7 more school days before a little time off. Not that I'm counting. :) I have to say...my babies have been pretty good considering they have Santa on the brain...I am just looking forward to some time off with my guys to recharge for a fabulous second half of the year.
|Yes, I am that person that puts my dog in a tacky Christmas sweater so that I can take a picture for the "December" page of our 2013 calendar. Yes I am.|
I have come to the realization that I cannot fit every cute "pinterest find" into the next 7 days...(and I keep telling myself that's OK...but I don't believe myself sometimes). Here are some of the fun things we HAVE done so far.
One of our Virginia Standards is about diversity in our state and understanding that people have different traditions, customs, etc. and why. We talk a lot about how people's ancestors are from all over the world and some people were born in the United States while others moved here, etc.
I get a lot of..."I was born in North Carolina" comments. We are still working on the difference betwen continent, country, state, city. ;)
I randomly ask the kids all the time "Where are you?" and they have to answer either United States, Virginia, North America, etc.
They think it's hilarious because sometimes I will catch them off guard and they look at me like I'm crazy.
I have one sweetie who is from Nigeria and I was asking him what kinds of recipes and traditions that his parents may have brought with them from Africa to try give the class an example... and he said "Umm...we like to eat at El Rodeo" (popular Mexican restaurant here).
Not exactly what I had in mind...they crack me up.
One activity we did this year to help them understand this standard was an "at home" writing project. Their parents helped them write a few sentences about some of their family's favorite holiday traditons. We read them all and they made a lot of connections that some traditions were the same from family to family and some were not. That conversation was a great pathway to discussing Christmas Around the World, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, etc. and how many of our holiday traditions originated in other countries.
I found this adorable Rudolph and incorporated it with the writing for a hall display. No pattern except for a brown circle (for the head) and a red circle (for that big ol' nose). The rest we just did it step by step together using a sheet of brown construction paper (cut a rectangle for the neck, cut strips for the arms and antlers, etc.) I love how they all turned out so different...and so darn cute.
The top of it says "If Rudolph looked in my window at Christmas time...this is what he would see.
If you'd like a copy of the letter I sent home to families and/or the writing template...click here for a free Google doc.
We also made these adorable ABC Order reindeer inspired by the fabulous Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade. She posted these last year and I didn't find them in enough time to do them before Christmas. We did some Christmas ABC order cards with partners to practice our skills and then we put all of the reindeer names in order on this sweet little guy.
We used alphabet strips and bears to "mark" the beginning letter of each word. Then, they can see which bear is first in line, etc. This helps as they are just learning how to alphabetize words!
We also complete our Christmas 5 Senses Poems. They came up with some awesome things!
How awesome is the spelling of "cinnamon buns" on this one? Adorable.
I am off to rest up for Mooseltoe activities tomorrow and GRINCH day (my favorite) on Thursday.
Happy teaching to you!