1-2-3 Come Countdown To Christmas With Me
One of the things that I realized rather quickly, during the 10 years that I taught Y5's, was that younger children don't have a real good grasp of time. To help my kiddos with this, I did all sorts of calendar activities, so that they could visulalize the passage of time.
Counting down the days of each month, was extremely helpful. For holiday months, this was especially nice, because it dispensed with the "When is?" questions. "When is vacation, the party, fieldtrip..." or other special activities that they were looking forward to.
With that in mind, I decided to design a bunch of countdown to Christmas activities. These are simple, quick and easy, so you can choose several. They are fun independent activities that children can work on a few minutes each day, freeing you up to work one-on-one with students.
Each month I displayed a different countdown paper chain from the ceiling. I chose 2 to 3 different colors (appropriate for that month) to make the links out of, so we could review colors as well as patterning.
You can make the countdown to Christmas gingerbread paper chain craftivity for your class, or have students each make their own, to take home for more practice. I used white puffy paint (for frosting) and a plaid ribbon bow for extra pizzazz.
"You Can Count On Santa" is another fun visual for your students.
As with the gingerbread craft, you can simply make one for your classroom for calendar time, or run off copies for students to make one of their own.
Using a glue dot, children add a cotton ball to fill in Santa's beard. This is not my original idea, although I've been doing it long before the Internet. I love drawing Santa, and hope you like my version.
Since the Elf On A Shelf story has become a super-fun classroom management tool, I decided to make an elf-themed countdown craftivity as well.
As students countdown to Christmas, they trace and write the numbers and then color each section of the elf's stockings in an ABAB pattern. I added flat-backed jewels and mini pom poms for that finishing touch.
Since jewels are an especially "big deal" to little ones, you can use them as an incentive: Stay focused and complete your work and earn a bit of dazzle for your countdown elf.
1-2-3 Countdown To Christmas Alphabetically, is one of my favorites.
It's an alphabet booklet. Students trace and write the letters, as well as the Christmas-themed words.
They color the letter and picture, then write another word that also begins with that letter. There are so many options for Christmas-related words, you can easily request that the extra words also need to be about Christmas.
Starting December 1st, have students complete one letter. Since there are only 25 days 'til Christmas, remind students to complete letters Y and Z on the last day.
For more alphabet reinforcement, the packet also includes 10 worksheets, to help practice writing upper and lowercase letters, putting words in alphabetical order, skip counting the 24 days 'til Christmas by 2's, as well as practicing writing numbers to 31 (The number of days in the month.)
The worksheet in the photo, asks students "What Lowercase Letter Is Missing?" There are also two "I Spy" game worksheets.
Click on the link to view/download the Countdown to Christmas Alphabet packet.
Since my Y5's needed lots of scissor practice, I designed two countdown activities, where students snip off the days 'til Christmas.
The "Trim the Tree" scissor-snipping countdown craftivity, is my own idea, however, cutting off Santa's beard, was an idea I found dozens of versions of, on Pinterest.
I felt that Santa still needed a beard for his Christmas Eve adventures, so I revamped the concept, and designed a "Snipit Santa."
Both the Christmas tree and Santa, when completely trimmed, make cute paper ornaments or gift tags.
Click on the link to view/download the Let's Trim the Tree & Santa's Beard Christmas countdown - scissor practice craftivities.
Finally, if you're just looking for something super-simple for your little ones to do, as a countdown activity, click on the link for some Countdown To Christmas Coloring Pages.
I've included a cute gingerbread house cover, for a Christmas countdown file folder, so students can keep all of their countdown activities in one place.
I'd include one that they can color, one they use a bingo dauber on (dotting the days away), one they can earn stickers for, plus a scissor snipping option. These worksheets only take a few minutes, and because kiddos can work independently, you are freed up to work one-on-one with students.
That's it for today. I hope you found something here that you can use to help your students understand the concept of time passing.
My grama Lydia used to say that the older she got the more quickly time passed. Now that I'm enjoying my "golden years" I find that to be truer than true. Wishing you a peaceful, savor-each-moment kind of day.
"How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" -Dr. Seuss
This Christmas alphabet booklet, is an interesting and fun way to have students countdown to Christmas. Starting December 1st, have them complete one letter. Since there are only 25 days 'til Christmas, remind students to complete letters Y and Z on the last day.
Help reinforce number sequencing from 1-10, counting backwards from 10-1 and skip counting by 10's to 100, with these number puzzles. These puzzles will be FREE for an entire year (!) After which time they will be up-dated and put in my whopping 53-page Fire Safety Number Puzzles packet.
