Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reindeer Food

One of the things we did this week was make reindeer food.  This is so simply.  They just mixed oats and glitter in a bag and added a label.  We were able to incorporate math skills by having students measure their ingredients out.  For the label, I just searched for "Reindeer Food" on TeachersPayTeachers and found several options.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Santa's Workshop

Our dramatic play for the next two weeks is Santa's Workshop.  We put lots of wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, gift bags, tissue paper, etc. in the center.  The kids have had a blast wrapping and delivery presents!  I can't tell you how many wooden blocks I've received as presents in the last two weeks!  Haha

December Odds and Ends

This is such an easy center to set up.  I have different pages hung on the board.  Below each set of words is a basket with all the magnetic letters they need to complete each word on the list.  Once they complete one set, they can move on to the next set. Easy peasy.
We love reading to our fifth grade buddies!  This month we read a Christmas book with the phrase "can you see".  They read for about 20 minutes and then we played on the playground with our buddies!  It was a great end to our day!

Gingerbread Man Hunt

Throughout the season we did tons of gingerbread activities.  Today we made a gingerbread cookie and of course when we went to get him out of the oven he had run away!  After a chase around the building (he left us lots of great clues), we found him back in our classroom!  What a tasty snack!  He was so easy to make.  We purchased the Betty Crocker gingerbread mix, a Wilton pan from Amazon, and we were on our way!  Cooking in the classroom is a great way to incorporate math skills, not to mention cooking is a life skill our little friends will need as they get older!
Discussing how to read a recipe (ingredients and step by step directions)
(mixing the batter up)
(I forgot to take a picture of him before we cut him all up!  We did lots of little squares because we shared with our fifth grade reading buddies who were coming up to listen to us read after snack!)

Monday, December 7, 2015

T is for Tree Stained Glass

I absolutely love doing stained glass projects with my kiddos!  Here are our Christmas tree ones!  Once you have the frame cut out, place it on a section of clear contact paper.  Then have your students put squares of tissue paper down on it.  We used Christmas tissue paper to make it look like trees with ornaments.  Add another piece of contact paper on top.  Trim excess contact paper off and hang in a window.

Peppermint Scented Playdoh and Rice

I love incorporating scented items into my classroom!  For December I added peppermint scented playdoh and peppermint scented rice.  The kids had so much fun!
Peppermint Playdoh
1 c. flour
1/4 c. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tarter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. water
food coloring
peppermint oil
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
Add food coloring and peppermint oil to water.
Combine flour, salt, and cream of tarter.
Slowly add colored water to dry ingredients.
Add additional flour until desired consistency.
This recipe kept four children at a time happy, but I will definitely double it next time!
Peppermint Scented Rice
To scent rice I fill a gallon size bag about 2/3 full of rice.  I add a few drops of food coloring, scented oil, and water and then shake the bag of rice until it's coated well.  It works great!  


Friday, December 4, 2015

Gingerbread Activities

During the month of December we did lots of gingerbread activities.  We started the theme off by reading different versions of gingerbread books.  We read:
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
The Gingerbread Cowboy by Janet Squires
The Gingerbread Loose in the School by Laura Murray
Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun
Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
Keep Running Gingerbread Man by Steve Smallman
Each day we read a different version of the book. Then we summarized it. Every day after we read our new book and summarized it, we reviewed the summaries of the previous books. After we had read all the books each student came up to me (privately as to not change any student's mind!) and told me their vote. Then we met as a group and each student came up and put their gingerbread girl/boy (graphics by Krista Wallden of Creative Clips) over their favorite version. There was lots and lots of cheering as the books battled for first place! As we put them on we counted how many were in each column, compared more and less, introduced the word "tie", talked about how many more this one had than that one, etc. The graph is drawn on a Dollar Tree tablecloth.
One of the other gingerbread activities we did was to decorate our loft as a gingerbread house.  This is one of the first pictures, but we added "icing" to the window and lots and lots of other decorations, too.  I didn't get a picture of the final product!  (silly me!)
We finished up our Gingerbread theme with a Gingerbread Man Hunt!