Friday, December 16, 2011

Secret Snowflake & American Heroes

We have been busy, busy, busy and I am ready to collapse! I wish we could say that we've been busy making holiday crafts as visions of sugarplums dance in our heads, but that hasn't been the case. My school is pretty laid back about the holidays and my students celebrate many different holidays around this time.  While most celebrate Christmas, I have a pretty good mix of students that are no longer enchanted by the magic of St. Nick squeezing his way through their chimneys. Some are just "too cool", some are secret believers or are unsure about the whole thing, but then others are all "riiiggghhhht. Santa's coming." Instead we have been busy learning about strategies to multiply large numbers and wrapping up our electricity unit. Since apparently corporal punishment for teachers is allowed we are in school for one more week, I have some crafty goodness lined up for next week - naturally, all lined up with the standards :) For you poor souls that will be spreading holiday cheer through a teaching manual (like me) and need some fun ideas for activities for older kids... here's what we'll be up to...

"The Secret Snowflake"- my students are SOOOOOOO excited about this! We randomly picked names, just like a Secret Santa or what have you, and we are working on homemade gifts for the selected "snowflake". I work in a low-income school where many of the students don't have too much to give, so I emphasized that the gift should not be store-bought and should be unique, just as each snowflake is unique. They were hooked! I can't wait to see the final products on Friday. That's right... Friday. (We're here until 3:30, incase you were wondering.) Here is the letter that I sent home if you're interested.

Prime & Composite Peppermints - We are following suit with Cara and Patti and making some peppermint candies to display our math facts. Although, I decided to put a twist :) on it and we will be factoring prime and composite numbers.

Gingerbread Houses - We somehow found ourselves in a door decorating contest with another fifth grade class and a sixth grade class. We are turning our door into a gingerbread house and we literally just started it today because the competition began to really heat up in our hallway. I am also debating decorating gingerbread houses two days before break. We have a 9:00 prep period that day, which means that from 10-3:30 (with the exception of 30 minute lunch) the kids are with me all day. I don't teach writing so I am trying to come up with something to tie the houses in with math. 

Coordinate Grid Stockings - As we begin our graphing unit, we plot coordinates on a grid and it will turn out to be a Christmas stocking. We color & decorate them and hang them up when we're done.

We don't have too many cute activities in fifth grade but the kids are excited because there will be glitter involved and that almost never happens. I hope to have lots of pictures to share next week :)

Oh & we have been collecting items for soldiers in Afghanistan and our first package is going out in the mail today! The letters that the kids have been writing are precious!


  1. I love your Secret Snowflake idea and am saving it for next year. THANK YOU for sharing your idea and letter as a guideline/template! Love your blog and am joining NOW! ;)

  2. The secret snowflake is such a great idea! I wish I had thought of that :) I look forward to reading many more of your great ideas.

    Your newest follower,
    Teaching in Room 6

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