1 2 3 Come Do Some Santa-Themed Activities With Me
Each month I like to have a little review of all of the 2D shapes, so this information stays stuck in my students’ heads.
With that in mind, I designed two “Shapin’ Up With Santa” packets.
The first packet is a "print & go" Santa craft, where Santa's "body" is made up of a 2D shape; topped off by his head, complete with a beard, which is cut from a paper plate.
The 2nd packet includes a variety of games and activities that provide a fun way to review these 2D shapes: circle, oval, triangle, square, rectangle, hexagon, pentagon, octagon, rhombus, trapezoid, heart and star.
First up, The Santa craft: The 2D shapes included are: circle, oval, square, rectangle, triangle, hexagon, pentagon, octagon, trapezoid, & heart.
The packet includes patterns for the above shapes, so that children can make a “Shapely Santa” of their own.
Santa's paper plate beard is snipped along the ridges; then every other "tab" is bent up, which is wonderful fine motor practice, that will help strengthen those finger muscles, at the same time providing a cool 3D effect.
Use a red and green marker to show an AB-AB color pattern and add some extra pizzazz too.
Eyes and a mustache are a separate piece and simply glued on. Have a room helper pre-cut them to expedite assembly.
Another "finishing touch" that will add some 3D pop to your display, is to attach a white pom pom to the tip of Santa's hat. I use a glue dot.
As you can see by the photo, once students complete Santa's "head" they glue it to a red, 2D shape.
The “Shapely Pokey” activity, is also super-fun and helps get the wiggles out.
The packet also includes shape posters and pocket chart cards to introduce your lesson.
For added reinforcement, try some of the activities from the "tip list" for how else to use the posters; such as playing the game "Catch the Claus".
My students actually beg to play this game at the end of the day.
I’ve also included a “Shapely Santa” bookmark for your students.
Completed projects make an adorable bulletin board or hallway display.
I’ve included several posters to add extra pizzazz, plus informational “tags” should you want your students to explain the attributes of their Shapely Santa.
You can hang these next to a child's "Shapely Santa" on you bulletin board.
The other Santa-themed packet which reinforces 2D shapes, is "Shapin' Up With Santa!" and includes a variety of games and other "print & go" activities.
Games can be played independently or as a whole group, then put in your math center.
Game sheets like “I Spy a Shape” are a super-fun way to whole group assess. The same worksheet can be used 5 times!! Woo Hoo.
There are puzzles, dice and spinner games, as well as 2 graphing activities.
An emergent reader booklet, packed with Dolch words, also practices end punctuation, which can be done as a whole group or independent activity.
Children color the Santa, trace and write the shape words, trace and draw the shape, then cut and glue the matching shape to the empty box.
There are also a variety of worksheets which help practice a variety of standards, including two graphing extensions you can do as a whole group.
I hope your students enjoy these activities, as much as my kiddos do.
I call this craft "Wishful Thinking". Students finish the writing prompt: "If money were no problem and I could have 5 super-fabulous gifts for Christmas, I'd like..."
They glue their final draft to the inside of a construction paper square, folding the corners over to "close" their "gift".
Add extra pizzazz, by having students glue a square of Christmas wrapping paper to the back of their square of construction paper. For that finishing touch, top with a bow.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
Gotta get going. I'm helping with my granddaughter's Christmas party today.
As you can see I'm all decked out. (Jingle all the way...) Not too good at taking selfies...
Wishing you a blessed day filled with lots of love, hugs and giggles galore.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” -Dr. Seuss (From the Grinch Who Stole Christmas.)
1-2-3 Come Do Some Christmas Coin Activities With Me
Here is a quick, easy and fun game to help reinforce coins (penny, nickel, dime & quarter) that would be perfect for a December math activity, or your Christmas party day.
You can run off the Christmas tree on green construction paper and have students trim, or simply run off the template on white paper and have children color their tree.
Pass out a set of paper coins to each student. They color and cut them out, and then pick a partner, taking turns rolling a dice four times.
Their 1st roll equals how many penny ornaments they will glue to their tree, the 2nd roll is for nickels and so on.
I've included a poster for you to hang up for children to refer to. To practice more math, I've provided a worksheet extension for the game, where students fill in data.
There are several options for different levels of study. I've also included completed samples to help clarify things.
For more coin identification practice, there's also a "color the coins" worksheet. Color words are also reinforced.
One worksheet simply has students count the coins; another has them count each type of coin and then total them.
Click on the link to view/download the Cent-sational Tree Trimming packet.
If you'd like to see all of the FREE money activities I have on TeachWithMe, click on the link to pop on over to that section of my site. One of the things I think you may find particularly helpful, might be the coin anchor charts.
