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Don't Blame Santa!

I've heard a lot of teachers blaming the holidays for the struggle many children have in school this time of year.

Don't Blame Santa! Here are some reasons why the children struggle this time of year. It's not really Santa's fault!
 
I suspect it's not the holidays that are making it tough for them to concentrate. I think it's a couple of other things.


1.  These little guys have been pushing since August! They've had a couple of long weekends, but they really haven't had a real vacation! They're due for a break!

2.  The days are short. They get up in the dark. By the time they get home from school, the sun is pretty much down. Not only are they not getting outside to let off steam, but so much darkness robs them of Vitamin D, and makes them sleepy!

Some of my little guys can barely hold their heads up during the day! 

I had a little girl today looking lost, so I asked her what she was looking for. She said she couldn't remember. (I admit, I do that all the time: walk to the other side of the room, then can't remember why I walked over there, but I blame old age!)

Honestly, I think the holidays are the only thing that hold them together! The promise of fun activities, Santa's watching to see if they're good, seasonal literature and games... there's still some great learning happening, despite their low concentration.

They'll be back on track after a good rest. We have almost 2 weeks off coming up, if we can make it through 4 more school days!

...but I'm not blaming Santa! He's the one who's helping them hold it together!

Don't Blame Santa! Here are some reasons why the children struggle this time of year. It's not really Santa's fault!

An Educational Winter Art Project

I love a craft that ties into something educational.  

I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.  

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people. 
 
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Sorry, I had to cover the last names. Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them. 

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat!

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Here's another, aren't these adorable?
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!


An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


Thanksgiving Resources

Wow, Thankgiving is practically upon us!  

Can you believe it?  After that, Christmas, then another year!  Life, please slow down?

 
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!
 

Well, I want to spend the next 7 school days celebrating Thanksgiving. It's a great opportunity to "throw in" a little history, as well as enjoy the things for which we are grateful!

How do I squeeze all this in? Well, I always start with loads of books.  Here's a collection of books I've loved. Some are fun, some are informational. I like to have a lot of books for each interest and each reading level so they all can enjoy them at independent reading time!

                                                            

Books are always a great start. Movies are another fun way to enjoy the holidays!


See the above image for a link to BrainPOP Jr's free Thanksgiving video! Don't you love BrainPOP?

Here are a couple of movies I've found on Youtube with a Thanksgiving theme.  Feel free to preview them and choose what is right for your group!





HERE are some videos from Scholastic that have been filmed at Plimouth Plantation. These are definitely worth a watch!

I try to squeeze in the holidays in all the subjects. This resource has loads of math and literacy activities with the Thanksgiving theme I'll be using these all week!


Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Here's a freebie version of the above product!

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

There are a few Thanksgiving themed items in my November Science and Social Studies Printables! 

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


There's an information mini-book about turkeys, complete with fun facts, vocabulary practice, comprehension questions, and a reflection page. (My kiddos LOVED this, especially the fun facts!)
 
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Plus, there's a sorting activity, where the children have to decide if facts might have happened back in 1621, or if it couldn't have happened back then. Be prepared for giggles!

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Here's a math game with a Turkey theme to practice those +9 facts. My kids LOVE this one!

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's a freebie version of the above game:

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


I'm a big believer in having children illustrate ideas to help internalize learning. Here's my Thanksgiving Story, Informational Text in kid's language, for them to visualize and illustrate.

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

I can't let Thanksgiving go by without a reference to football! When I was a kid, we always had a football game in the morning, and a turkey in the afternoon. (My dad was a football coach!)

Here are links to a couple of football games my kids love!


Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!


Here's a freebie version of the above set:

Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Here's is a favorite with my boys:  Football Past and Present Verbs! Yes, all these verbs have something to do with football!
Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving Resources - books, videos, resources, and a couple of freebies, all with a Thanksgiving theme!

A Batty Art Project

Do you know some children that are fascinated by bats?

 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

After reading a great information book by one of my favorite non-fiction authors, I wanted to do a fun art project to help the children remember what they learned!
 


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I'm not a fan of "cookie cutter" art projects that all look alike. I like to give the children an opportunity to be creative and make something unique. 

We started by making a night scene with crayons.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Then we added a watercolor wash.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

The kids loved how the crayons came through the watercolor!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
It's amazing the effect paint has on a class of kids.  Suddenly all chatting stops and they are totally engrossed in what they're doing.

Of course, some classical music in the background inspires the creativity!

Now, please tell me why aren't I bring out the paints more often?

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I was tempted to give them a pattern to follow for the bats, but when I looked at photos of bats in the night sky, you really couldn't make out a specific shape. I gave each child a piece of black construction paper and they developed their own technique for making the bats.

The results were spectacular!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Each child wrote a fact they remembered from the book, 
and these are displayed with the pictures. 
These kids are amazing!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Here is a freebie informational book about bats the kiddos might enjoy: Bats Informational Text Mini-book

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Bats-Informational-Text-Mini-book-2092614?utm_source=bats%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=bats%20freebie

I'm thinking I'll be reading this book real soon! 
I love comparing fiction books to non-fiction!
 
 

Here are a couple more informational books about bats that might interest your students.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!



A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!



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