Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry and Bright Link Up

I am linking up with a bunch of great teachers to share some things I did in my classroom the this last week of school to bring some holiday cheer into my classroom.  The last week of school is a busy and sometimes hectic week, but I feel that it is important to show my students that they are cared for and celebrate the holidays with them!  Here are some ideas that I used in my classroom this year to bring in the holidays.

I look for small ways to incorporate the holidays into our every day learning.  Right now my students are learning long division and getting ready for a test towards the end of the week.  Yes, I know giving a test the last week before Christmas may seem cruel, but I think giving a test the first week back from Christmas would be much worse! Anyways, I have created long division QR code task cards that are winter and holiday themed to help my students practice their division.  My students are enjoying working with these tasks and using the different strategies they have learned to solve these word problems.  My school has decided we are now going to start having our holiday parties the 2nd to last day of school.  Therefore, this year, I am going to start a  reading marathon tradition with my students for the last day of school before Christmas break.    You can purchase these multiplication and division task cards individually in my store or in a discounted bundle.

 We started our last morning before Christmas break by having a book exchange.  For my book exchange, I have students bring in wrapped new or gently used books from home.  The past couple of years, I have used "The Right Family" story to exchange the books.  At the end, every student has a new to them book that they can keep and enjoy over Christmas break.

This year, after the book exchange, we are going to have a mini reading marathon for part of the day.  My students are going to get to dig into their new books, decorate bookmarks and enjoy some hot chocolate.  I used a crockpot hot chocolate recipe and it turned out great!

I am excited to start this new tradition in my classroom! I am hoping this gives my students a good start with their new books and encourages them to finish their book over Christmas break!  Does anyone else do a reading marathon the last day of school before Christmas break?

For my 3rd Merry and Bright idea, I am sharing the Christmas gifts that I have created for my students this year.  Every year, I try to give my students a Christmas gift that they can enjoy and some kind of gift that encourages reading.  This year, I have created ornaments with peppermint hot chocolate ingredients inside.  I encourage my students to find a time over Christmas break to curl up with their hot chocolate and a good book!  This year, I am going to encourage my students to take a picture of themselves enjoying their hot chocolate with a book and we are going to hang them in our classroom after Christmas break.  I know my students love having their pictures hung up in the classroom!

These ornaments were very simple to make too.  All you need is clear plastic ornaments, hot chocolate mix, mini marshmallows, crushed up candy cane, cute string or ribbon and a note to attach.  I have created these notes.  Grab them  at my store for only a dollar!!

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