Sunday, November 25, 2012

December Ideas

December is Coming!

It's so hard to believe that December is right around the corner. Our family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with our extended families, and after relaxing for a few days at my parents' house, it was time to head back to our home. 

Upon arriving home, my children ran right in the house to find Arf, the Elf on the Shelf as my husband and I unpacked the car. The following day, we put our Christmas tree and lights up and started decorating for the upcoming holidays. As we were doing each of these, I thought about all the family traditions we have and where they came from...which ones are new and which ones have been around forever. This led me right into thinking about December and my upcoming unit on December holidays and traditions.

Throughout the years, I found it best to keep it simple, and focus on a few holidays and traditions. It is very easy to get overwhelmed with all the holiday books, crafts and learning activities that are out there.  And, it doesn't make sense to cram too much in because we only have a few short weeks until our winter vacation. As I was looking at my friend's blog at readwithmeabc planning, I saw a great idea for a holiday linky party at  The Hands-On Teacher.

 You can see some of my December ideas below, but be sure to click on the link button to learn about many awesome holiday ideas for the classroom from others.

Here are a few of my favorite December activities, books, ect.:

Focus on Families- Right about now, I begin my December holidays and traditions unit. Upon return from the break. We will read a selection in our anthology and in our social studies text about families. Since we are learning about nonfiction right now, we will tie in nonfiction text features (headings, photographs), extract the main idea/details to support it, and compare/contrast the differences between the two texts. Students will work on a family project that includes decorating a poster to tell about what December holiday they celebrate, family traditions and what they like best about that holiday. They bring the posters in and share them with the class (as they are brought in). They are then displayed in the hallway with the sign "Room ____ Families Celebrate".

My Top 5 Holiday Books:
*The first two are favorites around my house.

David is at it again in this hilarious Christmas read. My sons love when he streaks down the sidewalk and when he pees his name in the snow.

This holiday story is about little Llama going shopping with his mom. She rips him away from his t.v. watching to go shopping, and he is not happy. We love it so much because this has happened to us a million times! Of course, there are rhyming words galore.

Santa needs help to guide his sleigh. Which animals would be best for the job? A great book for predicting and describing.

This is a classic that every child should read/hear. It is the book that so many other holiday books were modeled after.
This is a modern day classic. I still get tears in my eyes when I read this or show the movie.

Holiday Song Packets
Each month, I make song packets for the children to sing/read. They pull them out when we have Morning Meeting, when they read with a partner/self or when they have some extra time. Song packets have become very popular. My December song packet has favorite holiday classics such as Frosty, Rudolph, Feliz Navidad, The Dreidel Song and Jingle Bells. I also throw in The Gingerbread Rap. I picked that song up at a conference years ago. Anyway, I think song packets are a great alternative to worksheet packets that are used for busy work. Students can do so much with song packets, and they are meaningful/fun. 

I'm always on the lookout for new holiday craft ideas and ideas for student-make parent gifts. Do you have any?

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all Llama Llama books :)

    Thanks for linking up! I'm your newest follower. :)
    The Hands-On Teacher in First!