Thanks for visiting. Our refrigerator "died" Friday, so I have some major clean & toss chores to get to, before the new one arrives this afternoon. Wishing you a happy and productive day.
"Magic makes believers out of everyone, especially at Christmas." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Do Some ST Blend Activities With Me
The "Stuff a Stocking" packet, includes a variety of quick, easy and fun ways to help students practice words that begin and end with the ST blend.
For one activity, children color and trim a stocking, then stuff it with words that have the st blend in them, by writing the words on the front of their stocking.
The packet includes an alphabetical list of 92 common words that begin with st, as well as a list of 64 simple words that end with the st blend.
Before sharing the lists with your students, as a whole group, have them brainstorm to see how many words they can think of.
Write the words on the board, and have students look up any words that are new to them, jotting them down in their writing journals. This is a great vocabulary building activity, and perfect for Daily 5 word work.
For another whole group activity, I've included matching mini-word cards to pass out to your students, so that they can "stuff" either a teddy bear stocking with beginning st word cards, or stuff a moose stocking, with words ending with the st blend.
To be able to "stuff" the paper stockings, laminate & trim them. Cut a slit under the cuff portion, and attach a large Ziplock Baggie to the back.
Call out an st blend word from your list. (Before hand, highlight words that you want to review with your kiddos.) The child holding that card shows it to the class, everyone reads the word, and then that student "stuffs" the card through the opening of the appropriate stocking.
To help build vocabulary, ask children to define the words. When you're done with the game, simply zip the Baggie and tuck in your file.
For yet another activity, students choose 3-5 cards and write sentences incorporating the word cards that they picked. To practice alphabetizing, have students write their word cards in alphabetical order.
Thanks for visiting. It's time for me to get to the grocery store. The cupboard is indeed bare, as I hate going out in the hustle bustle of December.
The inclement weather and crowds are a bit overwhelming to me, and I'd much rather be curled up by the fire, sipping eggnog and making sketches of stuff I want to design. Wishing you a warm and cozy kind of day.
"Christmas Time: Snowy climes and silly rhymes, a make-believe sense of time, when the old become young and the young walk the line." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Plan A Christmas Party With Me
The day before any vacation can be pretty wild, as children are bound to be filled with lots of energy. Their excitement for the season finds some of them not sleeping well, so you have cranky pants to deal with too.
Because of this, I planned all sorts of educational games and especially fun activities for the last day before Christmas break. Our official "party" was "supposed" to take place at the end of the day. Let's face it, when it's Halloween or Christmas time, the entire day might as well be a "party" and by the time the "end of the day" rolled around, my Y5's were also pretty much done and tired as well.
Wearing my Santa hat and jingle bell necklace, I told my students that we'd be doing extra special lessons, games, crafts etc as part of our "party" and that we'd be having a great time all day, ending quietly with our gift book exchange and snack. I never once had a child say: "When is the party going to start?" They were also happily focused, busy learning all day, just in a different way.
Behavior was wonderful, because they got the chance to get the wiggles out throughout the day. Gross motor activities were a part of our report card standards, so even our dancing and prancing around was legit. To keep children calm, I also played soothing Christmas music throughout the day.
I've compiled a list with brief explanations, of all of my favorite classroom Christmas games that I've played with my students over the years. They are quick, easy, educational and fun. Most of them require little or no preparation. (Woo hoo!) I ho-ho- hope you find something that will fit in perfectly for your party day. It's so important to give students brain breaks to keep them refreshed. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Games packet which includes 36 games!
I've up-dated the packet to include stationery for students to write how many words they can think of using the letters in Merry Christmas.
Give students 5-10 minutes to work on this individually, then have them work in groups of 3 or 4 to combine their lists. Remind children that they can make more words by adding an s or es to make plurals. (A teachable moment.) Contractions are another option, or ask students how many of their classmates' names can be made with those letters.
What team had the most? Put my list on an overhead; did they think of words that weren’t on my list? Have them guess-timate how many words are on the list and then have them count them to see who has the closest guess. (I thought of 657!)
Make a copy of the list and have students circle all of the words that they don’t know. For whatever time remains, challenge them to look up as many words as they can and then share one or two with the class.
Here are a few other table top lessons you could plug in to cover standards in a game-type fashion; also, any of the winter alphabet cards that I've been posting, would work well. All those letter packets include a 3-page tip list of ideas, including games to play.
If you're set for party day, but want something for that busy first day when you return after break, any of these snowman themed activities would also work.