Click on the link to zip on over. In addition to making 52 puzzles, I've added skip counting by 2s.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities and Crafts With Me
My life seems to be flying by! Can anyone else out there relate? I had planned to get these cute little caterpillars done the first week of April, but the past few days filled up with so many other responsibilities, that the caterpillars had to stay in their "chrysalis state" 'til now.
I hope you can still use them, or as the life of a pack-rat teacher goes, tuck these ideas away for next year. Since so many people read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I wanted to use Eric Carle's cute litter critter as a spring board to studying a variety of other things.
I created the caterpillar template and made a list of all sorts of ways I could use it, then set about to design the details. You can choose which one you want your students to do, or give them a choice. A friend of mine liked them so much, that she plans to make 3 (a different one each week).
In The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats the Alphabet, students trace and write upper and lowercase letters. I've also included a set where a bit of the butterfly's life cycle is also included with the letters.
For example, for the Zz letter, I added: Zzzzzz sleeping in a chrysalis, and then included a butterfly pattern with the letters all over her wings to be cut and glued on the last section.
I glued just the thorax portion to the last "body" circle and bent the wings up so that the butterfly looks like she's flying.
Older students could also make a list of a food the caterpillar could eat that begins with that letter. You may want to read Lois Ehlert's book Eating the Alphabet (Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z) to give students some ideas. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats the Alphabet packet.
If you'd like to review just the life cycle of a butterfly, you'll want to take a look at The Life Cycle Of The Very Hungry Caterpillar packet. Students trace and write the words, then color, cut and glue the pictures.
If you look closely, you'll see that I glued down just the thorax with this butterfly too, so it looks 3 dimensional, like the larger one above. Click on the link to view/download it.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats a Rainbow, reinforces colors as well as the days of the week. Before hand, brainstorm what kinds of things the caterpillar could eat that are the various colors. Write these words on the board to help children with spelling.
Students trace and write the color words and complete the sentence with something the caterpillar ate that was that color. Adding end punctuation reviews another standard.
Children then draw and color a picture. I've included my sample so that you can quickly make one to share with your students. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats a Rainbow packet.
You may also want to read one of the following books for some great examples of rainbow-colorful food: I Eat A Rainbow, by Bobbie Kalman; Can You Eat a Rainbow? by Anastasia Suen; and/or I Can Eat A Rainbow, by Annabel Karmel.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Numbers includes counting from zero to ten, where students trace and write the numbers as well as the number words. I've included a butterfly pattern to glue to the last section if you want.
There are also caterpillar "body" circles for skip counting by 2's 3's, 5's, and 10's.
In all of the packets there are patterns for the caterpillar's head if you want it to be made out of construction paper, as well as a pattern that students can color, like the "Skip count by 10's" caterpillar in the photo.
Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Numbers.
Since I have many requests for shape craftivities, particulary 3D shapes, I thought I'd make The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Shapes.
This is the largest packet, as I've included a caterpillar that reviews 2D shapes, as well as the days of the week. For this caterpillar, students trace and write the shape words, as well as draw the shapes.
I've included a butterfly pattern with the various shapes sprinkled on the wings, if you'd like to include that on the last "body" section. For a cool 3D effect, fold the wings up and glue only the thorax portion down.
Another caterpillar, is a cut and glue the 2D shapes on the "body" circles. Besides the standard 2D shapes, you can also choose to include the hexagon, pentagon, & octagon, and/or the pattern block shapes: rhombus and trapezoid.
There's also a separate caterpillar that simply eats all of the 3D shapes. As with the above activity, students cut and glue the 3D shapes to the "body" circles. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eats Some Shapes.
Finally, rather than make a caterpillar that covered story elements using this pattern, I made a graphic organizer - worksheet, to change things up a bit.
To save you time, I included a template with the answers, so that you can make a quick sample to share with your students. Click on the link to view/download the graphic organizer for The Very Hungry Caterpillar's story elements.
Thanks for visiting today. As always, feel free to PIN away.
"Everyone is like a [caterpillar]. They start out ugly and awkward, and then morph into beautiful and graceful butterflies that everyone loves." -Drew Barrymore
1-2-3 Come Do Some Pirate Activities With Me
I was excited to see that the Polly Wants A Letter Cracker packet was a very popular download this week.
