As the holiday season kicks off, my Santa sack is filled to the brim with holiday treats, crafts, and activities. During this season I am OBSESSED with finding ways to link the spirit of the holidays to the lessons we learn in the classroom. I start this month by transforming my hallway into a winter wonderland.
(This is still only phase one!)
Right before the holiday break we read and watch the Polar Express and do some heavy duty comparing and contrasting, retelling, generating questions and making predictions. The best part is that we do all this while wearing our favorite pajamas and drinking hot coco.
To provide the students with some background knowledge about all the holidays and celebrations during this holiday season, the students will participate in 7 days of holiday mini-lessons. There are 7 teachers on my 1st grade team, and over these next two weeks our kids rotate from teacher to teacher to learn about different holidays and celebrations around the world. Each teacher sees a different class everyday for the last 45 minutes of the day. From Hanukkah to Kwanza, Christmas to New Years, our students have the opportunity to learn and explore a variety of different beliefs, religions, and celebrations. My classroom is designated for American Christmas traditions, symbols, and celebrations. Today we read a few Christmas stories, one of them being my FAV Olive, The Other Reindeer. To end our lesson we made some reindeer food, which I found purchased here from Step into 2nd Grade,and some reindeer cookies.
Since I am feeling filled with the holiday spirit, here is a freebie for all! I use these in my class to practice addition and subtraction fluency with numbers within 20. Each week my students work to pass their minute math test and move on to the next challenge. Enjoy!