Monday, December 17, 2018

Winter Solstice...December 21st

December 21st is the Winter Solstice.
If you asked your class would they know what it means?
Whether you live in Florida or Michigan it is the shortest day of the year and the beginning of the winter season!
Yes, in the Northern part of the United States we see extreme temperature changes while the Southern states experience a slight cooling of temperatures.

One of my favorite books to read at this time is "The Shortest Day" by Wendy Pieffer.
The illustrations are beautiful and the explanation about the Winter Solstice is easy for young children to understand.
The reading always follows with a discussion where I write down the KEY facts children recall from the story.
I remind the class to watch carefully and see what they notice about simple changes that winter brings.  They are free to share them with the class on a daily basis when we do our daily calendar/weather activity.  It's amazing but praising one child for sharing encourages others to become more alert and bring things they have seen.  If the class is slow to bring ideas in I often will start a day off sharing something.

During reading on December 21st I prepare the mini books for the class.
During our reading groups we read the book and highlight the key facts.
The level of support needed to read the book will depend on the level of the group.
I encourage them to color the pictures and read through the book again independently or with a partner.

Groups leave with one of these three activities to complete again depending on the level of the student.
Another idea is to complete the Let's Find Out together in the group and then have them complete one of the other two independently.

I always like to follow this activity up with this fun filled packet that has a number of curriculum related activities for centers. If you are going to use this packet complete the Winter Solstice the day before December 21st.

This story is delightful and it's sing song repetitive pattern makes it fun for the children to follow along.

I post the 18 vocabulary cards by the story or you can put them on your word wall or in your writing center.  If laminated they are ideal for sorting syllables, parts of speech and ABC order either in small groups, parent helpers, or centers.
I use the parts of speech and the word search in the word work center.

Whether in sunny Florida or snowy Michigan you can have your class build a snowman after reading the story.  This is a simple dice game partner activity.  Your class will LOVE it!  Who will dress their snowman first?

I gather the students on the rug to read the story.
Following the story I have them complete one of these three activities independently.
For students needing support I call a small group back to work together and we focus on ordinal numbers.

Our writing assignment includes writing about winter.
These are the graphic organizers for students to gather their thoughts.
Included in the packet are a class cover for a book to showcase student writing.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Lesson Plans and Activities for Teaching about New Year's!

Upon returning from winter break talking about the New Year is always a great experience.
Here are ideas I use to engage and excite students while meeting curriculum demands.

These cute little kiddos are easy to make and ideal for the perfect bulletin board, hanging on a wall, or clothesline.
Happy New Year
Welcome 20__

I then copy and post the 12 vocabulary cards with my New Year book collection.
They are also cute in your writing center.
The word work is ideal for your literacy center.
I use the word search for their morning eye opener and then later that day divide the students into groups and have them Let's Make Words.  I create a challenge and see which group creates the most words.  Encourage them to work quietly so other groups to not hear their creative creations.  If they need more room they can use the back. Pick a secretary to write.

This is an extra book I leave in my reading center with the recall sheet which focuses on story elements and text to self.

My lesson begins by reading this story to the group.  It is OUTSTANDING,
Before we read the class fills out one thing they know and one thing they wonder about.
After the story and discussion they return to their seats and write one thing they learned on the back.

I then move to independent reading.
This can be done in reading groups or independently.
There are two forms of informational text...a mini book and one page fact sheet.
As they read we highlight key facts.
If doing as a whole group have students volunteer to read and others follow along.
The final part is students reviewing highlighted text and putting that information on the graphic organizer.

Our writing lesson is then related to informative writing.

The second day I focus on resolutions. (This can also be done on the same day)
I love this story Squirrel's New Year Resolution.
After reading as a group we order the parts of the story by writing the sequential numbers on the sentence strips.  Students then cut and paste them in order.
Older students may be able to complete this on their own.
We then write a CLASS resolution.
Our class resolution is ______________________.
We will do this because ______________________.

Students then return to their desks and I choose one of these three activities for students to write their own resolutions.

Their are boys pictures as well to choose from for the writing pages.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


I was making my list and checking it twice when I noticed I hadn't done anything nice...For all of my followers who make my life grand...And because of that you are my number one fans. So here is a FREEBIE I think you will love...Filled with 4 fun filled packets you'll find up above. They should brighten those last few days with your class...And make your job teaching an easier task!  
This will be FREE today through Friday, December 14th. Merry Christmas...Michele
PS...Leaving me FEEDBACK is the perfect way to say THANK YOU!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Snowy Day Math, Warm Ups and Language!

This is "snow" much fun!!

My favorite...There is a reading passage followed by questions to answer.
Following the reading passage there is word work and writing focused on vocabulary from the reading passage and writing related to the reading passage topic.
The kiddos love it!
Themes are:
Dressing for Winter
Hot Chocolate
Building a Snowman
Winter Activities
and more.

These math activities and games are winter themed using odd/even, addition/subtraction, number sense to 120.
Ideal for your math centers or partner time.

I use these in the morning.
I have them on the students desk as they enter.
Each page is topic themed and focuses on math review, word work and writing.
So cute.
So much fun with "Flakey Friends" and stories about them!!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Flakey Friends...Graphic Organizers

Winter is the perfect time to focus on our "flakey friend" the snowman!!
All you need is a favorite read aloud story and then use the graphic organizers here to gather ideas and then write.
Perfect for the writing center.
It also includes word work, math games and a craft or page topper to showcase student writing.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Snow Day Friends...Craft and Literacy Activities!

This packet is filled with literature activities about "snowy day friends" that your class will love!

Vocabulary is also included as well as some cute little "snowy day friends".

Snowmen at Night

Snowmen All Year

Snowmen at Work

Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow

All You Need To Build a Snowman


Sadie and the Snowman...this is one you might not have in your library but well worth the purchase.

Informational Text

Word Work

Math Games...subtraction, odd/even, and addition