Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Baby it’s cold outside! Feliz Navidad!
Ohhhhh.Can you feel my excitement? This is my favorite time of year. I’m crazier than crazy though. I put up two or three trees at my house, one at school, and in general deck the halls everywhere I possibly can.  Of course I can’t leave my classroom out of the celebration.

I am a fan of thematic learning.  I get wrapped up in the fun and enrichment of each theme.  In December, our unit is Christmas Around the World. This is a great opportunity to teach children that the world is so much bigger than what we are doing in our classroom. We talk about different countries and religious celebrations.  I believe that it is important to provide cultural experiences in our classrooms, embracing the diversity that makes our world so great.

I thought for this post I would share a few of my literacy centers along with a fun activity we are doing in class right now. My literacy centers are on a ten day rotation so I have twenty centers going at a time, each group goes to two centers a day. In an effort to not overwhelm you, I will just post a few this time. 
Sight Word Center: This is a paint tray from Home Depot attached to the back of a shelf. J I laminate di-cuts and write sight words on them. Students use magnetic letter to create the sight words. Then, they read them to each other. J 
Art center is always a favorite. For these centers, students trace patterns, cut, and glue to make a Santa or a cookie jar with a gingerbread man. We actually made gingerbread men last week. J

Poetry Center: Each week students learn a new poem. This poem, Ten Little Elves, is from my Christmas Around the World UnitStudents are to draw ten elves and circle the letters r & b, our letters of the week. 

Write the Room: Students get their worksheet and a clipboard. This week they had to find words that began with the letters in Candy cane.

 Writing Center: We just wrapped up our colors unit so I wanted us to make this book now even though it isn't Christmas related. I like to buy various notepads at the teacher store when I find them on sale and use them to create “books” in the writing center. My students have made five “books” this year using this method. They really like them. J
This is my new favorite activity. I purchased bingo dot thingies (I’m not sure what they are called) at the Dollar Store. They take the dot markers and give each sight word a color. Then they “dot” every word with that color. So if “she” is red, all “she” words will have a red dot on them. I hope that makes sense. The kids really like this center. J

Last but not least, meet Snowflake our class Elf from the North Pole. He arrived wrapped in a frozen package (I put it in the freezer the night before) with a return address of the North Pole. My students were so excited. We watched the movie, Elf on a Shelf the day before so they had already sent up wishes to Santa that we would get an elf. We read the book and named him. He moves all over our room every day. When our class is “naughty” he heads back to the North Pole until we can make better choices. One day we got back from lunch and Snowflake was “sleeping” on my desk. My students were so respectful and whispered so they didn’t wake him. It was great! They have really loved having Snowflake and I think it has helped tame their holiday excitement a little so we can still learn every day. J

Snowflake was swinging from our projector screen. He went all Tarzan on us. We had to be super careful though because if you touch him he will lose his magic. 

Shhh! Snowflake is sleeping!

Thanks for popping by to read my post. I hope you found something that you liked. Come by and see me sometime. I have lots of holiday and Elf on the Shelf printables posted this month. I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of educators and bloggers. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! J


  1. PERFECT! These centers are wonderful! Thank you for the great explanation and photos to help us understand. Carolyn

  2. I love your Christmas spirit, Crystal! Your study of Christmas around the world is great .. and Snowflake swinging from the projector screen is too cute! I added your post to my Kids' Christmas Activities at

  3. Do you have any copie of the dot stamper sight word sheets. I'd love to have them.


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