Monday, January 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The theme for the third week of December was "Merry Christmas". It was a very short week for us, with a half day on Christmas eve and off on Christmas, so we had a lot of fun planned with our small winter break group!

This week we readHow Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen
                                 How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
                                 The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
                                 Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner

Our question of the week was "What would your elf name be?"

For our theme "Merry Christmas", we got ready to celebrate! It was the beginning of Winter Break for the public schools, which means we had a smaller group than usual. We did a lot of fun activities, played games and had an all around good time. We checked out these Christmas ISpy books.

We sang the song "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer"! and went back to our very loud rendition of "Jingle Bells".

Using pipe cleaners we made two different ornaments. To make a tree the kids picked out some beads and strung them onto a green pipe cleaner. Then we folded them back and forth to make an abstract tree shape.
To make a candy cane, the kids strung fruity cheerios on pretty striped pipe cleaners. Great for fine motor skills! Some kids made patterns, some only looked for certain colors, and some just had a blast with it!

We made hot chocolate! I wrote up a recipe on the whiteboard, and we went step by step... yum!

We wrote in journals about "I want for Christmas..." Each child has a journal that they write in every week. When we focus on a letter, they write for that letter. On shorter weeks and during our review later in the year, they write to the theme. This is such a great way to get children excited about writing and reading. I start the children out by tracing, and once they are comfortable and controlling the crayon well, they move onto copying.

I cut up small pieces of red, peach and white construction paper so we could made Santa Mosaics. I introduced the kids to mosaic art, and showed them some examples. Then we talked about how to make a picture of Santa. I love how each one is unique!

The school hosted a Christmas Party where the kids got to see Santa! While waiting for their turn, they each made a popsicle stick tree ornament! So cute!

On Christmas Eve we were open for a half day, so we had SO MUCH FUN with the small group that came to hang out. We played with my treasure boxes, played an extra long time in centers and in the gym, and watched Christmas short movies. The Grinch, Merry Madagascar Christmas and The Elf on the Shelf movie.

Playing Santa, Santa, Reindeer was a great game to play to get the kids moving.

A little off theme...
The class had a little more practice with the letter M from one of the Mailbox Letter of the Week books. The kids colored an ice cream sundae and added M marshmallows on top!

The day after Christmas this year began Kwanzaa, so we started to talk about the holiday. The kids painted a picture of a Kinara, and we talked about the colors of Kwanzaa to paint.

I made this memory game last year and we played it. Memory is a great game because you can easily change the difficulty based on the players by adding or taking away some pairs.

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