Saturday, January 23, 2016

So. California Winter Blog Hop

Hi everyone! I've gotten together with some wonderful southern California teachers for a blog hop and giveaway. We're sharing some of our favorite southern California places, and we've have some winter freebies for you, too! You can enter our raffle for a chance to win an Amazon gift card. Our blog hop is hosted by Kristen at Easy Teaching Tools.

I just love that sunny southern California has so many places that we can enjoy. You don't have to travel very far, and you can be at the beach, the desert, or even skiing in the mountains during the winter.

We have beautiful weather and beautiful beaches. I grew up on the coast, so one of my favorite places is the beach. I think it's probably the #1 spot for most people who live near the beach. There's so much to do from surfing and swimming to fishing and walking on the beach. The sunsets are amazing!

I also think we have the most amazing views. These are the Flower Fields that come alive in the spring. They're a big tourist attraction. You can even see the ocean peeking up from the background.

We have theme parks galore! Some of my favorite parks to visit are the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, Balboa Park, and Disneyland, too.

Here's a WINTER FREEBIE for you. It's called How to Build a Snowman. Click on the picture below to download.

It's a sample from one of my most popular writing packets,  Winter Writing for Firsties.

For a chance to win an AMAZON GIFT CARD, enter below. Then hop on over to Heidi's fantastic blog, Glitter is Everywhere. Just click on the button below for more southern California favorite spots and freebies.

Glitter is Everywhere

Friday, January 1, 2016

Winter Activities

This is our January I Teach First blogger linkup. We are sharing lots of ideas, resources, strategies, freebies, and more. You can visit the blogs by clicking on the links below. We'd also love for you to follow us, so you don't miss out on any of our monthly linkups. 

As we head back to school in a couple of days, I’ve been preparing some winter activities for the month of January. I thought I’d share some of them with you.

We will start our discussion of winter by brainstorming a list of words that are associated with winter. Children add to the list as they think of more words. This activity can be done over several days. Adding to the list of words also makes a great sponge activity.

We then sort the winter words into categories. We do this whole class. The chart stays up thru the winter months. Students can refer to it when writing.

I then make word cards.  I put the word cards at the literacy center. Students sort the cards into categories with a partner. The students can also sort the cards using their own categories. Other uses for them: bingo cards, alphabetizing, syllable sorts, writing sentences and poetry, etc.

Lots of winter read alouds are always a must. Here are some snow and snowman books that are great for reading aloud:

A snowman is perfect for discussing the beginning, middle, and end of a snowman story.

The children will also be painting snowmen. We add salt to the paint to give the snowman paintings some texture. The snowmen adorn our bulleting board. I keep them and place them in a memory book that the children receive at the end of the year.

On an especially cold or rainy day, I surprise the children with hot chocolate. It’s quick and easy to prepare in the classroom. I heat the water using a hot plate and large pot. The children can choose to add a few marshmallows, too.

Here’s a ”sweet” and engaging mini unit of HOT CHOCOLATE ACTIVITIES to go along with a hot chocolate day.

It includes a craft that can be used as a bulletin board display or the cover of a booklet.

You can click on the pictures for a detailed preview of what's included in the packet.

And here’s a snow booklet. Children can write about all the fun things they can do in the snow.
Click on the picture for a FREE download.

Happy winter!