Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Fun in the Classroom!

Hi, I am Carie Ramirez, a kindergarten teacher!
Did you know that winter officially begins in five days and Christmas is in 8 days! Are you ready?!?!  I'm not ready for either of these two things quite yet! Ahhhh, where has the school year gone?! Where have all the shopping days gone?!?! And where is my snow shovel?!?!?

The holidays bring craziness and joy at home and in the classroom! Each year, to alleviate some of that craziness I get a couple of my Christmas projects done during our short week just before Thanksgiving. This way when we come back, we have decorations up and we can spend time on those thematic units that sometimes get pushed aside the rest of the year. It also allows our Art time to be used for making our parent gifts!

Some of the projects we work on are: our Christmas trees (decorated with tissue paper for the lights/decorations and glitter for the snow), our Santa mobiles to hang outside of our classroom, and our Christmas presents to put on the tree that covers the outside of our classroom door.I teach the kiddos how to trace with marker and color in with crayon for the Santa Mobiles so that they have a more defined "line" to stay inside...and it looks nice!
Our Holiday decorations for the classroom and hallway!

Parent gifts: Cold Hands Warm Heart door/wall hanging,(I put my example heart because we haven’t made ours yet this year!!!) and Wreath ornaments made with tissue paper and small paper plates with the child's picture in the center.
We started December talking about what we do to get ready for Christmas. Each child told me how they get ready for Christmas at their house. I wrote all of their responses out on chart paper and then copied them onto one-inch sentence strips. I pass out the sentence strips and the students read their sentence to me. We then cut up the sentences, mix-up the words and then put them back together in order (remembering to leave finger spaces between their words). We then glue the sentence on a white piece of copy paper and draw a picture. Once everyone is finished, I collect them, put them in order and then make a book for each student to take home. I bind the originals so that we have “color” copy for our class library. 
How To Get Ready For Christmas class book
I fill our writing center word bank with several Christmas and winter words to help those students who say “I can’t think of anything to write about”. This gives them lots of ideas not only while working in the writing center but also when writing in their journals! Speaking of centers, I also have a math center and poetry center that I put out in December. The math center is a pocket chart in the shape of a Santa hat (I found it on clearance through Oriental Trader a few years back). There are 30 pockets and 30 number cards. The students put the cards in numerical order and then before they leave the center, they must mix up the numbers again (this is their favorite part), so that the next pair can put the numbers in order.  The poetry center has a previously learned poem that the students can use pointers to read and highlighting tape to highlight sight words.
Writing Center, Poetry Center and Math Center
We also started our Gingerbread Unit! The students LOVED the poem “Where Is My Gingerbread Man” because they got to sing it to the tune of “Where Has My Little Dog Gone”. At the end of the week, we put this poem into our poetry folder and highlighted the sight words that we had been working on that week. Then, instead of drawing a picture like we normally do, I handed out gingerbread man die cuts out to each student to decorate and glue in. When the students finished, they then decorated a larger gingerbread man to hang on their lockers. We also read and compared 3 gingerbread books! The kiddos really enjoyed this! They were “investigators” and had to find the differences and similarities! And in Math, we started working on reading number words by using the book, Count the Gingerbread Men.
Now that we only have 2 more days left before  Winter Break, my students and I are going to take it easy and enjoy some hot (or should I say warm) cocoa, do some gift giving, relax in our pajamas, watch a Christmas classic and then to finish..... we will have our classroom party!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each and every one!


  1. Just found your cute blog!! I love your "How To Get Ready For Christmas" class book!!

    Kindergarten Is A Hoot

  2. Great Christmas ideas, Carie! Your pre-Christmas classroom looks like so much fun! I pinned your post to my Kids' Christmas Activities Pinterest board at

  3. Hi Carrie! I love the mixing up of the numbers and having the children put them in order...each time the mix is different, which builds BOTH linear and abstract thinking skills....way to go and thanks for sharing!

  4. Great Job Carie! Love your post! Jill A.

  5. Thank you Sara, Deb, Enrique and Jill!

    Sara, the kids really love to do the Getting Ready for Christmas book too! Especially when they get their own copy and see that they are the authors!

    And thanks a bunch Deb for pinning my article!


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...