Saturday, December 4, 2021

3 Easy Prep Ideas for Fun December Learning

Keeping your students calm and learning in December without taking the joy out of a very exciting month is a huge challenge. Holiday crafts and Christmas Around the World activities are a ton of fun, and definitely have lots of learning value. But we all know that this is definitely not the year to let the pace of teaching curriculum slip, with so much time to be made up for!

Here are three ideas for holiday learning activities that your students can do independently, so you can continue to meet with small groups, or at least try your best! :)  All three of these activities are free, low prep, repeatable (use them again and again without extra preparation), and not one of these will leave you with papers to correct! 

They're also great as ready-to-go choices to add to your sub folder!

Let's get started!

Extra practice moving up and back on the 120 chart benefits nearly every first grader, and many second graders, too! This free set includes two games...

* Add one or add two
* Add one or add ten

How can you use these 120 chart games to keep your students practicing skills while you teach small groups? 

* December math centers
* Early finishers {When you're doing holiday craft projects, all of these activities will help your fast     finishers use their time productively!}
* Morning bins
* Fun Fridays


Here's your next free math activity!  Head to your dollar store or craft store to pick up some big snowflakes, get out the dominoes that you probably already have, and you're ready to go! 

The post includes a variety of ideas to extend the use of this activity to use at different grade levels.


Last on today's list of ideas is this making words activity, great for high first graders on up through fourth grade. Check out this post to find several other free gingerbread activities that you can use right on up through the grades!

Making words might at first glance look like just another puzzle activity, but the literacy benefits are actually huge!

Younger students will develop a greater awareness of spelling patterns and using the onset/rime principle in both reading and writing. ("If you can write bag, then you can write rag, nag, and brag.").  To introduce this activity, try modeling it on your interactive board with another holiday word. Think ornaments, mistletoe, celebration, etc.

* For older students, making word activities further develop onset/rime, work with prefixes and suffixes, and they're also a way to enrich vocabulary. When you click to the post, you'll see more about this.


When the glitter and pipe cleaners and more glitter are flying, I hope these ideas will help bring some calm to your classroom while also keeping the fun in learning!

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