Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter Fun In The Classroom!

Hi friends! Sorry I've been MIA… there's so much prepping and planning to do to make sure that I squeeze what seems like a whole year's worth of winter and holiday fun into two short weeks, AND to make sure that I have things in order for when we return from break! Anywho, we've been having lots of wintery fun in our classroom, and I'm here to share what we've been up to!
We kicked off our winter fun with some GIANT gingerbread man glyphs. The original template wasn't a glyph at all, but I always feel kind of guilty for leisurely making crafts {Am I the only one??}, so I turned it into a glyph so that my kiddos would have to listen and follow directions! Also, it makes a darn cute hallway display, and as a glyph, it looks like there's a lot more educational value to it {let's go with that!}
You probably can't read the text because I still take photos on my phone {if anyone would like to buy me a nice camera, I'd love you forever!}. Here's how the glyph went:
~frosting: blue for boy, red for girl
~buttons: number of siblings
~eyes: white if you like gingerbread, yellow if you don't or have never tried it
~nose: white if you like snow, yellow if you don't
~bow: green for 5 years old, red for 6 years old.
We had a BLAST making these cute little guys. They really are giant- I had to have some of my students work on the floor because 4 of the gingerbread men couldn't fit on one table!

Next up, we're combining our 2D and 3D shape unit in this fabulous little holiday shapes book. The idea came from my teammate Barb's son when he was in kindergarten, and we spent an entire lunch period reworking it so that it was to our liking. I think it came out fabulous! Here are some of the sample pages..
The last page of the book reads "10 good friends singing with me." We haven't made this one yet, but there will be a photo of the student, and he/she will draw ten friends in the background. This is the part I loved so much from Barb's son's book!
Here are some of the kids' first two pages drying after they sprinkled the cinnamon onto their slices of "pie." Our room smelled sooo good for the whole afternoon! 
We've also been practicing our letter sounds and letter writing, and this time, I decided to incorporate some holiday fun! I used my Festive First Sounds page from my Winter "Wonderfull" pack, and we had a blast!
Instead of using this as a small group activity or in a literacy center, I chose to do it whole group. I put the presents under our document camera, so that they showed on the SmartBoard. My kiddos sat at their seats, and wrote the first sound when they saw the image on the SmartBoard. It went much smoother than expected, but I did make sure to do the images in order because the numbers were harder to see from so far away!
Can you tell we're having fun? They showed me that they were ready for me to change the image by putting their hands on their head. I love when I see my kids having FUN with something that I created!
We have also been reading nonfiction books about winter to incorporate our nonfiction reading unit and our science curriculum. Today, in preparation for Winter's arrival on Saturday, we created our winter trees! First, we had to color our trees brown.
Next, we used popsicle sticks to spread small amounts of glue onto our trees. {As you can see, I found a great use for all of those left over Halloween plates… glue plates!!}
The last step was to tear pieces from the cotton balls and glue them to the tree! I found it so odd that the harder you pulled on the cotton ball, the less successful you were in tearing it apart!
And voila! We now have beautiful Winter trees that are hung up with our Winter anchor chart. My kinders were so proud of their trees!
We've also had some winter magic spread into our guided reading groups! Here's a peek at our magical winter pointers. The only person who's allowed to speak during guided reading is the person with the pointer. Everyone else has to use their magic reading finger to follow along… works like a charm! Thank you, Dollar Tree!
And last, but definitely not least, are these wonderful ornaments from First Grade Blue Skies! We used pom poms, glitter, and winter themed stickers to decorate ours, but next year, I definitely want to try using different strips of paper. These are by far on my list of favorite crafts to do and they just make me so happy to see them hanging up!
Thanks for stopping by to check out how we've been having some winter fun in our classroom! Be sure to check back on Friday to find out what I'm making my kiddos for presents this year!
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