Friday, December 14, 2012

Run, Run, Run, As Fast As You Can!

'Tis the end of our deliciously fabulous Gingerbread Week! Oh, what fun we had. Here's a closer look at some of our themed activities...

First up: literacy centres! On Sunday, I made the most simple and yummy-smelling gingerbread play dough EVER!!! 
Yes, it looks like poop but it smells like heaven, and the kiddies were totally engaged in this oral language centre activity..."baking" gingerbread cookies:
At the writing centre, the kiddies got to work on gingerbread storybooks.
(I think I got them from Deanna Jump?? I can't remember...let me know if they're yours!!)
I added some simple word recognition by making this little "cheat sheet" and having them colour every word in their book according to the legend:

At word work, they had two gingerbread-y activities to work on. The first was sorting gingerbread cookie words on to word family plates. We have covered lots of word families by this point in the year so I added 5 new ones to give them a little challenge (-oy, -ight, -ake, -ow, and one more that I can't remember right now...oops!)
(To make the gingerbread cookie words, I simply printed off and laminated clipart I got from google-searching "gingerbread man clipart." After my lovely fiance cut out every single gingerbread man for me, I just wrote my selected words with permanent marker. Easy peasy!)

The second activity goes hand in hand with word work and our current graphing unit in math. The kiddies got to spin the word spinner and first tally up to 20 spins, then graph the results. I think this activity was part of one of Deanna Jump's freebie packages? Anywho, I love the cross-curricular application and the kiddies loved the activity, too!

And I'll just throw in my listening centre for the week since it matched our theme; They got to listen to Gingerbread Baby, which I bought specifically for this mini-unit. Gotta love Jan Brett!

Next up, we made some gingerbread ornaments just for fun! During math centres, I called the kiddies one-on-one to help roll out and cut their own gingerbread people. The recipe is super easy; it's just 1/2 cup glue, about 1 1/2 cups cinnamon (more or less to establish a doughy consistency), 1/3 cups applesauce, and LOTS of sparkles! The only downside is they take about 3-4 days to fully dry and you have to keep flipping them so they don't curl. But overall, it was a super fun activity and my classroom STILL smells delicious as a result of it :)
(I put a hole in each gingerbread head using a straw and, once they fully dry, I will string them with some festive ribbon for the kiddies to take home.)

At the beginning of the week, I promised my firsties that we could make gingerbread houses. I thought they would be disappointed to learn that we were using construction paper instead of real gingerbread, but they loved it just the same! 
They turned out AWESOME!!! 
(look at that one on the top left! It's hard to tell but she made a 3D door and added a very complex lock system to keep the house safe!)
Like just about everything else, I took the super fun craft and used it for a boring writing activity :P The kiddies actually LOVED using our descriptive writing period to describe their very own gingerbread houses. They did a great job:

Moving on! During our once-a-week computer period, I kept the gingerbread theme going. They got to decorate and print out another gingerbread house through one of the activities on ABCya.com. (If you have not visited that site, do it! It is a fantastic resource and, best of all, it's FREE! I love how it allows the kids to easily select the appropriate activities based on their grade. Check it out: ABCya). 

Next, (yes, there's still more!) some of the kiddies got to decorate a construction gingerbread person. I had this as a backup activity and it definitely came in handy! If a student finished their work early, this was the fun activity that they could work on. I love how differently they all turned out:

 Okay, I promise this is the last gingerbread themed activity I am going to share! On Friday, at the end of a fun-filled gingerbread week, I couldn't go without giving the kiddies a real gingerbread to eat. So, as per usual, I turned the treat into a math activity!!! How fun. 
haha but, seriously, it actually was lots of fun. I told the kids that once we each had our gingerbread men, we were going to take ONE bite all together on the count of three. 
Then we graphed the results: who bit off the head first, arm first, leg first, or who didn't even take a bite:
After graphing our results and discussing the data (and eating the rest of our gingerbread!), I had them repeat the activity so that they could graph the results and interpret the data independently. Of course, that meant we had to repeat the survey aka eat another gingerbread man :)

And then, after all of our gingerbread graphing fun was done, I sent my sugar-filled sweeties home to their parents. haha Sorry moms and dads!! Have a great weekend everyone! 
*one more week*

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