This snowman matching game is a lot of fun and reinforces numbers, number words, counting and tally marks. It also includes a keepsake "craftivity." Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Number Puzzles.
Help reinforce upper and lowercase letters + numbers from 1-20 with an "I Spy" game. Teen numbers are sometimes toughies for little ones. Practicing with an "I Spy" game makes it more interesting. My Y5's enjoyed playing "I Spy" daily. It was a fun way for them to practice, as well as a quick and easy way for me to whole-group assess.
Teacher starts by calling out a number or letter; students trace it and then raise their hand when they are done. I could tell at a glance who was having difficulty. Play continued with different children taking a turn to choose the number or letter for classmates to find.
The worksheet served double-duty, as I'd tell my students to take it home to play again with a family member, this time circling the letter/number. Click on the link to view/download the Snow Spy packet.
Finally, students catch on fast to the concept of small-medium and large, as well as the difference between a 2D and 3D shape, when they can do a hands-on craftivity.
This was the reason behind "Snowman Melt" "My snowman was 3 snowballs, 3 spheres with a hat, now he's melted into 3 circles that are flat!" Click on the link to view/download it.
For more games and activities click on the link to visit Miss Mary's Victorian and Vintage archive.
If you're looking for some online Christmas games for your kiddo's to play as a computer center, I found a site that lists over 1,000.
Make sure you play any online games first to make sure that they are age and content-appropriate for your kiddo & educations.
For more ideas and FREEBIES, check out my winter Pinterest boards. They are themed and filled with lots of creative fun. I spend a lot of time searching the web for interesting and educational FREE stuff, so you don't have to. You can also click on this December link to pop on over to that section of TeachWithMe.
Once there, you'll find categories for the following: Christmas, Elves, Gingerbread, Ornaments, Reindeer, Santa, Snowmen, Snowflakes & Wreaths. Lots of these activities would also be terrific for your last day or Classroom Christmas party, particularly the ornament section if you're looking for a quick craft to do as a center.
That's it for today. I hope you found some "We're Winding Down" tips and FREEBIES for those last few days before you can collapse, rest, rejoice and get energized for next year! Feel free to PIN away.
"A good conscience is a continual Christmas." -Benjamin Franklin
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities And Games With Me!
Did you ever have one of those days where you might as well have stayed in bed? Well that was yesterday! The reason there was no blog article was that our main server (in Texas) crashed. It seemed everything techno in my world went on the fritz, from my e-mail, to the printer and even my favorite design software was having glitchy hiccups.
I apologize if you tried to visit us and got an error-connection message. I'm back to being a happy camper with lots of FREEBIES to share.
Keep review of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and skip counting fresh and interesting, by making these puzzles. Laminate for an independent center (I've included a blank grid for kiddo's to place the pieces on), or have your students pick one, run them off and then they cut and glue them to a blue or black sheet of construction paper.
If you're doing the alphabet, have students think of a word that starts with that letter on the puzzle piece, and then write it on the appropriate tree-strip.
Remind students to leave a little gap inbetween the pieces. You can add a bit of pizzazz by dipping a Q-tip in glue and then dotting on "snowflakes." For an awesome effect, sprinkle with white or silver glitter.
These make a lovely bulletin board too. Caption: Learning About Letters and Numbers Is "Snow" Much Fun! or "Look At All Of The TREE-mendous Work From Mrs. Henderson's Kinders!" Click on the link for the Snowman Tummy Puzzles or The 13 Merry-Making Tree Puzzles.
Since the Silly Shaped penguins and Owls Shape Up "craftivities" continue to be in the top 10 downloaded items from my site, I decided to design a Shapely Snowman, as well as a Gingerbread set, with plans to make special shape pals for all of the months. (i.e. pumpkins for October and butterflies for April!)
You can make the gingerbread heads a game, by running the bow pieces off on red construction paper.
Instead of gluing the shape words inside the bows and then gluing them to the gingerbread head, glue only the bows. Keep the shape-word circles separate.
Students place the shape word on to the matching shapely gingerbread's bow. To make a girl gingerbread, glue the bows to the top of the head. Glue it as a bow tie under the chin to make a gingerbread boy. To add a bit of pizzazz, I used white puffy paint for "frosting." Click on the link for the Shapely Gingerbread packet.
There are also several things you can do with the Shapely Snowman templates. Make a laminated set for a bulletin board, or use as puzzles for an independent center activity.
For a center matching game, do not glue the hats on the snowmen. Instead make only one hat with interchangeable hat bands. Students pick a shape word-hat band and place it on the hat, then they look for the matching snowman and place the hat on his head. Play continues 'til the child has used all of the hat bands and snowmen. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Snowman Packet.
