The Holidays In Rewind.

I don’t know if it’s just me that feels like time is passing by at warp speed, but this past semester has been INSANE.  I feel like I blinked and it was over. Anyway, since I was TERRIBLE about posting this month, I thought I’d do a quick catch-up…the month in rewind :)  Enjoy!

We celebrated Dozen Day on 12-12-12 {aka: “Doomsday”…ha!}  I used my little anchor chart to have the kids fill in the numbers {up to 12} on a number line and we brainstormed things that come in 12 as well as different ways to show 12, too!  FUN!  We were knee deep in all things “twelve” that day and the kids had a blast.

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At the beginning of the month, my kids were telling me ALL about their elves at home.  I thought their little conversations were a perfect springboard for a little graphing activity… “Do you have an elf at home?  Or not?”  We graphed the data and then made our very own little elves…then we filled out our elf applications to send to the north pole. 

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The holidays are the perfect time for teaching and reinforcing wants & needs and when I saw this cute idea on Krazy for Kindergarten, I knew I had to incorporate it into my plans.  Her activity is PRECIOUS beyond words.  We made a little t-chart and sorted a few different clipart pictures based on wants & needs, then I had the kids draw their own pictures and add them to our sacks.  We carried that into a little writing activity and I had the kids write a little list of 3 things they wanted and 3 things they need.

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Here are a few little writing craftivities we did this month, too!  You might remember Santa’s Stuck from the lesson we did last year and the year before that.  One of my sweet moms gave me this tub of Christmas stickers and we have these adorable little light die cuts at school that I wanted to use, so I made a simplified version of my little Mooseltoe craftivity and changed up the writing prompt just a bit for my kinder babies.  Love it!

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No holiday season is complete without a little Christmas around the world.  And let me tell ya…our little campus does it up right!  I’ve never seen such a sight!  The whole school participates and the kids start out by boarding “Eagle Airlines” and flying through the friendly skies to learn about the places they’ll visit on their trip.  They got boarding passes and everything.  Our administrators even dressed the part!  They were precious!!!  The scanned the kids’ tickets before they could board the plane and the kids even got little snack packs to take with them after landing. 

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We visited places like China, Holland, America, France, Germany, Australia, and Mexico.  At each stop, the kids got a little “souvenier” and a little snack specific to that country.  The parents even came in a decorated each “country” to a T!!! 

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Talk about a BUSY day!  We all had jetlag, for sure ;)

Also, no holiday is complete without a few reindeer games.  I added a few extra things to my reindeer stash this year and pulled out a few oldies, but goodies ;)  First up, we brainstormed a list of things that are as red as Rudolph’s nose.  My kids did AWESOME!  For those of you not from Texas, the “Red Raiders” reference is for my little Texas Techies :)  Presh.


After we brainstormed our list of *red* words, we wrote similes!  This worked out perfect because our kids were working on the word “as”, so it was the perfect little segue into talking about how the word *as* can be used to compare different things.

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This one absolutely KILLS me!  “Rudolph has a nose as red as VOWELS.”  I LOVE IT!! I’ll often write the vowels in red, so I love that she made this connection!  Too cute!1rudolph5

We had Polar Express/jammie day last week and got to enjoy the movie with cookies and hot chocolate.  As a little treat for the kids, we handed out these precious little reindeer hot cocoa treats after we watched the movie…found on Pinterest, of course.  Here’s the original source of inspiration.  We made it a little easier on ourselves by shoving his nose in the bottom of the bag and then drawing little eyes on the bag with a sharpie.  The kids were so excited!


I was super excited to change up parent gifts this year.  In the past couple of years, we made cute little snowmen plates to send home to the parents.  This year, we made these darling little handprint Christmas trees on canvas boards {8x10…you can find them at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Wal Mart.}  They were SO easy and absolutely ADORABLE!!!!!  We mixed blue acrylic paint with a little water and had the kids *wash* on the paint with a cotton ball.  After it dried…which took all of 2 minutes…we painted their little hands green and went to town.  We cut little stars out of yellow foam and had the kids trim the tree with fingerprint ornaments.  Love, love, LOVE!!!  I even made these at home with my boys and I can definitely say that this will be a tradition we continue until their hands no longer fit on these little canvas boards!!!!


