Engaging Winter Activities for the Classroom

Hey there friends,
I wanted to share my favorite winter time activities that are sure to please you and your students! Let's keep your kiddos engaged and you sane this winter! 


Click on any of the images below to check them out in my store! 
Holidays Around the World: I always wanted to cover a variety of holidays but never had all the time. This is why I created this unit full of variety. You can pick and choose what activities you have time for and still feel satisfied with what you taught. This year I added print and go trifolds, perfect for centers, morning work, guided reading groups or parent volunteers to do with your students

Winter Themed STEM: This year I have two winter themed STEM resources. "How to Catch an Elf" and "How to Catch a Snowman" They are so much fun and the kids learn so much! I always thought STEM projects would be so much work. You simply have to lay the groundwork for expectations of behaviors and basic procedures, then sit back and observe the magic.  I was a changed teacher after my first time doing "How to Catch a Snowman" last year.  Each unit has all the directions and even literacy extensions you will need! You just supply the basic materials for construction (most can be found in your classroom or recycle bin ha!)

Need something to send home with students to keep them learning, parents asking for work or want to send an educational gift home for the holidays?
My Snow Day Pack is full of fun learning activities from baking, STEM, math with measurement, game design, journaling and more! 

My Winter Writing Journal is always a big hit with kids and parents. I love to offer rewards to kids that bring them back after break with stories to share. They can read them on the microphone, hang them up for others to see, some have gotten extra tech time to type them. I also offer classroom cash and a fun pencil as a fun prize! It has all the support materials you will need for your writers read to print, staple and send home! 



You will be on break so soon, relaxing in sweats....can't you see it now? I hope you have a great last week with your nuggets!

Kacie 

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Gingerbread Activities That are Sure to Engage! Plus a FREE Resource

Hey friends, 
How is it already December?! I mean seriously, it's crazy how fast this year has gone by! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am guessing your students have been amped up this week. They are excited and anxious, all at the same time. Maybe they are having a hard time focusing. Sound familiar? 
This is an exact description of what my classroom was like in December.  I needed to direct that excitement into something... seasonal and fun...gingerbread. I LOVE gingerbread books and there are SO many variations to choose from. I love their repetition, but with a surprising twist. I love that they lend beautifully to text connections and compare and contrast. Also, isn't it the best when your students can chorally read along with you? They are engaged! 

So let the gingerbread games begin, I will tell how do I reel in my students this December through fun gingerbread themed reading and writing activities. 

I spread the gingerbread themed activities over two weeks. Now, you can do this however you want depending on your time. My kids are learning and mastering concepts so I am willing to table some things and give this time. You may have to pick and choose what you use dependent on the time you have. 

Gingerbread Themed Reading Comprehension

Read Different Versions of "The Gingerbread Man"
This is a quick break down of how I do this.
  • We read the story 
    • I always start with an older classic that most students are familiar with. From there, 
    • I will choose some favorites and have students vote on others they want to hear.
    • Keep all versions read out for kids to explore. 
    • There are also various stories read online too!  
  • I remind the students of the different elements involved in an fictional narrative. I use my mentor posters for visuals as we do this. (
    • I leave posters up for the remainder of the unit. 
  • We walk through the different story elements of the book we read.
  • I have done this in multiple ways, but we read another version so we can compare. 
    • Read back to back depending on length 
    • Read another later in the day where there is a natural break, after recess, during snack etc. 
  • We complete a Venn diagram whole group. (I record ideas on the board they copy)
    • I typically won't do this more then twice. Thats a lot of writing and after two Venn diagrams the kids can typically able to prove their understanding of the similarities and differences through discussion. 
  • Students may complete an additional comprehension extension dependent on what we need to review. 

Gingerbread Themed Narrative Writing

Create Our Own Versions of the Gingerbread Man
Click on the image BELOW to check it out in my store. 
This is a quick break down of how I do this.
  • I created a gingerbread narrative wiring unit with everything you would need to keep your students on track and excited while writing their own unique versions of the gingerbread man. 
  • First, we revisit the story elements from the different versions we read to inspire  unique features they may want to include in their own stories. 
  • Then we brainstorm a very rough version of our stories. 
  • My biggest recommendation is to break apart every section of the story. 
    • On one day we will plan our characters, their traits, and the problem. 
    • The next day we work on the beginning. We all know that the narrative genre can lead to classic never ending stories, and by breaking the elements apart we can avoid this. 
  • By the time you are working through the middle and into the end, your students will be showing so much independence, and no joke asking not to stop! 
  • After we are done doing some small edits (they are big stories)  I have published in many ways. 
    • I have had kids orally read and parent volunteers type. (this is a great at home volunteer project)
    • I have had kids partner with a 5th grader and collaborate during the typing process. 
    • I have also had kids dictate to me and I type
    • I have also made it an at home project to type the final draft (if parents have computer)

I also love to incorporate gingerbread into other areas of the curriculum, like science and math!

My gingerbread fun pack includes science , multiple math activities, and coloring choices! 

The kids love all the gingerbread things we do and I honestly enjoy it so much myself. I love that it offers something with a winter them that doesn't have to directly involve a holiday. The kids are engaged and excited to see what we will read next or what surprise activity I have in store. My favorite part is hearing the excitement in their voice as they read their versions to me and their peers. 
CLICK on the IMAGE BELOW to download your FREE gingerbread resource

I hope you have a fun couple of weeks leading up to break! I know these gingerbread activities will engage your students and restore some calm. We can do it friends! 



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