I am back from Cuba, where I spent a fantastic week laying on the beach, drinking copious amounts of frozen coffee beverages, and watching an old friend get married. It was a great little break – but of course I missed my students! We just got back on Sunday, so I was a little frazzled on Monday, but today was nice and smooth and we are settling back into our routine – sort of ;). Because, guys – only a week and a half until Christmas break! Woo!!
I LOVE Christmas (in fact, after getting home from the airport at 3pm on Sunday, I immediately went out and bought and decorated my tree haha), and so I thought it would be fun to do a little blog post about what Christmas looks like in my classroom so far this year. I am fortunate enough to work in a school where we are free to celebrate and recognize whichever holidays we like, and once November 25th hits, all bets are off and it is as Christmasy as possible dans la classe de Mme Andrea!
As I am sure everyone agrees, two weeks before Christmas break is not the time to start teaching new curriculum. So, I like to do as much revision as possible, but in a fun way, with lots of stories and crafts! I start inciting the Christmas spirit by putting up an artificial tree with lights while they are eating lunch on November 25th. Our math that afternoon was all about patterns!
Students worked with their math partners to make paper chains in an AB pattern to put on our tree. We tried to make them as long as possible in the 30ish minutes we had.
I modelled how to put their chains together before we started. One partner was the red strips and the other was the green. The A partner started by gluing their strip in a circle, then they held the glued spot together while the B partner added their strip. Then the B partner held their link while the A partner added another. I LOVE watching them work together to get things done! We used white glue and paintbrushes to ensure they stayed together.
I had also picked up some foam ornaments from Michael’s last year during Boxing week sales. They decorated them using markers to make patterns, and then added stickers. They put the decorations on the tree themselves using pipe cleaners as hooks.
Kindergarten trees always turn out very… festive ;)
We also have an elf in our classroom. She brings us a note every day with a tip on how to be kind. Today, she hid in the shoe organiser we use to hold our water bottles. She pointed out that our principal didn’t have any decorations in his office, and suggested that we make him some… so we did!
Easiest patterned ornaments ever! I got the idea from First Grade Blue Skies. You can download her instructions HERE from TPT. All you need for each student is 1 1/2 pieces of construction paper and a topper. There is NO PREP aside from photocopying the topper – students do it all themselves! The template for the topper is in the download – I just photocopied it right onto cardstock. We taped them all onto one long piece of ribbon to make a garland and our principal hung them in his window.
We also did some Christmas patterning review worksheets. Some they did with me, some with my sub while I was away. You can grab these and others in my Joyeux décembre – mathématiques pack.
Another activity that my kiddos did with my sub was make these ADORABLE Christmas trees. I LOVE how they turned out!!! She read them the story Le plus gros sapin de Noël (I ordered mine from Scholastic) before they did the craft.
These trees are from another great free download on TPT, from Julie Shope. You can grab the templates HERE. This was another awesome low-prep art activity – again, I just ran copies of the template on cardstock. The patterned paper I got from Michael’s two summers ago – so glad I did, because it was perfect for ornaments!
I love how they all turned out differently, even though everyone had the same material :)
We have been reviewing lots of literacy skills, as well. We have been reviewing rhyming, initial sounds, and syllables using sheets from my Joyeux décembre – littératie pack on TPT. When we do these sheets, my students grab a clip board and a pencil/their crayons on their way to the carpet. We do the first few together, and then if they are able, they can go back to the table and continue on their own. For those who are less independent/confident, we continue on clapping out syllables and listening for rhymes together at the carpet.
We used Prof Numéric’s FREE writing paper to write our letters to Santa. They are so cute! Almost everyone in my class wants Minecraft for Christmas haha. Isn’t it funny how wishlists change from year to year? She has included lots of different borders and line styles, so you should definitely grab these papers to inspire your students to do some Christmas writing, too!
I forgot to take pictures, but we have gotten into our December predictable sentences and our Christmas word wall cards are up to help us with writing. If you aren’t sure what predictable sentences are, I wrote a post about them here. I seriously love them – in about 7 minutes a day, we review sight words, one-to-one word correspondence, directionality, and vocabulary! Then my students practice on their own during centre time too, and work on handwriting as well. Click on the picture below to see the Christmas sentence pack in my store.
My Christmas word wall cards were the first product I ever uploaded to TPT… a whole year ago! Time flies!! They were in need of a big time facelift – I have learned a few tricks over the past year ;) If you have previously purchased this resource, alone or as part of the Bundle, go grab your update for free by clicking on the appropriate link. There are now 28 total images, and the clip art is a much better quality :)
Next week is our Christmas concert, and it will be a busy week all around! We still need to make our parent gifts, do a couple more crafts, and the last day before break, we will be making gingerbread houses from graham crackers and Bulk Barn icing/candy. My favourite activity of the year!! Here is what we are making for our parent gifts:
Click the picture or right HERE to go to the link on Pinterest. We did these last year, and they turned out really well! We will paint them gold and mod podge them before sending them home. I will try to remember to take a picture this year! We use Crayola air dry clay – I buy mine from Staples and one container is enough for 16 students.
Finally, I added a Christmas freebie to my FREE French Resource Library, in case you didn’t see it already (I put it up before I left for Cuba, but ran out of time to do a post about it). This freebie is to celebrate me hitting 300 followers – yay! I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me and my TPT journey over the past year – you guys are the best!!
Don’t have access to the library? No problem! Just CLICK HERE, enter your info, click the button, and I will email you the password!