As you can tell, it was a BUSY, BUSY month!!!  I’m going to enjoy these next 2 weeks at home with my babies and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that!!!  I hope y’all have a VERY Merry Christmas!!!!


  1. Such wonderfully CUTE ideas. Thanks so much for sharing these.


  2. Wow, your school REALLY goes all out for Christmas around the world! How fun!! The handprint trees are too cute! I will have to pin that for next year! Merry Christmas!

    EduKate and Inspire

  3. Absolutely LOVE how your entire school is involved in Traditions Around the World. What fun!! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    Happy holidays!!


  4. I love how your entire school gets involved in the Christmas Around the World unit - that plane is amazing.

  5. Your blog is so much fun to read! I look forward to each of your posts. You have such creative ideas ...thanks for sharing them! If you have a chance swing by my blog :)


  6. Love the Christmas around the World!!! How fun!!!
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  7. I love the dozen day activities! I hope you and your family has a great holiday!

  8. The Rudolph thing is ADORABLE, I love the idea to teach similes to first graders. I don't want to miss out - think I'll do my own version in January with snowmen - his face was as cold as ___? Or coal nose was as black as ____? I dunno, we'll think of something! :) And I LOVE your Christmas around the World! We had ours scheduled for this Thursday - and some windstorm accident knocked over a telephone pole, and our school has NO POWER until 10:30 AM! A group of first graders coloring on the floor by the hallway windows to see from the skylight the day before a holiday... This on a day when NOTHING was planned because it was supposed to be our own classroom rotation day - CRAZY! Hope you are enjoying your break as much as I am. ;)

  9. I am amazed at how all-out your school goes for Christmas Around the World {and jealous too!!} So cute!

    And, of course, everything else you did is absolutely precious!

    Merry Christmas!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

  10. I love the needs/wants gift bags. We talked about that with our Weekly Reader and I'll be remembering your idea for next year. I also think those reindeer cocoa packets are adorable!

    You Might Be a First Grader...

  11. I love the 12 12 12 idea! I wish I had thought to do some things in time! Your school Christmas Around the World ideas are fabulous. Thanks for sharing! I always enjoy your posts and love following your blog!

    Celebrate Second Grade

  12. You are so creative Cara, I've been reading your blog I think since you started and you never cease to amaze me. Hope you enjoy the rest of your break with your adorable fam......thanks for always sharing :) Monica

  13. Thanks for listing all the incredible things you did! Loved the Rudolph similes! You are amazing with your anchor charts. You have inspired me to have that as a goal for myself next year. Mine can be much better! Have. Wonderful break! Happy New Year, too!

  14. Love these ideas!!!

    Do you buy the materials out of your own pocket?! I struggle with spending TOO much money on my classroom and students and with a baby due in a month, the budget is getting tighter!!!! AUGH!!!!!!

  15. Your blog is such fun to read! I LOVE that your whole school gets involved!! I will be adding the needs and wants and Moostletoe activities to my December plans! I recently started my own blog, thanks to the inspiration of so many wonderful bloggers such as you! Stop by if you have a chance! Any feedback (and followers of course!) is appreciated!!

  16. I've just been catching up on my blogs and I really love your dozen day idea! I wish I coulda done something like that. I'll have to remember that for next december 12th! ;)


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  18. I am so impressed with your school. Your kids are so lucky to have such hard working teachers that go above and beyond. I'm new to the profession and to blogging and I absolutely love all the ideas that you shares. Your anchor charts are so adorable!

    I'm also a fellow Texan in the DFW area! Yee-Haw!

  19. Hi, I loved your kite dictionary idea and tweaked it to make it my own - I have my own templates and changed it up a bit. I have made mine a freebie in my store - the link is here. I have NOT included it in my Dictionary Skill Packet. I wrote to you over the summer and never heard from you - I hope I am not infringing on anything, but if you feel I am, I will just put in on my blog as a freebie.

    Please let me know.
    Tama Trotti

  20. Hi Cara,
    I am an elementary school librarian and a follower of your Top Teacher Smorgasboard. I would love to be added to your Top Teacher Smorgasboard board. My pinterest is

  21. I love your reindeer hot cocoa gifts. I was thinking of using the idea as part of our parent gift this year! However, the blog the original idea is linked to is no longer available. Anyway you could fill me in on the materials you used when creating them? Greatly Appreciated! Happy Holidays!

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