What a whirlwind these past couple of weeks have been! When was your last day of school before winter break? Our last day of school was Friday, December 22nd. And it is something I never want to experience again! It was so stressful getting ready for Christmas for home and wrapping up the year (literally!) at school. Between wrapping up gifts for my students, making parent gifts, giving mandatory district assessments in ELA and math, and coming to the end of second quarter, I have never been more ready for a winter BREAK!
I did get a little bit of help from my mom! You are never too old to have your mom come to school and help you wrap up books for your students! After spending my lunch and plan period wrapping, we were finished!
I placed all the presents under our kindness tree, Throughout the month of December, we use the kindness tree to celebrate random acts of kindness. An ornament is placed on the tree when a random act of kindness is performed by one of the students. (The only catch is that the students “catch” each other being kind!)
The next day the kids came to school, they of course were very curious to see their name on a present under the tree! :) They could look all they wanted, just no touching!
Along with two books, each student got their own copy of “Gift to Our Classroom.” In the month leading up to Christmas, we focused on one student every day to write about. The student that was randomly chosen colored the cover page of their book while the rest of the class wrote a friendly letter to the student. In the letter, the students wrote about why the child is special and a gift to our classroom.
All students were motivated to write a well written letter, without rushing and being careless with their sentences, because I explained that they would only get their book once they finished writing about each and every student. A little life lesson about give and take. :)
It was so sweet to watch the students read what their classmates wrote about them! A few of my students even started to tear up, which of course made me tear up, too! I was surprised that some students actually read through their books before they opened their presents!
One more fun activity we did was an oil painting of the Polar Express.
I created “snow glue” by mixing together white Elmer’s glue and foam shaving cream (equal parts). The students made the Polar Express train and then added some snow with their paintbrush. It was so cool to use the snow glue, because it dries “puffy!”
Now that I have been home for almost a week, I was excited to have the time to finish a Winter Sports unit that I have been working on in preparation for the Winter Olympics! Did you know that the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Games starts on February 9th??
I wanted to create a resource that taught students about the different winter sports played in the Winter Olympics, as a fun way to follow the games on TV.
Below is a list activities that are included in this unit:
1. Overview of the Games this Winter: Students vote for two class representatives to read a script on the morning announcements. Students fill out the ballot nominating two readers, and the two readers use the script to read information about the games this winter over the morning announcements. A great way to get the whole school informed and excited about the games!
2.Torches: Students will have a blast making their very own torches as a decoration, a keepsake, or to use in their own relay! There is a one page summary about the meaning behind this symbol.
3. Winter Sports Color Posters- There is a poster for each sport: snowboarding, skeleton, bobsled, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, ski jumping, skiing. These posters are great for introducing each sport or displaying on a bulletin board.
4. Winter Sports Flip Book– Students create their very own flip book, to learn about each of the different winter sports: snowboarding, skeleton, bobsled, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, ski jumping/skiing. There is a cover page and a back cover page. There is also a one page introduction to all the winter sports. There is an option for black and white graphics and graphics in color. (The color option is great to make a teacher example!) Detailed directions are included in this resource.
5. Medal Bulletin Board Display- As you follow the coverage of the games starting in February, you can track the amount of medals that the countries in the lead win. Create an informative and creative bulletin board display by posting the flags and the medal count of the countries! Create a column for gold, silver, and bronze for each country. When a country wins a medal, place the picture of that medal in the correct column. This is a great way for your students to practice their graphing skills.
6. Winter Sports Mix and Match- This activity is a great way to check students’ comprehension! Students will cut the different images of the sports and match them to the name of the sport.
You can purchase this Winter Sports resource by clicking on the image below:
Check out the video below of this unit!