The excitement is definitely in the air! If I could bottle just a smidgen of it I would need a colossal container! It takes creative management to keep it in check- but I love it at the same time! There is nothing like a child and the excitement of Christmas to put you in the right spirit!
So this week I knew my centers had to be ULTRA engaging, hands-on and incorporate movement! Thanks to some other wonderfully creative TPT authors, I was able to make it all come together!
So last week I blogged that I had hid 10 sets of elf counting cards that I had gotten from free from Differentiation Station Creations! Well- today my first group got the chance to go 'elf-hunting!' This group was the envy of some other groups! They are all eagerly awaiting their chance! I highly recommend you grabbing this set- if not for this year, but as a super center for next year!
I gave them mini magnifying glasses so that they could check the details on the elf recording sheet to make sure they matched them correctly! It was so cute to watch them tip-toe around the room and get super excited when they found the match! It helped us review counting and number writing! PLUS- they were moving...and ENGAGED!
Last week we practiced a roll, say, cover activity from Christina Mauro's Holiday Hoopla pack. This week is our 'Polar Express' week and I found this fabulous and fun free roll, say, cover Polar Express themed activity from Mary Lirette!
To make it more fun, rather than chips/counters we used wrapped peppermint candies! I made them each take an 'oath' that they would not sneak any- and if they all follow the oath on Friday I said they could each take 2 home! This mat was for '1 dice' but her freebie comes with 3 mats for use up to 3 dice for those working on adding!
Speaking of the Holiday Hoopla pack from Christina Mauro... we 3 of the math center activities! I highly suggest you taking a look at this mega pack...and right now she has it on sale for $5 (it has 229 pages!!)
Roll, say and cover activity was a hit! I used the cards through 8 for that is as far as we have gotten so far. I also used her count/record activity! My students did so well with it- and it helped practice counting and writing numbers through 10!
The Santa number ordering puzzle was a hit too! They had no idea they were practicing number ID/recall and ordering!
And our fun elf left us 'Elf War' to play this week- but with an added component- a WILD card! For the first round we were playing for 'larger' number- so if they pulled a wild card, they had to think of a number larger than their opponents! BUT, when we switched to smaller- they had to think of a smaller number- luckily no one had a war vs 0...yet! My students are LOVING our 'war' games! I wish I had more cardstock, ink and laminate on hand so that I could print each a set as part of their holiday gift! I have Snowflake War all printed, cut, laminated and ready for when we return from break!
Want a chance to win a set of 'War' cards of your own? Leave me a blog post comment! I will check back on Friday and select a winner!
We continued with read around the room- elf style- this week- which kept a group up moving- yet reading, writing and using sight words!
I added in some stocking fun this week! The best part of Christmas is reaching into your stocking and pulling out a surprise...so why not tap into that with a center! I purchased 5 stockings from the local dollar store, printed sets with the words were are working on, printed the initial sound cards and put them all in the stocking! Oh- but before that- I labeled the backs with a number 1-5, and each stocking got a number 1-5, so that I knew where a missing 'toy' came from! The file is editable- so you can make it to work with whatever your class is working on! My recording sheet was front/back- so no matter which card they chose- picture or word- they had the space to record!
They had no idea they were practicing sound ID and word reading/ writing! Win- win for everyone!
Holidays Around the World
Yesterday was the start of Las Posadas! So we made some fun poinsetta flowers to decorate our gymnasium for our upcoming Kindergarten concert! We'll be singing an original Las Posadas song that I created just for our show!
Our flowers were inspired by ideas I got from Mrs Payton's Christmas Around the World pack and from Smedley's Smorgasbord blog!
The BEST part was adding the glitter- of course!
They are out drying- ready to be hung tomorrow!
As I said, we are working with The Polar Express this week! Today was 'kick-off' day! We read the story, listened to bells and built these sentences! Today we will complete the emergent reader that goes with the sentences we built and do a story retelling activity!
So yesterday we had an elf snafu- Jolly Candy Cane fell to the ground right in front of the kids! They were HORRIFIED...and my heart was racing! I 'picked him up' using our reading pointers (can't touch him- he'd lose his magic- and I NEED his magic this week!). We put him on a pillow and gave him a blanket! Magically he sat back up and appeared OK when we returned to the room after sing practice (so thankful I have a WONDERFUL assistant that plays along!)
Here in NY it is going to snow all day, so Jolly Candy Cane wanted in on the fun! He is in a place where he can't fall or get hurt today- my heart can't take another day like yesterday! I can't wait to see my kinders smile when they find him in his very own 'snow storm'- but most of all to find a set of bells straight from Santa's sleigh- just like in The Polar Express!
Stay tuned for more pics and fun from our week...but while you are waiting...visit Day 9 of the Blog Hop!
It is brought to you by Karen Jones of Mrs. Jones' Kindergarten! She has a fun freebie waiting for you for al those emergent readers and a giveaway to win one of her mega phonics bundles!
And if you missed days 1-8, check out my post from yesterday that gives you all the links to the freebies and giveaways! Enter all the giveaway by Saturday night and on Sunday someone will win everything!