and they have to make the greatest number....

Here's what we did for the 2nd grade version...



Here's the example from 1st grade...


I did some for the fall too - 

Here is the 2nd grade version of the Pumpkin shape example....


and the 2nd grade version of the turkey....


and what we did for the 1st grade turkeys...





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Christmas Picture Craft

This year, I kind of just "winged" it. I took the pictures, but I took them too close and I couldn't order prints any smaller than 4x6... so I had to come up with something different.


And I'm pretty happy with how they came out!!


I had colored and plain popsicle sticks (jumbo size)... they kids got to paint them, glitter them, or what not... definitely keep an eye on them while they're painting though!


When I took their picture, I had a green tablecloth hanging up for the background, and they got to choose between a Santa hat or an elf hat.

Glue all the frames together and add some ribbon to the back - voila!

I just love how they look on the tree in my room. I don't want to send them home!






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October Fun - FREEBIES

Holy. Cannoli.

October is just a whirl wind!! It's super crazy, in the teacher world and the mom world. I'm not sure which direction I'm going anymore - does anyone else feel that way??

I just wanted to drop in a share a few things that we've been doing... I haven't blogged about anything we've done in October yet... but you can check out some older posts I've done for October. (some of these are 1st grade, but some have links from when I taught 2nd gradet too!)

We've had a lot of fun learning with....







and Owls!  
(You can see some older posts on each of those by click on those links...)


Today we read the book, Monster Trouble, and did a prediction activity to go with it. I'm really trying to get them to USE THE TEXT to help them answer questions... WHY oh why is it so hard to do? 



You can click HERE to grab the Monster Trouble Prediction paper. 

We also took some time to review 2-digit numbers, since we're adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers now... it's always good to review!



You can click HERE to download the template. 




 And this week, we'll be doing a lot of Pumpkin activities!! You can see previous years' activities in THIS post.

We'll be working a LOT in our Pumpkin Book...












And for our actual Pumpkin Day, we'll be doing a few of these activities...




Tomorrow is Halloween and our school is doing Book-O-Ween... I'm dressing up as the witch from Room on the Broom - who would you dress up as??



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