Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Activities

Just be aware that this is going to a post full of pictures...just a forewarning.

So...every year third grade puts on the Christmas musical (and by every year I mean this is our second year).  This year I got to sit down with the music teacher and pick our musical.  And we picked "Elfis and the Sleighriders".  If you haven't heard of it, look for it on youtube or just google it.  It is a super cute, super short, Christmas musical.

We had play practice for a little over a week leading up to the show.  We had two daytime shows, and one evening performance.  It is insane, intense, crazy, and wonderful.  We almost cancelled it 4 or 5 times.  But in the end, it was totally worth it.

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So, every year my kiddos make a gift for their parents.  The past few years, my kiddos each get a foam snowflake.  I take their picture, print their picture, and they glue their picture onto the center of the snowflake.  Then they get to glitter around it and we turn it into an ornament.  Well, this year, one of my kiddos was my student a few years ago...can't do the same gift.  But I wanted to do the snowflake.  So ALL three third grade teachers decided to glitter snowflakes to decorate our stage for Elfis.  I don't know what it is...but I love using glitter.  It irritates the mess out of some people...but since we don't have time for crafts in third grade, I tend to go all out during December.











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Have you ever heard of Pom juice?  It's pomegranate juice, sometimes mixed with other juices.  It comes in these bottles:










Well, my mother-in-law has been collecting these bottles for me for awhile.  She gave me some a few years ago, and they've been sitting in a cabinet in my classroom since then.  FINALLY, a reason to use them!  We painted them, and turned into snowmen and snowladies.  I LOVED it, my kiddos loved it, my table didn't like it so much though.  One of my kiddos flat-out admitted he didn't know how to paint.  And to think, we have an Art teacher at my school 4 days a week.  Sheesh.
  
 












They turned out kind of cute, if I do say so myself.
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When I first started teaching, I would spend the week before Christmas teaching Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.  As the years have passed, I have dropped Hanukkah and just teach Kwanzaa (just due to time constraints).  So every year I read the book Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford.
http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/together-kwanzaa#cart/cleanup

It's a great book that teaches the traditions of Kwanzaa, and the Swahili words associated with it, in a picture book.  My third graders even enjoy it.

After we read the book (while taking notes and having a pop-free pop-quiz the next day) we all make a mkeka cloth.  Seriously, this was the quietest my kiddos got all week.  You could've heard a pin drop in my room...it was fantastic!




December is crazy for me...I really don't remember December of 2012.  But I LOVE December.  This year I pulled out everything I could to make sure my kiddos got everything out of the month and the Christmas season that they could!

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