Getting Ready for Winter Break
The lead up to winter break can be a busy time in any elementary classroom. Class parties, music concerts, special events, field trips... and actual academic work! It's a miracle any teacher survives to mid-December.
As winter break approaches, there are so many things to be done. Crafts to be made, art projects to complete, gifts to plan (depending on if your class celebrates Christmas), and more! Planning in advance and having winter activities ready to go is key to 'surviving' the holiday hustle. Here are a few things I like to have ready to go in advance. Remember, don't re-invent the wheel.
Winter in the Classroom Tip 1 - Have a craft ready to go!
Tea Light Snowmen Ornaments, a great winter craft. (Photo credit: One Little Project) I absolutely love this snowman ornament craft from One Little Project. It's adorable and almost fool-proof. Check out her blog for step-by-step instructions and an easy shopping guide for activity prep. It does take a significant amount of hot-glueing, so my third grade students completed theirs alongside their older buddies. It could also be done with a few parent volunteers, or in a single-teacher classroom over a few days on a slower pace.
Winter in the Classroom Tip 2 - Be ready with a quick workbook!
The one thing that is certain about the pre-holiday season is that anything can happen. Your much-anticipated guest speaker could cancel. Your field trip bus could be two hours late. The music concert may run way over. There is always time to fill somewhere! I like to be prepared with some kind of quick winter themed workbook that keeps my students engaged and is available on the fly for any unplanned emergency.
These Winter and Christmas Themed Workbooks from Poet Prints do the trick every time!
Winter in the Classroom Tip 3 - Elf Yourself
Elf Yourself is a web-based movie maker is a quick and fun option to add some holiday cheer to your classroom. It is a free platform from Office Depot and Office Max, so there are some links to both websites on the site, but they aren't too obtrusive.
Turn your students into animated and goofy elves in mini north pole themed movies. (Note: some movies may be mildly inappropriate for younger audiences or conservatives schools, screen each movie first).
Do you have any classroom routines or things you like to do before students head off for winter break? Let me know in the comments below!