A Sweet Treat For Christmas Or A Sweet Surprise To Ring In the New Year When Your Students Come Back.
Here is a photo of the snowman candy bars I made for my grandsons last year.
Having a sweet surprise on your students' desk is a nice way to wish them a Happy New Year!
Because I have the extra time to putz during vacation and feel more relaxed, I enjoy whipping some things up, however, if you're looking for something to give your students as a gift, or even have them make for their families, these are super easy and sure to be a winner.
Putting them together in assembly-line fashion is enjoyable and gets the job done quickly. I made 20 in less than an hour.
I purchased Nestle Crunch bars from Sam’s Club. There are 36 in a box for $19. If you have a smaller class, perhaps you can split the cost with another teacher who would also like to make them.
If this is beyond your budget, you can scale things down and make the snowmen using packs of gum, which can also be bought in bulk at Sam’s or Costco. Instead of paper scarves, use ribbon and tie them on.
For complete directions of how to make a chocolate bar snowman wrapper, click on the link.
Do You Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
January brings along with it the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I feel that this is as much about celebrating an awareness of unfair prejudice, and true "liberty and justice for all..." as it is about teaching about this icon for civil rights.
Just because my Y5's are really not familiar about what went on during this historical period of time, does not mean they are not familiar with prejudice. I think there is still all sorts of that kind of thing going on in an elementary playground: girls against boys, coordinated students against the clumsy, geeks & nerds versus the more popular students. It all still boils down to prejudice.
My little ones are very quick to exclaim: "That's not fair!" so I try to keep things especially "fair" in our classroom, at the same time letting them know that "life" really isn't fair and then try to equip them with some life skills so they can handle "life" when it sometimes rears its uglier side.
To introduce the topic of prejudice to my students, I read Dr. Seuss's The Sneechs. I pass out star stickers to the girls and not to the boys just because they are girls and then ask everyone how they feel. Surprisingly some of the girls aren't as happy about receiving a sticker as they might be, because they feel sorry for the boys. On several occasions, girls have even given their star sticker to a boy.
I then pass out lollipops to the boys, simply because they are boys and give none to the girls. Once again we talk about feelings. The topic of not being "fair" and feeling "left out" and "helpless to change things" always comes up. Since a few little lips tremble, and I don't want tears, I quickly give everyone star stickers and lollipops as we continue our discussion of how much better it feels when everyone IS treated fairly/equally.
I send a note home to parents about the entire "experiment” along with our new vocabulary words: prejudice, equality, civil rights, etc.
Do you celebrate Martin Luther King Day? How do you introduce the topic of prejudice to your students? Do you feel it's appropriate to celebrate this day?
For more ideas, check out my mini Martin Luther King Unit by clicking on the link.
A Quick & Easy Christmas Craft With Math Extensions!
My grandson’s last day is Tuesday. If you too are still in school and looking for a quick and easy project to plug in for a little fun, but still want some standards attached to it, then you may enjoy making these little Christmas trees.
The initial shape is a circle; students cut it in half and then fold it in 1/4th’s, for a nice fraction review. Their circle now looks like a triangle.
When it’s glued together the completed project is no longer a flat shape, but takes the 3-D pyramid shape and looks like a mini Christmas tree.
They are such fun to make; you can also cover the concept of small, medium and large by doing different size circles.
To display the 3 sizes as a centerpiece, place them on a circle of aluminum foil with a large paper doily on top.
Students can count the ornaments they dot on their tree as another math extension, or give them the option to decorate their trees with glitter garland or snow.
Dabbing glue on with a Q-tip, is a no-mess hassle-free way to accomplish decorating the trees. Remind students “A little dab will do ya.” as you don’t want the glue running when they stand to dry, after children sprinkle glitter on top.
If you are making these at home with your own children, they make adorable place cards for your table.
Simply write your family’s names in the middle of one section of the tree and then decorate around it.
I used green printed scrapbook paper that was cardstock thick, but construction paper also works well.
You can top with 2 gold star stickers pressed back-to-back or cut some with a star punch for that finishing touch.
Lightly sprtiz with evergreen scent for that final Christmas bit of magic!
Here's Ho Ho Hoping you have a Jolly Holly-Day!
Do you have someone who gives you a helping hand? Why not let them know by stuffing a pair of warm winter gloves with goodies and giving them this gift to show your appreciation?
You can make a helping hand glove set for your room helper(s), or teacher’s assistant or make some for a few of your close teacher friends. They also make a nice gift for the school secretary or other volunteers. I’ve made poems for both kinds.
It’s up to you what items you want to stuff inside. I included practical “pamper yourself” things that a helper might find useful, purchased at two of my favorite stores: Bath & Body & Yankee Candle.I enjoy making jewelry so I purchased some pretty beads at Hobby Lobby and made a bracelet to put on the cuff for that extra touch of pizzazz.
If you’re making a lot and want to keep the cost down, The Dollar Store sells all of the ingredients including the gloves! Here are a few suggestions:
Things that are hand-related:
Things to stick into the fingers:
I’ve also made a cute little “meanings” for the things above and why you might include them in your gift glove.
I’ve given you a DOC form so you can revamp the list for what you include in yours. Click on the link to view/print the Gift Glove meanings list.
Merry Christmas and a grateful high-five thank you, to all of the many helping hands that have made my life so much easier through out my years of teaching,
and to all of you reading this, who make the time to be those helping hands in the lives of others!
Even your most reluctant writers will enjoy contributing a page to a class made book. I try to make one each week, sometimes more depending on the themes I’m doing.
Students TRACE the sentence and fill in the blank. So that they don’t have a problem with spelling and I can manage this activity with an entire class without a lot of repetitive questions, I gather everyone in front of the white board.
Read the prompt and then ask your students to give you as many examples as they can think of.
I tell my Y5’s to put on their thinking caps and we make motions and sounds to do that.
As they raise their hands and give me suggestions, I write them on the board.
They choose an idea from the list and then take their seats and get down to business.
I always do a sample, complete with an illustration, so that they have a model to refer to, that is posted on the board.
When everyone is done with their page, we do the graphing extension(s). I laminate their contributions + the graph(s) and put them into a book, and then read it to the class.
Afterwards, it goes into our “Class Made Books” basket. This is one of my students’ favorite items to read during quiet time.
Some of the books we make I develop as a nice follow up for a popular story that we’ve just read.
These stories usually follow a theme such as Jan Brett’s The Mitten or the classic winter fairy tale The Gingerbread Man.
For the gingerbread story, I pass out Keebler gingerbread cookies and tell my students to take just one bite. I ask for a show of hands to see who bit off what and then they write and illustrate their page. I also graph the results.
Click on the link to view/print Our Mitten class book.
Click on the link to view/print Our Gingerbread Man class book.
For more winter fun writing Class Books click on the link.
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Happy Winter Writing!
17 pages. A booklet that's easy to read with many Dolch words. Children use picture clues to help them and enjoy cutting and gluing the matching pictures to help explain why December is such a great month.