Social Media Icons

 photo CarrieH-Email_zps4241b962.png  photo CarrieH-Facebook_zpsf1571023.png  photo SocialMediaIcon1_zps5c7e5298.png  photo CarrieH-SocialMediaIcon_zps6e33496e.png

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The week of Christmas in our classroom

I have been anxiously awaiting my opportunity to blog about the past week or so but as I sit here in a quiet, sleeping house this morning, my thoughts don't come together very well. I don't know how you all do all the Christmas stuff. I fall asleep sitting up working on school stuff every night and I have two trees undecorated and decorations and ornaments sitting around here waiting for me to have time to do something different. My first night of break I "watched a movie" with the fam, which is code for, "they watched the movie and I slept in my chair." But today I look forward to a little relaxation and a lot of holiday. I did not bring home papers to check. I have some. I will be working on getting progress reports ready for parents and some students did not get their corrections finished until yesterday afternoon. But I brought home a few basics and that is all because I need the break as much as the students do, and my children need me to be present.

Our last project was A One Room Schoolhouse Christmas. We kicked this off with a field trip to Old Cowtown Museum visiting during their Victorian Christmas. Some of our students were present when a local news channel came out to film and are included in the news presentation that you can see here. The youngest students were responsible to research and create decorations for the tree and
schoolhouse walls. We made paper chains, learned to string popcorn and made popcorn strings, made paper Christmas tree balls (the idea came from a gentleman who attended a one-room schoolhouse in the 1940's), we made a chain of stars for the wall and covered a star cutout with aluminum foil to top our tree, taking the advice of the gentleman who attended the one-room school house and using whatever we had to make decorations. He also mentioned that this was one way they decorated with stars. We used a cedar tree for our tree, which would have been authentic to some one-room schoolhouses.

We did some math with popcorn too! We did a lesson on estimation! By the way.... Ms. Horn did not do a good job estimating how much popcorn we needed! We had a LOT of popcorn!!!! Here a student is measuring how long/tall their chain is by comparing it to their own height, and here is the bag of popcorn that I made for us to string....

We ended up with a question of the day. This is what happens when we are just doing our lesson plans and a teaching moment comes up and Ms. Horn can't pass it up. So.... here it is:
We worked together to create a process to find an estimate. The trick is in finding a process that can be repeated in similar but different situations. For some students, this was just about exposure to processes they might use as they get older, but some students will be able transfer and apply this information this year.

A few more things we did to prepare for the program....
Here a First Grader adds cloves to an orange to make a fragrant room deodorizer.

Some students arranged their cloves in the design of a face. 
 We placed the oranges around the gym and on the table with the programs on it for our One Room Schoolhouse presentation.
Candles were used to light the tree in the 1870's. Our goal was to make a realistic looking candle. Our students
decided to cut the candles from milk jugs and color the flames with crayon. We fastened them to the branches with pipe cleaners. 

Here is the deep thinker that came up with the idea for using the milk jugs. 
This is the tree in the recreated schoolhouse with everything on it.  I felt very good about the work these little learners were able to accomplish.
While some snowflakes hung on the tree, others were placed on the schoolhouse wall.

One day this week we read How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Students were asked to write about what the author meant when he said that maybe Christmas didn't come from a store. One student wrote that he didn't understand because Christmas DOES come from a store. This was a little bit of a heart-breaker. But this one was my favorite and showed some deep thought from this little Third grade student!
"Christmas doesn't have to come from a store. Christmas comes from God. We don't have to spend money on toys. Instead on Christmas we could be thankful for the stuff we have. We could spend time with family and God."
Thursday night was our program and Whew! We worked so hard to make it a stellar performance! I was impressed once again! Our students really ARE the best!

....and Friday was a day filled with Christmas activities.

We set up five stations for students. I had a station that included a little math.... I adapted the Sneezy the Snowman spinner game using the pattern but having students roll two dice instead and doing multiplication. I had a sheet that said what pieces of the snowman they could create when they came up with that product (for example, the sheet of paper might have said: 16 = 2 eyes). The Sneezy the Snowman packet I got from Deanna Jump on Teachers Pay Teachers, and you can get it here. This is a pack that I really love.

Another station I was in charge of was about Mexico. We taught about Mexico at Christmas and created a paper poinsettia, the Mexican Christmas flower. We learned about Sinter Klaus in Holland and made a clog cutout with carrots and hay for his horse. Two more stations were set up by my colleague, Mrs. Addis, and they were Germany and England. The station for Germany included playing a game called, "Topfschlagen" or "hit the pot" which is a game that children might play at Christmas in Germany. At the England station students made "crackers" to celebrate the season.

Kristen, a sixth grader, trying not to have her picture taken while making her Poinsettia
Making poinsettias with Ms. Ronni

This third grader with her clog filled with hay and carrots. 
 After a fun-filled morning with all these stations our afternoon went by quickly watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's Christmas Time Again Charlie Brown. As soon as we finished this, it was time for party festivities to begin. We played the infamous Candy-ball game where the candy is wrapped in Saran-wrap and kids had to try to unwrap a piece of candy before their friend to the left of them rolled a double and shouted out the sum. I have never seen someone so excited about math before!
For our gift exchange we did a boy and girl "musical gift" game where we passed the gift around the circle until the music stopped. The girls had a circle and the boys had a circle. It was a lot of fun and everyone enjoyed their gifts!

A couple of my favorite things overhead yesterday....

"This is the best Christmas ever!"an eager second grader said as we moved from one activity to the next during our party.

"Now I know what it means when people say they are so happy they cry happy tears!" one young man said as a little bit of happiness slipped down his face.

"I will miss you over the break Ms. Horn" one grinning learning said to me as he got ready to go. This one might be my favorite as this young learner seldom has something kind or happy to contribute.

No comments:

Post a Comment