Another popular winter activity is the Snowman Glyph. Each one turns out a bit different so this too makes an adorable bulletin board. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Glyph.
Practice addition and subtraction with Dominic the Snowman Domino-Dice game. Click on the link to grab it.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES. My brain is on over-drive again, and since the weather outside is "frightful" I might as well have a "delightful" time inside designing away. Feel free to PIN away!
"Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled." -Unknown
1-2-3 Come Play Some Christmas Relay Race Games With Me.
To build team spirit and cooperation I have my students do a lot of relay games. Here is an entire selection for you to choose from. Be prepared for a lot of hilarity as just staying in a line is quite a feat for some youngsters. TIPS: Have an adult captain for each team. As soon as each child has had their turn tell them to sit down, or they will be repeating. Make sure they get back into the correct line! Buy two bags of solid color stick–on bows, one set of red and one set of green. Count the bows out to how many students you have in class. Toss them into a Christmas gift bag and then gather your students into a circle. Have them reach into the bag and pull out a bow. Have them peel off the paper and stick it onto their shirt. They will either be on the RED or the GREEN team depending on what color bow they chose. As soon as all of the bows have been put on have the children line up in two lines, a red and green one. Their adult captains should also be wearing a bow.
Snowball Relay: Give each team a wooden spoon and a Styrofoam ball. They have to walk as fast as they can from the line at one end of the room around a garbage can at the other end of the room and back to the next person in their line and not drop the “snowball” on their spoon. No touching the “snowball”. If it drops they just pick it up and continue.
Skate To the North Pole Relay: Wrap two pieces of 12 x 6 pieces of tag board with waxed paper. Have the children “skate” from one end of the room to the other on the waxed skates. They come back and give the “skates” to the next person in line who does the same thing.
Present Run: The same thing as above only you are doing it with 4 wrapped shoe boxes for “shoes”. Cut holes in the tops of the boxes big enough for a child to fit his feet (without shoes on) into the wrapped boxes, one box for each foot. (4 boxes needed for 2 teams.) They shuffle along to the other end of the room and then back to their team mate.
Dress The Snowman Relay: You’ll need two of everything: A vest, A hat, A scarf, a pair of mittens. Let’s say each team has 10 members. 5 members will be snowmen and 5 will dress the snowman. As soon as one pair has finished dressing their snowman and undressing him, the next pair has their turn. The team that finishes dressing and undressing their snowmen first is the winner.
Organize the Ornaments Relay: The Dollar Store sells 18 plastic ornaments so you’ll need to buy two sets. Skip count number the two sets by 10’s to 100. Put the ornaments in two baskets. Each member on the team has to walk down to the basket and arrange the ornaments in the basket from 10 to 100 in the correct order. If you do not have this as a standard then do 0-10 or spell Christmas or whatever else is a standard for you.
Trim the Tree Relay: I have a “Slim Jim” Christmas tree that I bought 75% off after Christmas that’s perfect for this game. Set it up at the front of the classroom. Students are at the far end. The two opposing teams will each get one side to decorate. Give the 1st member an ornament to hold. The first member on the team puts his ornament in the wooden spoon and races down and puts it on the tree. They get another ornament out of the basket, put it on the spoon and come back and give the spoon to the next person in line. The first team to get the side of their tree decorated is the winner. You could skip the spoon and do it blind folded with a shorter distance to traverse if you wanted to.
Stack the Gift Boxes Relay: This is a bit of work, but teaches all sorts of small, medium and large “eye ball the dimensions” skills + once you’ve done the work you can always keep the presents year after year. Wrap 10 packages of various sizes for each team. (This would be if you had 20 children in your class. You would need more if you had more children.) The packages will be stacked from largest on the bottom to smallest on the top. Explain what the children need to do. The first person walks down as fast as they can and puts the largest package down, the next person puts the next largest on top of that one and so on, ‘til the last person puts the smallest package on the top. Easy right? Not if they didn’t do it correctly and the packages are out of order in which case the person who put the wrong package on, has to go back and re-do theirs and so on down the line….The first team to get it correct is the winner.
Candy Cane Relay: Buy 6 wrapped candy canes (just in case of breakage) The object here is to have one candy cane looped on your index finger. Your finger touches the next person in line’s index finger and you slide the candy cane off your finger onto theirs and then they pass the candy cane onto the next person. No touching with other fingers. The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner. (Be prepared for dropping and breakage.)
