Celebration Around the World - Hanukkah

Are you planning a Celebrations Around the World Unit?  No unit would be complete without studying Hanukkah.  What better time to study it than now since Hanukkah began on Thursday.  

I am very excited about the new Hanukkah packet that I just finished.   

Your students will strengthen their reading fluency while reading facts about Hanukkah. After making and reading sentences, students will complete a writing assignment. There are 3 different assignments to choose from so you can differentiate this assignment.

There are 3 different printables to use with your interactive journals.  Printables include:
  • Facts about Hanuakkah 
  • Hanukkah vocabulary 
  • Hanukkah:  Beginning, Middle, and End (can be used with any Hanukkah book)

These mini books work great with your small group.  Plus you can send them home for additional practice.

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Check out my Pinterest board for more Celebrations Around the World ideas.
Click HERE.

Guess what?!!!!  I am going to give my new packet away on Sunday.  Plus, a couple of my blogger friends have generously donated their Hanukkah packets to my giveaway. Three of my lucky followers will win ALL of these amazing packets.  

It's LMN Tree

Arlene has donated the two packets below.  Be sure to go visit Arlene's blog and say Hi!  Arlene is a former ESL teacher who shares her wealth of experience with her readers.  

Click HERE to read more about it.

Click HERE to read more about it.

Sunny Days in Second

Denise has donated the packet below.  Don't forget to visit her blog. I love the way Denise gives her followers a glimpse into the life of her classroom.  There is always a lot of fun and creative things going on in her room.

Click HERE to read more about it.

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Candy Cane Lane


I love candy canes!  When I see them I instantly think of Christmas. Here are a few candy cane books that you should check out:

I made a candy cane packet for you.  This packet comes with the activities listed below.

Two candy cane patterns that you can either use as tracers or copy on construction paper.  Most copiers can copy your lessons on construction paper if you cut the paper 8 1/2 X 11.  Sometimes you have to put thicker paper in a different drawer so check with your secretary or whoever is in charge of the copier before you try it for first time.

Let your students paint the candy canes with tempera paint.
Add a few drops of peppermint extract to the paint for a seasonal smell. 

You can also add a few drops of dish detergent to the paint so clean up time will be easier.  This will even help if your students spill some paint on their clothes.  

Students will take one of the small candy canes from the page above, cut it out, color, and then glue it on the writing paper.  Their writing assignment is:  "This used to be a candy cane, now it is a . . . "  Candy canes can be arranged in any directions (sideways, standing on end, etc.) to make their new invention.

The last assignment is a word sort:  long A / short A.  There are two different pages so you can differentiate this assignment.

I hope your students enjoy these activities!  Happy Holidays!

Click HERE to get this packet.

Are you looking for Celebration Around the World ideas?
This Pinterest board has a bunch of ideas!

Click HERE.


Hands on Math

My friends Yvonne and Brian @ Mixminder just published a book called The Crawfords' Big Book of Math-tivities. It is full of math lessons for grades kindergarten - 2nd grade.  Your students will love all of the hands on activities.

The book includes the following activities:
  • Mathbooking
  • Goofy Glyphs
  • Math & Tell
  • Math Games & Puzzles
  • Taking math outside
  • Holidays and Seasonal Math

My favorite activities are the goofy glyphs.  These could easily be set up as a math center or used as a whole group lesson.  This activity not only teaches math skills but also strengthens students' listening skills when you use it as a whole group activity. You could use this to document your students' listening skills, too.  It is a great visual to share at conference time!

Each students' assignment will be their own unique creation.  Wouldn't these be adorable to hang in the hallway?  The perfect activity when you like to use multiple intelligence in your lessons.

Click on the picture below to read more about Brian and Yvonne's book.


Christmas Around the World & Hanukkah, too!

Each year, I get mixed feelings when December rolls around. I love the holiday cheer as much as the next person.  What I don't like is the change I see in my students around this time of year. Normally well-behaved students suddenly become grumpy, unable to complete an assignment without someone hovering over them, and too much of my time is spent dealing with tattles instead of teaching.  

The one thing I did find that helped was to spend extra time planning high interest lessons.  Do you remember that movie Pay it Forward?  This is the teacher's version.

This is one of those cases when the amount of time you spend planning high interest, quality lessons will pay off with less discipline problems.  Less stress for you, how great is that?!!!

Each December I love to teach a Christmas Around the World unit and it always is a favorite of my students. I love to start my unit where all the magic begins . . . . at the North Pole!  

One of the strategies I have found that helps when my class is a little more rowdy, is to sit on the floor with my class in a circle.  Usually I sit in a teacher chair at circle time.  But, when my class is talkative or off-task during lessons, it helps if I am down on their level.

December is the season for a rowdy class.  It is also the time when I like to teach Christmas or Holidays around the World.  I either have a globe I can use or maps that are hung up away from where we are sitting on the floor. I was shopping at my local fabric store when I found the answer to my problem.  In the picture above is fabric of a map.  It is colorful and students love it!  You can add it to your centers, use it with circle time, or hang it on a bulletin board.

My students are always fascinated with reindeer.  Many of them have seen reindeer at the zoo.

Let your students observe reindeer at the reindeercam.com site. Have them record their observations on one of the free printables below.  This is something that they can do throughout the month. Keep their observations in a folder and compare each week's observations.

Click HERE to download.

It's a Fact! is a fun way to integrate science and language arts.  The facts and picture cards can be used different ways.   You can use the cards in a whole group lesson. Or students can use these as a matching game.  After playing the game, students can write facts and opinions about reindeer.

Set this up as a computer center or gather a bunch of books so your students can research their favorite animal from the North Pole.  This is a fun way to add informational text lessons to your plans.

Students can record their research on either a pie organizers or a table organizer.

Students will sort the seasonal words into right and wrong spelling groups.  Then they will choose some of the words to use in sentences on the recording sheet.  There are two recording sheets so you can differentiate this center.

This task card center has reindeer themed words that students will divide into syllables and then write a sentence using the word.

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I have been making some more Christmas Around the World packets and a Hanukkah packet.  So far, I have the following countries:

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Click HERE to visit my TPT store.

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Are you also including other celebrations in your study?  I made a Hanukkah packet this past week that you might want to check out.

Click HERE to visit my TPT store.

Do you like bargains as much as I do?
You can get all of my Christmas around the World packets, plus Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in the mega bundle.
Click HERE to check it out.

Don't forget to check out my Celebrations Around the World Pinterest board for more ideas.

Click HERE.