I had several teachers that liked Pirate Polly so much, that Karyn from Florida, and Elaina from California, asked if I could make some crackers with numbers on them, so I designed crackers with numbers from 0-130.
"Feeding" Polly is a fun and less tedious way to practice counting that high. The mini cracker cards, are also the perfect size for for sequencing.
Make extra sets and have students lie on their tummies and string 20-30 crackers in the appropriate order.
Use them to play a game of "I Have; Who Has?" Toss whatever cracker numbers your kiddos need practice on, into a container and have students choose several.
I've included "Kaboom!" bomb crackers, to make things even more fun + a tip list of what else you can do with these number cards.
Have students sort the number crackers on the odd and even sorting mat, or make equations with the math symbol crackers, and then solve the addition and subtraction problems, or show greater and less than.
I've also included a variety of trace and write the number worksheets in the packet, as well as "What's Missing?" skip count worksheets, plus a certificate of praise.
Click on the link to view/download the Polly Wants A Number Cracker packet.
While I was expanding Polly's appetite for learning, I thought it would be fun to make shape crackers too.
Brook sent me an e-mail that's she's always looking for more 3D shape activities, so along with 2D shapes, I included 3D shapes, and even threw in the pattern block shapes.
The crackers are still square, but the "cheese" on them is shaped. Of course "Polly" loves these treats. So that you can also play a Memory Match game, as well as reinforce vocabulary, I also made crackers with shape words on them. I hope your little pirates will enjoy "feeding" Polly yummy shapes and word crackers.
As with the other Polly Packets, I've also included some extras. Students can "get in shape" by playing a variety of "I Spy" a shape worksheet games, as well as several "Shipshape" porthole dice games.
Click on the link to view/download the Polly Wants A Shape Cracker packet.
Finally, I also made a Polly Slider for a bit of hands-on fun.
This "craftivity" includes "sliders" for upper and lowercase letters, numbers 1-30, counting backwards from 10 to 0 as well as 20 to 0, plus skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's, and of course a shape slider featuring 2D shapes, pattern block shapes and 3D shapes.
Run off Polly on white construction paper and have students color her, or run the bird off on green construction paper; students trim and add a black pirate hat (there are two to choose from) as well as a 3D yellow beak.
Run off whatever "slider" you want your students to practice. They trace the letters and numbers, or color the shapes, and then insert their strip into the slits, so that the various objects will appear in a "window" as they slide the long piece of paper up and down.
I pre-cut the slits with an Exacto knife, as this sort of cutting was a bit too difficult for my Y5's to do on their own. Sliders are a quick and easy way to review and whole group assess.
Call out a shape, letter, or number and have students slide 'til it appears in the window. When they've found the correct answer, they hold up their parrot. You can see at a glance who is having difficulty.
Add a bit more pizzazz by attaching a wiggle eye with a glue dot. Click on the link to view/download the Pirate Polly Slider packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. (Create, Teach, Share! )
"Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us." -G.K. Chesterton
Since mittens come in pairs, I thought it would be fun to make some mitten-themed skip counting by 2's activities.
I think students find it more fun to review report card standards if you give them a new twist by adding them to a theme day.
Slap on a bit of Cat in the Hat clip art and you have a new Memory Match game that will have your little ones wanting to review upper and lowercase letters one more time.
Print them off on two different colors so the game is easier to play. I’ve also made cards for skip counting by 2’s, 3’s, 5’s, and 10’s and counting by 1’s for little ones.
Click on the link to view/download the Dr. Seuss number and letter cards. Play the Cat in the Hat spinner game and continue to review skip counting.
Decide which group of numbers you want students to work on. Run off the Cat in the Hat sheets and pass out some red markers. Students play in groups of 2 to 4, taking turns spinning the paperclip.
Whatever number they land on they trace and then write the number on their hat. They do not have to do it in any particular order.
If they spin a number they’ve already traced, they lose their turn. The person who fills in their entire hat, or the one with the most stripes colored in by the time the timer rings, is the winner.
Seuss Time is played the same way, only with digital time to the hour. I have also included digital time cards so students can make Itty Bitty time booklets as well.
Click on the link to view/download Dr. Seuss Time & Counting Games
I hope these ideas add some fun to your Dr. Seuss or Cat in the Hat Day celebrations. Scroll down for lots more Dr. Seuss ideas and activities, booklets, bookmarks, centers, art activities and more!
If you have one you’d like to share, I’d enjoy hearing from you, or feel free to comment on one of mine. firstname.lastname@example.org