Thursday, January 1, 2015

Catching Up!

Happy New Year, teachers and friends! I hope you're all enjoying your winter break! I've certainly been enjoying mine! We just got back from Florida, and it was so nice spending time with my family. We also had a blast at Universal Studios (although it was insanely crowded). Still, we made it on all the Harry Potter rides, so I have no complaints :)

I feel the need to apologize to you all, since I know that I've been a terrible blogger lately. I am SORRY! It really is so hard to find the time in my busy schedule! My New Years resolution is to blog at least once a month this year. I know...not an ambitious goal, but I have to start small!

I'm already very behind on posts, but to get back on track, I'm going to catch you up on what we've been doing this year! To begin, here is a mash up of all the fun centers and crafts we've done over the past couple months. I know this is VERY late, but I hope you find some ideas you can use next year!


Holiday decorating is so much fun! My awesome assistant Maria helped me decorate our classroom door for the holidays! I made the snowflakes and some parts of Olaf using my Silhouette cutter. I love how it came out!

Winter Trees - We created these simple trees using strips of green construction paper. This activity also incorporated some math skills as the kids had to sequence the strips in order from shortest to longest to create their tree. We added a touch of white paint for a pretty snow effect! 
Gingerbread Holiday Cards - We read The Gingerbread Man and then decorated our own gingerbread people. They turned out cute, so we used them to decorate the covers of our holiday cards. 

Here is what the inside of our cards looked like. The friendly letter template can be downloaded for free HERE. During writing workshop, I taught a quick mini-lesson on the format of a letter and modeled how to write a letter through shared writing. Then the kids created their own letters to their families.

Wreath Ornaments - We created these photo ornaments for our parent gifts. I had the pieces pre-cut using my Silhouette Cameo and the kids just assembled them. Quick, simple, and cute!

Snowman Handprint Ornaments - I usually do these every year, but we did the wreaths instead this year. These come out so pretty! Unfortunately, we don't have a sink in our this would have been hard to do. Not to mention, there is never enough TIME!

Syllable Express - We choose a picture and clapp the syllables. Then we sort the pictures into the correct train car and stamp the syllables on our sheet.

Stocking Stuffers - We pull small objects out of a stocking, figure out the beginning sound, and color in the correct letter on our recording sheet. The small items are from Lakeshore's Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs.

Gingerbread Lane - We pick objects out of a gingerbread house and identify the ending sound. Then we write the letter inside a gumdrop on our recording sheet. 

Elf Hunt - We hunt for hidden elves around the room. We read each sight word and write it on the recording sheet. I decided to put the recording sheets in sheet protectors and have them use dry erase markers to save paper. It worked much better this way!

Roll a Word - I modified this game slightly. Instead of using dice, I used a wind-up Santa toy and a grid of words. The kids wound up Santa and read the word he landed on. Then they wrote that word on their graph.

Gingerbread Families - We segment each word, sort pictures by the middle sound, and then write the words under the correct vowel on the recording sheet. 

More or Less - This game is played like War. Each partner chooses a card and places it on the mat. They figure out whose number is greater and whose is less. The player who has more keeps both cards.

Add & Cover - I brought in some peppermint candies to spice up this old game! The kids roll two dice, add the dots, and cover the numeral with a candy. They love this one! Of course I have to tell them, "No eating the candies, or you're out of this center for the day!"

Sums for Santa - We roll two dice to determine how many ornaments to place on each tree. Then we add them together and write the equation.  

Count & Color - We choose a card, place it on the mat, and count the candies. Then we write the number and color the ten frame on the recording sheet.

Tasty Ten Frames - We roll a die to determine how many red counters to place in our ten frame. Then we figure out how many green ones we need to make ten. Finally, we color the ten frame and record the equation.

Christmas Count - We pick a tree, count the ornaments, and record the number on the recording sheet.

These center activities can be found in my Christmas Centers Pack!


Turkey Addition - We used orange and yellow feathers to create our own turkeys! Then we wrote an addition sentence to show how many yellow and orange feathers our turkey had. Download the free template HERE.

More or Less - This game is played like "War" where the person who gets the greater amount keeps both cards. I added in some "math talk cards" to get the kids using math vocabulary, such as greater than and less than.

Race to 10 - We roll the die and place the counters on our ten frame mat. After each turn, we say how many counters we have and how many more we need to get to 10.

Turkey Number Order - We put the number cards in order from 1 to 10. Then we cut and paste our turkeys in order on a sentence strip. Some of us decided to staple them together to make hats :)

Clip & Count - We pick a card, count the objects, and clip the number. Then we record our work by writing the number in a turkey and drawing dots in the ten frame. I modified this activity slightly using a different recording sheet because I wanted the kids to practice with the ten frames (the Clip & Count sheet just has them write the number inside a box).

Turkey Trot - We take turns spinning the spinner, saying the word, and writing the beginning sound inside an apple. These spinners came from Amazon...and they are the best thing ever! 

Roll a Word - This super simple game involves rolling the die, reading the sight word, and writing it on the graph. In case you're wondering, these pocket dice I use in a lot of my centers are also from Amazon!

Gobble Gobble Syllables - We clap the syllables in the words, sort the pictures, and stamp our recording sheet.

Turkey Hunt - We hunt around the room for sight words and write them on our recording sheet. Clipboards and pointers are a must for this center!

All of these center activities are included in my Thanksgiving Center Pack!

That's all for now! Check back in the next week or so...I just started working on a math post with some fun ideas for addition. I'm also working on reading and writing workshop posts with lots of great freebies! I'll also post about my centers for January in the next couple weeks. I promise I will get back on track and keep you all up to date! Enjoy the rest of your winter break!


  1. Wow! You have so many amazing centers!
    And I especially love your turkey addition project. (So cute how each turkey face is so unique!)

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