Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Math Freebies

We have been having fun in math the past few weeks with a few Christmas-themed games, so I wanted to share.  You all probably know about "Shake and spill."  (Put two-colored counters or beans in a cup, shake and spill them out, counting to see how many reds and how many yellows you have.  Then, write a number sentence to go with your results.)  Well, the math interventionist at my school brought me these foam trees to add some holiday fun to this station. 

The kids are loving this center right now, and I'm seeing how they are beginning to internalize number combinations.  I made a recording sheet for numbers 3-6.  You can grab it here.  If you don't have any double-sided counters, you could give students two different colors and have them make their own combinations. 

The other Christmas game also involves addition.  I give the students a recording sheet and two dice to add together.  They can play by themselves or race against a partner to see who fills their board first.  We usually use pom-pom balls to cover the numbers, but they really love it when we use M&M's or marshmallows.
I hope your kids enjoy the games!  (All graphics are from My Cute Graphics.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Wow, December has been a whirlwind.  3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas is just not enough.  Here is a little of what we've up to, learning about 6 different holidays from different cultures around the world.

We started with Hanukkah.  we made these popsicle stick star ornaments, and read lots of Hanukkah books, including our emergent reader
Then we moved on to Kwanzaa.  Kwanzaa and Hanukkah are always good to compare, I think, because the kids confuse the kinara and menorah.  We made flags for Kwanzaa...super simple and the kids love them!
This past week, we learned about Diwali (a Hindu holiday) and Eid (a Muslim holiday).  These aren't necessarily celebrated in December, but they are important holidays, so I felt this was the right time to include them.  Also, I have a Muslim student in my class this year, so this was his chance to share about his family traditions.

Diwali is the festival of lights, so we made lanterns.  (easy-peasy directions)

We also did some gingerbread activities last week, including these gingerbread glyphs!   The kids loved making these.  Here's the guide I made:
Bow: In hair-girl, bow-tie- boy
Eyes: have pets - blue, no pets - green
Buttons: brothers - green, sisters - yellow, neither orange, mixed - both
Mittens: orange - likes ice cream, blue - likes cake
Shoes: red - likes apples, green - likes bananas
They are hanging from our ceiling and the kids love to look at each one and figure out who they belong to.
This week, we will learn about Christmas and Las Posadas.  So, I guess now I'm all caught up!  Before I go, I have to brag on one of my old students.  I taught her for K and 1, and now she's in third grade.   This weekend, she completed her first season of Girls on the Run with a 5k.  (It was reindeer-themed; that's why we have red noses and Christmas tutus.) I am so proud of her!
I hope you all have a great week...Winter Break is almost here!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Big Sale and 2 New Holiday Products!
Thank you Krista for the button!

Are you guys as excited as I am for the Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale?  I am hoping to stock up on some holiday stuff and clip art.  And, luckily I was able to find time to finish up two new holiday books for my Holiday Emergent Reader bundle.  (So if you've already bought it, go re-download to get those 2 for free!)

Introducing: I Am Ready for Diwali: An Emergent Reader about the Hindu Festival of Lights.  This is a great holiday to compare to some of the winter holidays we typically celebrate because of it's focus on light and family.
 The book is a Level B, after you've introduced vocabulary.  But there are 3 versions of the book to allow for differentiated word work!  Click any of the pictures to check it out.
The second book is about Eid al-Adha, the most important Muslim holiday.  The time it is celebrated varies...this year it was celebrated in October.  But since it is the main holiday, I wanted to include it in my holiday unit, particularly because I have a Muslim student this year.  It, too, lends itself to comparison with Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.  It is so interesting to see the many parallels between holidays in different cultures.
I hope you like the new books and enjoy the sale!  Have a great week!
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