Monday, December 30, 2013

Kwanzaa and Happy New Year!

Our theme for the fourth week of December was "Kwanzaa and Happy New Year". Because our school had a half day for Christmas Eve and was closed for Christmas, we did not talk about a letter, number or shape.
We read this week: How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
                               How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen
                               Corduroy by Don Freeman
                               A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C. Stead

Our question of the week was "If you were an elf, what would your name be?" I love when the questions make the kids think and be creative. We have some very unique names!

Our song of the week was "If You're Happy and You Know It!" Always fun and always a favorite.

For our theme of the week, we had a lot of fun talking about the different holidays!

I created a Christmas bingo board that the kids had to color, cut out the pictures and glue onto their boards.

We played "Santa, Santa, Reindeer". They thought it was so funny that I changed the name from duck, duck, goose, but they indulged me. =]

I found a picture of a Kinara and we painted with Kwanzaa colors.

I created a memory game with symbolic Kwanzaa pictures, i.e candle, kinara, fruit, corn, Africa, etc. My class jumps at the chance to play organized games like these.

I found a worksheet online and decided to make one based on it. I drew symbolic parts of kwanzaa with specific coloring instructions. As I gave the directions for what to color, we talked about why that item is important to celebrating Kwanzaa. A worksheet that is very close to what I did is found here.

I wanted to challenge my kids, so I made an alphabet code. We started it together and then whoever wanted to worked on their own. A worksheet that is very close to what I did is found here.

We painted and played with home made noisemakers. I used toilet paper rolls, some macaroni and some beads, and a stapler. Voila, instant New Years fun!

I made construction paper confetti, and with it we made fireworks on dark colored construction paper.

We mixed and baked a confetti cake with some confetti frosting. Something sweet to bring in the new year!

Now I couldn't have an entire week go by without any number or letter activities, so I squeezed a few in there!

On this website, you can create your own handwriting worksheets, so I have one for each child in the class. They trace their names (first and last) three times, and then have a line to write it on their own. I do this a few times a year and stick them in their portfolios for an example of their improving writing skills.

We colored a butterfly labeled with #6-10. I love these so much. It really forces the kids to slow down and think about what they are coloring. I use this book for all my number pages like this.

Up next week: "Winter Numberland"

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