Wednesday, January 1, 2014

TPT SALE-1/1-1/3: Brain Breaks, Tall Tales, and Holiday Pics

I'm having a SALE!  :)  I'm a little behind the "8-ball" in activating the sale, but you all deserve it and I hope someone can benefit from it!  
It's been a busy couple of weeks and the holiday events at school flew by.  It's been so much fun spending time with family and catching up on sleep.  :)  

I've attached a few pics from throughout our last week of holiday events.  We had a blast!  It truly is my favorite week of the year!!  :)  Before I launch into the holiday hoopla, here's a new file I created for Brain Breaks in the Classroom.  Check out the description below.  :)  Click the link to purchase.  Even though it says K-3rd, it can be used for any grade.  I'm excited to use them when I get back to the classroom on Monday.  

Brain Breaks for the Classroom

Brain Breaks for the Classroom
Looking for some ways to provide your students with activities they can complete in a minute or two that gives them a refreshing brain break? For the past few years I have provided a few cards that my students can use independently that I hang near my front door on a ring. It's a great way to differentiate activities for your students. These are 27 great activities I have collected and used. They are often a great thing to include as accommodations for a variety of students with either sensory, attention, or other learning challenges. It might even be something you could use at home.
  • "Christmas & Other Holidays Around the World":  We used Hope King's packet (click the word to go the file on TPT) and the kids loved it.  My co-worker led these activities since she teaches Social Studies to all our kiddos and I had a little break in my Science Units which allowed me to join in the fun!  
  • Monday was Grinch Day!  This year we added some song lyric writing ("You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch") and included a lesson on similes.  It was super fun and the kids did a great job!  
  • Tuesday we made cards for our buddies and celebrated Hanukkah with the dreidel game and a some Sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts-it commemorates the miracle associated with the temple oil).    
  • Wednesday we made cards for our Christmas Tree Cards for our buddies and Gingerbread Houses in the afternoon.  The hallway smelled like sugar for days.  
  • Thursday we made a Reindeer Glyph for Math and had Polar Express Day in the afternoon.
  • Friday we have a half day and celebrate with a big school-wide Christmas service.  It was lovely! 

I was impressed to see my kids use these a bunch!  I'm hoping to make themed word walls for the year.  Keep an eye out!
lots of mindless gluing and taping to prepare for Gingerbread House Day-I'm pretty sure my colleague and I were staying late this night.  

In Reading we have been studying Tall Tales.  It is a really enjoyable and my kids were working on identifying exaggerations in Paul Bunyan and John Henry.  My group used books from the company Troll Tales.  They are great for 2nd graders who can be exposed to the genre, but without a heavy amount of the tricky vocabulary.  They are at about a Level L/M as far as I can tell, although I haven't sat down and done a guided reading level on them.  

We did a character trait reflection on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.  We left this activity more open ended this year and the kids did a fantastic job showing how the character changed with clear evidence from the text.   I love seeing they represent his changes visually too.  
We are lucky enough to have had a fifth grade student who celebrates Kwanzaa come and share with our class each year.  I had her in 2nd grade and she is generous enough to come and share each year.  I think it's such a fun way for the kids to connect with the holiday and build some great skills for the fifth grader.  :) 
My attempt at a train door.  I've been doing this the past few years and my ROCKIN' 2nd grade colleagues made doors that represented the middle and caboose of the train.  (forgot to take pics).  The second door was a window showing a view of the mountains and our caboose represented our dining car where we had a hot chocolate bar, reindeer food bar, and photo booth run by 3 awesome parents.  
Pictures from our Reindeer Glyph activity.  
Snazzy Snack "Rudie the Reindeer"-love our monthly cooking projects!!  

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