Holiday Traditions Flip Book

Teaching about holidays is a great opportunity for students to learn about different cultures and traditions from their classmates, whether they celebrate the same holiday or different ones. But it can be tricky - I will never forget my first year of teaching elementary school when I had children who were Christian, Muslim and Jehovah's Witness in one small class.
I wanted to share a fun writing activity that will get all kids writing, no what what holiday they celebrate.  This can done in class or taken home to be complete with family.

I will list the steps to below for easy to follow directions :)

Step 1: Fill out the Graphic Organizer. It may be helpful to have kids share aloud to remind others of their own celebrations. This is also a good time to remind them of the meaning of the word "tradition."

Step 2: Students will fill out the sheets provided for their flip book: "My Holiday", "Decorations", "Food" and "Traditions". Instructions are included for the students that explain how to cut and staple their flip books. (It's pretty easy - Just cut out each page along the black line, place each page on top of each other from biggest to smallest, and staple three times across the top.)

Step 3: Student can color their flip books and share with the class! These books also make a nice gift for the students' families.

Click here for your FREE "Holiday Traditions Flip Book."

This Holiday Traditions Flip Book is also a nice addition to my Holidays Around the World Unit (Print and Go).

I hope you enjoy the freebie! 

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Back to School Activity: Name Tag Glyph

A name tag glyph is a great getting-to-know-you activity for the first day or first week of school. I will show you how to make one here (or if you just want a free one, scroll down to the bottom! I will never know!)

A glyph is a picture or symbol that gives information. Name glyphs are great for elementary aged students and I have even used them successfully with high school ESL students.

What you need: paper (card stock works best but is not necessary), markers and crayons and a worksheet with the questions you want to ask your students

Step 1: Create a worksheet with getting-to-know-you questions. Each answer will have a symbol or direction to follow. For example:

Step 2: Give students a piece of white construction paper or card stock. (You can also use white computer paper but you may need to tape it to the desk for students to display their name tag.)  Fold it horizontally so it will stand on the student's desk. 

Step 3: Students will then complete their name tag with the information from the worksheet. It is very important that they follow the directions closely and maybe even do a practice name tag first. 

Step 4: After students complete their name tags, there are number of follow up activities you can do. - Have students introduce a partner by interpreting a classmate's name tag for the class.
- Students can write a paragraph about another classmate just using the information from his or her glyph.
- You could also do a number of graphing activities, such as graphing birthday months or favorite activities of students.
- Prepare a glyph worksheet for your sub tub so your substitute will have a name tag for each student.

If you'd like my free name tag glyph, download it here!


Some Sweet Treats for Testing Motivation (Gifts for Students)

Do you have state testing coming up soon? This can be a stressful time for students, to say the least! I know my own fourth grader is a bundle of nerves. I made these labels to give the kids something to look forward to after testing is over.

I found that the candy was a pretty good deal at the bulk section in my grocery store. You can print the labels below and tape/staple them to the bag or simply place them inside a plastic sandwich bag.

Download the free labels here!

A Few Simple Earth Day Activities

It's time for another free seasonal activity! Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd which is a Friday this year. I have some simple and quick ideas below to incorporate into your classroom. (I know there is a lot of testing and/or reviewing going on at this time, so that doesn't leave too much time for fun!)

To help your kids understand the three R's "reduce, reuse, recycle, there are some great videos on youtube. I love this one below! It is set to Jack Johnson's "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" song and shows great images that will keep students' attention. There are so many easy activities you could do with this. Have the students jot down ways they see people REDUCE, REUSE or RECYLE.  Also ask them to spot images that show what happens when people don't put trash in its proper place. (There is an image of an oil spill and also an animal with trash wrapped around his neck.) Or just have them share some observations they made during the video.

After viewing the video or even if you have just discussed "the three R's", students can complete my this free Earth Day activity. Depending on students' level, they can complete this individually or in pairs.

Another quick activity is to make an Earth Day t-shirt! Kids can create their own unique logo for Earth Day. Then display them in the classroom for all to see.
For a great (FREE!) t-shirt template, visit the History Gal's store at TeacherspayTeachers.

The last idea is to have students create a toy from trash!  They could draw their idea or have them actually create the toy at home using only recyclable materials.  Some simple ideas include a rattle using a plastic water bottle and dry rice, a musical instrument using a coffee canister and a chopstick, or bowling pins with plastic bottles. There are many great images and ideas on Pinterest. Just search "Trash to Treasure for Kids."

Thank you and hope you enjoy these ideas!  If you have another simple Earth Day idea, please share it below!


Winter Freebies

I wanted to share some of my winter freebies with you to use in your centers/stations, with early finishers or even during inside recess on those cold winter days! They both come with answer keys for students to self check. Just cut and laminate to have for years to come!

Winter Cause and Effect Matching Game: Students will first match the cause and effect statement, and then decide which is the "Cause" and which is the "Effect".

Winter Fact and Opinion Sorting Game: Sort the "snowballs". Decide which are facts and which are opinions.


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