Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Yesterday was our last day before Christmas Break. I have to say I was relieved. Both my 2 year old and myself came down with walking pneumonia, so I'm quite ready for a break. Looks like we may have been trading it back and forth since Thanksgiving. I'm just glad for modern medicine and that my baby is starting to act like his crazy self again.

Anyway, feeling better and ready to bake cookies, wrap presents, and enjoy a bit of holiday fun. I won't be able to go 90 to nothing like I sometimes do, but I will be able to savor and enjoy. I think it will be a nice change of pace.

I did spread a bit of holiday spirit with my little firsties before getting sick. I thought I might share some of what we were able to get done.

Every year the first grade does Holidays Around the World as a way to combine Social Studies and Christmas fun. This year we revamped our unit with a little help from Rachelle Smith from What the Teacher Wants and Traci Clausen from Dragonflies in First. I purchased their holiday packets and really enjoyed how easy it made everything. I was able to streamline the unit, add a bit of assessment, and move in a few new craft ideas and projects. The students really enjoyed learning about how Christmas and other holidays were celebrated on other continents. Click below to check these packets out for yourself.

Along with studying about winter holidays, we also did a bit of writing. We took this book:

and a bit of inspiration from Nancy VandenBerge at First Grade Wow and practiced our narrative writing skills by writing about what would happen "If you take me to the movies...".

They also practiced their math skills by using geometry to show the symmetry of a Christmas tree and to make some very cute reindeer. I had them take their reindeer creation one step further by writing about the shapes they used to build it.

Of course, our holiday unit isn't complete without Reindeer Food. The students love this extra touch. We start out by talking about how most of us live out in the country and how there are not many street lights to shine on our front lawns. Then I tell them at my house we have a tradition of making Reindeer Food to solve that problem. The glitter in the food lights up the lawn for Santa, and the reindeer get to have a little treat while they wait for the big guy. It's a win all the way around. They have such a great time making the special food for Santa's reindeer and they are very serious about it. This is important stuff and don't want to mess it up!

Click the picture below to grab your own.

Now, off to enjoy quality time with my favorite bunch of people. Have a wonderful holiday!