Ode to December
Oh December, how can it be
You are here already, oh dear me!
It seems we just started
Now the year is half through.
Don’t get me wrong,
I’m kind of, sort of, not really…
Ready for you!
Said every teacher, everywhere!
by Maggie from Maggie’s Kinder Corner, 2017
How can it be that we are already finishing up a second quarter?
My sweet littles are finally beginning to read with fluency, know most letters and sounds (if not all), and are independent learners for the most part.
It is the best time of the year, but also the shortest month for accomplishing goals. There are so many interruptions. So many activities that take away, but also contribute to our class days. It is indeed a beautiful mess!
What are we learning?
With reading, it is all about improving fluency and recognizing, sounding and building CVC words. We have learned some great kinesthetic strategies to help us make words:
- Clap the sounds…(clap) say /c/, (clap) say /a/, (clap) say /t/, etc.
- Jump the sounds (jump)say /c/, (jump) say /a/, (jump) say /t/
- Tough your shoulder for /c/, your elbow for /a/, and clap your hands at the end for /t/
- Walk the word…hop to a big /c/ (on the floor), hop to the /a/, hop to the /t/
- Slide a winter eraser under the sounds you have written on your dry erase board
These are just a few of the ways to keep focus when blending sounds. The key is making it fun!
Where did our cute winter erasers come from? Oriental Trading (yes, I received products for blogging and sharing how I use them in my “real” classroom–and who wouldn’t?)
To help students show their learning, I made the following activities for building CVC words, and spelling the final consonant sound in seasonal words. Students trace each final consonant at the bottom as they use them in the words. When all letters are traced, students are ready to color! You can grab your free copy here:
Emphasis on Giving
During the month of December, it is so easy to get pulled in to what kids can “get”, instead of what they can “give”. Today, we brainstormed ways we can give, or things we can give that cost very little. We illustrated our writing, then wrote about what we would give, and who we would give it to. I am so proud of my littles!
Our cute little snowman display from Oriental Trading is perfect for presenting our writing to others. You can see it in the photo at the top of this post.
Math is all about Counting and Number Recognition!
During this month, we are using cute seasonal finger puppets from Oriental Trading. They are the characters from the original Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer move by Rankin Bass. My kids were so excited to see these in their math center! We roll the dice, then count and place them on our ten frames. We also practice writing the number on a dry erase board. Fun!!!
Decorate all the Things!
We are busy each day using our fine motor skills to create decorations for our classroom tree. Today, we
assembled our cute mouse ornaments! Just look at the cuteness! I love how students look at the example on the instruction sheet to peel and stick everything together. Coordination, problem solving, and fine motor all wrapped into one process! You can find these at Oriental too!
If you could hear the conversations…
You will hear a lot of discussion, big vocabulary, directional language and kids having fun as they work with this 3 D Puzzle! This has to be one of our favorite STEM activities. It is challenging enough, but doable. It comes with cards with arrangements for kids to try. So much thinking!!!!!!! Teacher smiling big here! Here is the exact number of the item from Oriental! MindWare is phenomenal! See more of it at http://www.learn365.orientaltrading.com/
IN-13791673 PATTERN PLAY 3D 34.95
Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas!
We will have a fun rest of 2017 with all of the activities from Oriental Trading. This company has been my go to for more than 25 years! It is still one of the bargains in educational materials.
At Maggie’s Kinder Corner, we want to extend warm wishes for the best December, and hope you have a wonderfully bright 2018!
Hugs to all teachers who need all the encouragement they can get to survive this busy time! I have done it 31 years, so if there is proof in surviving Decembers, you’re lookin at her! 😉
These are my own opinions, no compensation here. Just honest feedback about products I was provided for review. Love their stuff!