Monday, December 8, 2014

Ho Ho Ho! A classroom full of fun!

Wow, has it really been over a week since I posted last?! I'm so sorry!! 

Well, to catch you up on all the fun things we've been doing and are doing this week! We have been having so much fun doing all the different parts of my gingerbread unit. The kids have been working on our sight words, and our gingerbread ten frames. They love helping the gingerbread man across the river by following the special number. We are having a blast. 
our Gingerbread writing

We have also done a bunch of winter/Christmas crafts. The first one we did was a thumbprint reindeer ornament for our moms and dads. The kids got an ornament and a tray with brown paint. We all went step by step dipping our thumb in the paint and placing it on the ornament. My recommendation, HAVE VOLUNTEERS! I did this by myself and ended up having to wipe the paint off half of them and redo them with the kids because they were blurry, or too close together. If you REALLY want to keep a secret for the moms and dads and don't want them helping, then I would recommend dedicating a good 30 minutes (I did mine during universal access time) and call the kids over one at a time or maybe in groups no bigger than 3 or 4. Something small that you can handle and keep the kids following the directions so they turn out properly. 

I used paint pens from Michael's to draw on the nose, eyes and antlers. I felt extra crafty and drew on holly because I had the colors and the time. Here is how they came out. 

We also did a directed a art lesson, much like our turkeys, where we made reindeer using our hand prints as antlers!! They came out super cute! I forgot to snap extra pictures of the kids' reindeer, so you only have my lovely teacher sample to see for an example of the final product. Again...YOU WILL NEED VOLUNTEERS! Have your volunteers trace all the kids' hands on the light brown and then do the art lesson bit by bit. If you don't have volunteers or want to keep this as a surprise, take time during independent time and trace the kids hands one by one...OR you could use a hand cut out and just trace that instead of the kids' actual hands. It is completely up to you. 

Here is what they look like completed (at least my teacher sample.)

Another craft we did (that worked with fine motor skills) was our paper plate Christmas tree. This was a 2 day craft that took some prep work from the teacher. I had the kids paint their plate green and then after it dried I cut them into thirds and glued them into the tree shape. I placed them under books to be pressed flat while they dried. On day two I gave the kids their plate tree and some pom poms. They needed to glue the pom poms to create a decorated Christmas tree. I think they turned out adorable. Don't you?

The last craft we've done (so far) is a hand print reindeer. I painted both of their hands brown and placed them down one at a time. Some of the kids didn't let me place their hand and they ended up right on top of each other rather than next to each other to create the head and the body. The kids glued a red pom pom down for the nose and then the fuzzy pom poms for the collar.  I took a sharpie and drew on the eyes and the mouth. These are hanging above our desks and the kids love them! (The parents can't wait to take these home either.)

I have two more crafts (at least) planned but they are simple foam crafts from Michael's. These crafts help the kids work on their fine motor (the peeling of the paper off the backs of small pieces.) These are fine motor activities...that's my story and I'm sticking to it! Once I do these crafts I'll get pictures of them too. 

Ahh so many fun things crammed into 2 weeks. My count down has already started! 4 days left!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Always remember, every moment can be a learning moment!

Sincerely from TK,

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