Monday, December 16, 2013

Pre-K Week 17: December Holidays

For our first week of December, we talked about some of the holidays that are celebrated in the month of December, including Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. We discussed Christmas as well, but not too much since we were going to spend a whole week on Christmas later.

This was right after Hanukkah, so it was the perfect time to talk about it. We spent the majority of the week on Hanukkah, and on Friday we talked about Kwanzaa and had a Kwanzaa celebration. 

We also worked on Ms. P from the letter people curriculum, and talked about the parts of our body.

On Monday, we read 'Head to Toe', labeled body parts on a worksheet, and played a face race game (from

On Tuesday, I introduced Winter Holidays with the Winter Holidays BrainPop Jr. video. We read the book Llama Llama Holiday Drama',
and made homemade wrapping paper by decorating pieces of butcher paper with dot paint and holiday stamps. 

To practice our body parts, we sang Head,Shoulders, Knees and Toes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we focused on Hanukkah.

We made these Cheerios and Pasta Menorahs inspired by
This was a great project because I prepared the papers with a key of red and blue. The students knew to put the Cheerios o
On all the red lines and the pasta on the blue lines. They turned out great, and the students really worked on their concentration and fine motor skills.

We played with a dreidel and sang the dreidel song, then the older students did a dreidel counting activity where they spun the dreidel and counted how many times it went around before it fell, then they graphed it.

We also read the book 'Latkes and Applesauce' and actually made and ate latkes and applesauce for snack! 
I brought in a griddle, and used this recipe from EggBeaters website:
Some of the kids gave it a thumbs-up!

On Friday for our Kwanzaa celebration, I read two children's books about Kwanzaa (I already returned them to the library and forgot the names...

We then did Kwanzaa Mat Weaving from the book Art for All Seasons. This was a basic paper-weaving activity that
really tested the students' fine motor skills and basic pattern skills. We weaves green and red strips of paper into a black
 sliced sheet of construction paper and glued it down. Each student's was a little different because they chose what color to out next and also
tried their very hardest to keep up with the over-under pattern, though this was difficult for all of them.

Another great video we watched was the Rugrats Hanukkah episode. Nickelodeon has it on their website, though the graphics
are a little outdated. 

This was our December bulletin board:

On Friday morning we also did a gift exchange to incorporate the theme of giving and kindness. I had each child bring 
In a $2 or homemade wrapped gift, and I put all the gifts in a big bag. We then played pass the present, where the students passed
the bag around and whoever had the bag when the music stopped got to choose a present to open. 
This was sweet because the kids loved giving and opening the gifts (of course) and we talked about how important
it is to be thankful to our friends and families and say Thank You.

Look at this cute Toilet Tube Christmas Tree we made to store the presents under! It's from

Ohmygosh... I almost forgot to mention our change in door decoration! I got this idea Reindeer Door Decor idea from
It's all over Pinterest, and it is absolutely adorable. I love it, and so does everyone in the school! (Though my little 
ones don't quite get it).

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