Ornament on a Stirrer Stick Relay: Pick up enough coffee stirrer sticks at the local fast food eatery so that each of your students has one. Have them hold it between their teeth. The object here is to pass a small ornament from their straw to their partner’s straw. So that this is not near impossible take a pipe cleaner and make a nice-sized loop on the top of the plastic ornament.
Remind students to be careful of each other’s eyes and have the straw and ornament far below the nose level and to take their time and go slow. No touching with hands! The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner. If you don't want to use the stirrer sticks have them put a larger ornament on their shoulder and hug it their with the side of their head by scrunching their neck and shoulders. The object would be to get the ornament from their shoulder to the other person's shoulder or under their chin without using their hands.
Rudolph’s Sticker Nose Relay: Get two big red circle stickers. Put them on the noses of the first two children in the two lines. Explain to them that they have to take off their Rudolph nose and put it on the person behind them, that person has to take off the nose and put it on the person behind them. The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner.
Fill the Stockings Relay: Give each child a block, unifix cube whatever you have in your class. Hang two stockings at the end of the room. The first child in each line puts whatever they have on a wooden spoon and walks it as fast as they can down to the stocking and puts it in and then scoots back and gives the spoon to the next person in line. The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner.
Blow the Snowball Off the Table Relay: Give each student a straw and cotton ball (snowball). Have the lines on either side of a long table so they can cheer each other on. The children who are playing are in front of their team mates at the table. The object is to keep their snowball (cotton ball) on the table, but to blow it across the table using their straw, so that it flies over the edge on their opponent’s side. The next person in line then goes up with their snowball and straw and does the same thing. The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner.
Snowball Blower Relay: This is similar to the cotton ball relay but this is using a toilet paper roll. To make these look pretty, have a room mom helper wrap enough toilet paper rolls in aluminum foil and give one to each student. Assemble the children as with the above table. Tape a paper cup to each side. The object is to get the ping pong ball or Styrofoam ball into the cup. Each time a student does, the team scores a point. The team with the most points is the winning team.
Pass Santa’s Sack Relay: You’ll need two of everything: a pair of gloves, enough gum in a pack for each child to get a stick, a Christmas Baggie or something that can be used as Santa’s sack. (I made a black sack using black felt specifically for this game.) Children are sitting in two lines. Explain what they are to do by showing them. Put on Santa’s gloves, take out a stick of gum from the opened gum pack that is in Santa’s sack, put the gum back in the sack, unwrap the gum, put the wrapper in Santa’s sack, chew your gum, take off the gloves, pass the gloves and sack to the next person. The team who goes through their entire line first is the winner.
Marshmallow Snow Relay: Pass around some liquid “magic soap” and have everyone disinfect their hands. Give everyone 3 tiny marshmallows. Show them what they are supposed to do. The first person turns around and has 3 tries to try and get one marshmallow tossed into the person’s mouth who is behind them. That person can help by moving their head, but not using their hands. As soon as they get one in, (they don’t have to wait to use up all 3 marshmallows) that person turns around and tosses a marshmallow in the person behind them and so on ‘til they have gone through their entire line. If they try three times and still don’t get a marshmallow in, that’s OK that person just turns around and tries with their person.
Santa Said Secret: Have the two lines sit down. Whisper the same message into each ear of the first person in each line. They whisper it to the next person and so on. The message begins with: Santa said. It can be as complicated or as simple as you think your students can handle. The team with the correct sentence or as near to the correct sentence is the winner.
How Many Words Relay: Teams are sitting at a table, or on the floor. One student is designated as the secretary for each team. Remind them to be very quiet as they don’t want the other team to hear their answers. Children have 3 minutes to think up as many words as they can that can be made out of the words Merry Christmas.
Who’s Your Elf ? This can be done as an individual thing or as a team game. Prior to the game jumble up everyone’s name or simply write their name backwards. Put the names in a gift bag and have students each pick one. The person who figures out who their buddy elf is first is the winner. The team that figures out who all their elves are first is the winner.
What’s In The Stocking? This can be done as an individual thing or as a team game. Have two stockings with 10-15 identical things in each stocking. Children are sitting on the floor in two lines. Each person has 15 seconds to feel what is inside the stocking and then passes it on to the next person. They write down as many things as they can remember. As soon as everyone on their team has gotten a turn to feel what’s inside they get into a huddle and share their findings their “secretary” writes things down and numbers them. The team with all the things listed or the one with the most is the winner. These things need not be Christmas. You may want to throw in a few “zingers” that are hard to figure out.
I hope you got some ideas for your party or the last day of school. I think games are a terrific way to teach all sorts of life skills. You may want to save this article and adapt the games for Valentine’s Day. You know that will be here sooner than you can say
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!