Friday, November 30, 2012

December Projects Plus... and a Writing FREEBIE!

Hello, Teaching Friends!

It's the last day of November - time to ready your projects and stock your centers for December! 

It's hard to choose my favorite projects for December in the classroom ... ones that both the children and I enjoyed the most. If you've been reading this blog before, you've probably noticed that I've always been a big believer in what I refer to as the Reverse Spoonful of Sugar philosophy of teaching. It goes like this: Do the fun seasonal stuff with your kiddos, but be sure that whatever you do has "added value" for learning. You know - "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and *SNAP* the job's a game!" We did the glitter, but not just for the bling.

So, the two holiday projects that come to mind, and their "added value", often brought the roll of the eyes from some of my colleagues for the learning that I squooshed into them. The first project was tree light necklaces, with paper tree lights taped onto yarn. Back in the ancient days, my students colored theirs - now there are so many adorable and colorful clipart ones available for this project. The "added value" in this project was to write a word wall word on each one. Differentiation: attach the words in ABC order, or just attach the words.

The second project was reindeer headbands. The children would trace their hands on brown construction paper, cut them out, and staple them side by side on a long narrowstrip of the same kind of paper. A pompom nose and googly eyes turned it into a reindeer, and a bit of glitter on each antler tip finished them up. Right? Well.... no. Let's get some extra mileage from this project! Headbands on, we'd line up and practice counting by 5's and 10's. Then there'd be photos of a few of my adorable little reindeer side by side. These would go into a class book about skip counting by 5's, "How Many Antlers?" We all know how much our little guys love seeing themselves in a book, so they'd be reading (and counting!) that one right through the spring!

So, here's your little bit of peppermint- candy- and-whipped cream addition to your writing center for December, to keep both enthusiasm and learning high. Pop on over to my Teachers Notebook shop to get this free set of December writing templates. Each one has a box for an illustration and six sets of primary lines, like the sample you see here. Good for a short holiday story or even for a spelling test, and just what you need for your writing center right now.

Click on the cover to download yours.
Classroom freebies
Happy Teaching!



  1. I love your philosophy! Nothing wrong with a little glitter as long as the kids are learning! Thanks for the freebie!


    What Happens in First Grade

  2. You're welcome, Amy! There's just something about finding glitter behind your fingernails (and quite often in other weird places!) at the end of the day!

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. I love the idea of the reindeer headbands. My fourth graders could help their first grade buddies make them.
    Artistry of Education

    1. What a great idea, Mary! I hope they'll enjoy the project ... buddy classes are such a wonderful idea, for both the older and younger students!


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