Thursday, December 14, 2023

Winter Solstice

Winter is the season of cold, dark days. Celebrate the return of the warmer and lighter days with a project about the winter solstice. In the Northern Hemisphere this usually happens on December 21 or 22. Winter solstice marks the moment when half of our Earth is tilted farthest away from the sun. This day is also known as the shortest day of the year.

Ancient cultures around the world built impressive moments to celebrate the winter solstice. Newgrange was a tomb built in Ireland, around  3 200 B.C. There are also fun celebrations to mark the event from China's Dōngzh festival to Iran's Yalda festival  and Scandinavian Yule feast. 

You can talk about these festivals as a short introduction to a project about winter using a Winter Fact Booklet. Your students will love learning how to draw winter items such as beanie hats, mittens, snowmen or palm trees! Directed drawings resources are great to use on its own but they also work really well with my fact booklets.

Non-fiction writing can be very exciting! A topic such as winter with the winter solstice with its powerful time of darkness can ignite lots of creative non-fictional writing.  Non-fictional writing should  be based on facts but it should also be creative and a pleasure to read.  So it is great to start early by encouraging young kids to write. 

A winter themed math journal is perfect for the winter months and combine it with some winter pattern block BOOM task cards to ensure that your students can develop their geometry skills.

Take time to enjoy the pleasure in the little things, like the long shadows on the winter solstice. Your students will love seeing the longest shadows of the year!

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Friday, December 1, 2023

December 2023 Products!

Welcome December! 

This is a month filled with excitement and energy. Finding engaging activities that balance learning and fun is the key to a great month. Planning this festive month filled with traditions and holidays is a treat but the excitement can be hard for some students. There are students who do not look forward to this time of the year: children whose parents are separated or divorced or children in abusive households. Maintaining daily routines may become increasingly more difficult in December but it might help students to keep things consistent and use familiar materials as well as new and exciting activities.

If you have used Fact Booklets during Fall, your students will be familiar with the concept. Short paragraphs, pages for filling in their own research about the topic, space  for drawing and decorating, and last but not least fun craftivities. Reindeers are amazing creatures and this topic can be paired with Christmas activities. But you can also use the booklets without focusing on the Christmas and the holiday season.

Fairy tales help kids to find solutions to problems and navigate life. A popular story for the December classroom is the Gingerbread Man. Use Reading BOOM digital task cards to give your students a chance to practice their comprehension, sight words, syllables and even learn how to make gingerbread! 

A storybook companion is a great way to dive deeper into a story. A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, is an important book. Many children move around and reflecting on what makes a home is invaluable. This rhyme book is about familiar houses, such as a dog kennel, as well as more surprising ones, like a pea pod. My unique storybook companion is filled with  math and literacy activities. You’ll also find home ideas for family projects. Your students will love using their creative thinking skill to explore what makes a home a home! 

Music in the classroom has so many benefits from calming and improving mood to enhancing creativity. Spread some calm sparkle in your classroom with music from the ballet The Nutcracker while your students work on this charming classical Christmas story.

Wishing you all a wonderfully calm and exciting December!  

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