Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Day

Teachers, I know you will agree with me, to keep your sanity the week before Winter Break you will do whatever is necessary! I'm trying to keep engagement high and off-task behavior low by having a daily theme for the rest of the week. Today was Rudolph Day

We are learning about adjectives and rhyme & rhythmn in our poetry unit. I made sure to fit our learning objectives in with my theme. I got in some nonfiction too, just because I thought first graders would love this book about Reindeer. 

The original Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is poem by Robert L. May. I was worried that this poem would be too long and I'd need to split the reading into two parts, but the kiddos were glued to it. We stopped twice, once after the first few pages, and once again at the end of the story, to discuss the words the author used to describe Rudolph and we added them to our anchor chart. 

We used a short poem about Rudolph, printed poster size, during shared reading. We identified rhyming words and "found" the rythmn by clapping the beat. I forgot to snap a pic of the poem, so I'll insert it later. 

We also learned about reindeer by reading A Day in the Life: Polar Animals - Reindeer. Then, we made a tree map to display our learning. We split into three teams - can, have, are. The can-team recalled things a reindeer can do. The have-team listed things a reindeer has. The are-team had the trickiest job, but they figured it out and did a great job! The are-team focused in on what reindeer ARE hunted by. Our goal was to stick with evidence from the text and NOT add our own opinions about reindeer. 

dig with theie hooves
swim in icy water
sleep standing up
warm air with their noses
travel with (other) reindeer

heater in the nose (the text said their special noses can heat up the cold air)

good swimmers
hunted by polar bears
hunted by people
mammals that have babies (we adapted this answer from what the student actually wrote)

The last hour of the day (after math & specials), we did a quick reindeer craft and watched the 1964 classic about Rudolph. I adapted this craft from I saw on Pinterest. The original can be found HERE. I changed the antlers, added hooves, and used a red pom pom for the nose. 

Speaking of Rudolph, last week during Creative Cookies (an after-school club), we made Rudolph cookies.

Tomorrow is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Day. Thursday is Polar Express Day. Friday is half day, but we are going to learn about snow and Frosty the Snowman. 

Christmas Tags for Teacher Gifts

(insert "The Final Countdown" tune, circa 1986 by the band, Europe)...

It's the FINAL COUNTDOWN to Winter Break! Four point five class days to go...

Today I went shopping for my Secret Santa gifts. Of course, I came home and made gift tags for them all. If any of your Secret Santa or teacher gifts include a snowman, trail mix/nuts, wine, or markers, then these tags will work for you too!

Click HERE to download the tags. 

Merry Christmas. Enjoy your time off!

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas Inspired Activity & FREEBIE

This week we kicked off our Geometry unit by learning about plane shapes. I LOVE teaching about plane shapes because first graders LOVE manipulating them and there are just so many hands-on activities to do. And, of course, if you can throw in some seasonal activities it just ups holiday spirit and level of engagement in your classroom! So, I pulled out this Santa Pete activity from TpT store:

I created the recording sheet the night before we completed the activity in class. You can find it for  FREE here

Another plane shapes activity that my students really enjoyed was when we played "Mystery Matheticians" and solved some shape riddles. Shout out to Reagan Tunstall -this activity comes from her Guided Math Units. 

The kiddos had so much fun, I decided to let a little mystery spill over into our Reading/Language Arts block. This week we were writing 5 Senses Poems. So I came up with a Mystery 5 Senses Poem activity. 

This picture is of the mystery poem I created as an example. I forgot to snap pictures of the kid's sticky notes, but some were hilarious. The class split into groups. Each group had to fill out five sticky notes, one for each of the five senses. Then, the class read the poem and tried to guess "What is it?" There was a kinda foul odor in the boy's bathroom and one group went to town with it. Their sensory poem was about the boy's bathroom! Ewww. I suggest using sentence strips in place of sticky notes. 

Are you fortunate enough to have Ipads in your classroom??? My campus has a rotating Ipad cart schedule. Here are two great apps you should know about: 

The first one is called SeeSaw. My class used See Saw to illustrate plot elements and then record a voice over explaining the illustration. Then, we used it again to illustrate a connection we made to a story. My favorite conection was one a student made to Cinderella. He drew the wicked step mother and himself riding a bull. His connection was that the stepmother didn't let Cinderella do anything she wanted to and his mom refused to let him ride a bull!! In th pic below a student is recording the plot of Cindy Rocks and the Three Bears. 

I recently learned about an app called Chatterpix Kids. The app allows you to take a picture of an object and record a voice over. Add a mouth to the picture and the picture "talks." You can also add props and clothing. My girlies at home LOVE IT (they are 3 and 6). I think my class can use the app to take a picture of a shape fill-in and then record a voice over explaining which small shapes were used to fill in the large shape, or to snap a picture of a solid shape and talk about it's attributes. The possibilities are endless. 

Happy holidays!