Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Part 2 & Polar Express!..And Break!!

What a FUN BUSY week we had! We are soo excited for Christmas and for our holiday break! This week we finished up our Christmas Unit and jumped right into our Polar Express Unit. I had a blast with my kiddos and am looking forward to a nice break with my family! 

 Click HERE on the the picture for my Christmas Unit at my TPT store.

Click HERE on the the picture for my Polar Express Unit at my TPT store.

Here is what our week looked like:

We made pop up addition stockings with the sum underneath each addition equation.


We practiced addition equations with marshmallows in hot cocoa!

We read my absolute favorite Christmas story: 'The Polar Express' and wrote about the different events that happened in the story.

We talked about how Santa gives everyone lots of gifts and we want to give Santa a gift too! We wrote about what our gift to Santa would be.

We started the morning with addition practice.

We read a Christmas tree addition mini reader.


We made large hot cocoa mugs and made our own addition equation on it using marshmallows!

We reread 'The Polar Express' and sequenced the different events in the story.

We made GINGERBREAD HOUSES!!!! My absolute favorite activity to do with my class! They turned out so great (way better than I could have done!) and our room smelled soo yummy all day!!

We started the day with matching pictures to CVC words on a train.

We worked on a Christmas Addition Stories Book

We also learned a little bit about vertical addition.

We had a yummy candy cane treat! I gave each student a cherry and peppermint candy cane to taste and they picked which candy cane they liked best.

We made a class graph of our results.

And recorded the data!

We talked about how we have gifts in our lives that aren't just toys. We talked about different things that are important to us and how that is a special gift. Then, we wrote about what we thought was the best gift of all.

We started the day with decomposing numbers on a train.

We worked on some more addition.

We searched all over the room for trains and solved all of the addition equations using one of our strategies we have been working on.

We got ready to board the Polar Express with our boarding tickets!!

We watched the Polar Express movie and drank hot chocolate! So much fun and what a wonderful movie! My kiddos were so intrigued by the movie and kept telling me all of the parts just like the story. So cute!

We got the biggest surprise! Santa sent us a gift all the way from the North Pole!!!

 We wrote a letter to our class and silver bells for us to wear! The kids were sooooo excited when they heard their bell ring!

We graphed whether or not we liked our hot chocolate with marshmallows.

And we recorded our data!

We did a cute writing activity about the different parts from 'The Polar Express'




We made a train to go with our writing.

 Then, we put all of our writing pages in the correct order and connected them together to make a large train!

It folds up to be like an accordion!

We wrapped our presents we made for our parents. Each student had a snowman ornament with their picture on the stomach. Here is mine! We also wrapped our salt dough ornaments that we painted last week.
You can grab the templates for this snowman ornament HERE

I let them decorate their bags however they wanted. I LOVED seeing all the different bags!


We made trains out of graham crackers, Oreos, mini Oreos, and marshmallows to go along with our fun Polar Express week!

My students were waiting ALL DAY for their presents! They were in the stocking all day long and they couldn't wait to tear their present open!

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, and safe holiday break!


  1. Love the ornament! Do you have templates for.the gloves and boots?

    1. Thank you so much! I actually don't have a template. Which is shocking because I usually have a template for everything!! I need to make one though!!

    2. Have you by chance made a template yet? :)

    3. Hi Nicole! Send me an email whenever you get the chance :)

  2. What size craft sticks did you use and did you paint them?

    1. Hi Ashley! I used regular sized craft sticks for the arms and the legs. For the craft sticks that connect the arms and legs, I found craft sticks that were half the normal size. If you can't find them, you can cut a normal sized craft stick in half. I also spray painted them. I spray painted one side and let dry overnight. Then did the same to the other side. I hope that helps! :) Enjoy!!

  3. Hi Jamie!

    Did you end up making a template for the snowman ornament? I made these last year with my first graders and they turned out so great, but a template sure would make it easier!

    Thank you!

    - Justin

    1. Hi Justin!! Thank you so much for getting in touch with me. Yes I do have that template finally! Unfortunately, my scanner has not been working,I am getting a new one over break. I am currently out of town and will
      not be back until next Sunday. I will do my best to get it posted when I get back. I apologize! It has been a busy time of year! Thank you for your patience! Hope you have a wonderful break and holidays!! :)


  4. WOW!! I really love your page and the ideas!! :) They are awesome!!! Thank you for sharing!

  5. I LOVE the snowman picture frame! That is so cute. Thank you so much for sharing. I am curious what you cut the template pieces out of. They don't look like cardstock. Are they cut from foam sheets and then glued on?

    1. Hi! I cut the templates using different colored foam sheets. I cut them out and glued them on. I have also used the foam sheets with the sticker back in the past and they work wonderful too! You can also use construction paper. I noticed the foam sheets are more durable and gives the ornament a great look! I hope this helps! Thanks so much for your kind words! :)


    2. Hi Jaime, I have a follow up question for you regarding the craft sticks. I saw in a previous note you mentioned that you used regular craft sticks and half sized ones as well. Can you tell me what the length of each was?

    3. Hi Teresa! Great question! The mini popsicle sticks are 2.5 inches and the regular popsicle sticks are 4.5 inches. I hope that helps! I bought them all at Walmart in the craft section. :)

  6. Love the snowman picture frame! How thick was the felt/foam that you used? I want to make sure I buy the right kind so the projects hold up! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Hi Katie! Thank you so much for your kind words! I used foam sheets for the ornament. The sheets are 2mm thick. I bought them at Walmart. I have used the sheets with the sticker back and without. They both work wonderful! Thanks again! :)


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  9. Hello! Thank you for sharing your great ideas and I really appreciate the snowman template! I have cut the pieces out of craft foam and found the same size sticks as you've described. What kind of glue did you use though? I'm finding the clear Elmer's to not hold the sticks together well. It seems not just any adhesive will keep this cute project together. Thank you for the advice!

  10. did you trace your templates onto the foam sheets or were you lucky enough that you could run them through a printer?

  11. yengeç eğitim eğitici oyuncaklar kreş oyuncakları anaokulu malzemeleri

  12. Super cute idea. Thanks for the template and sharing. I found them to be a little difficult. Probably user error. LOL! In any case, to those of you eager to try them, here are a few tips. #1. Tempura paint doesn't work on the craft sticks. I finally used acrylic. #2. Be careful what you dry the sticks on. No matter what I tried, some of them stuck when the kids painted them. #3. Forget the glue gun. That's a nightmare! Use glue dots! #4. You don't need adhesive foam paper. If you remove the backing, the part not stuck to the stick will stick everywhere, and I simply didn't have enough paper or time to double side them. #5. Trace the patters on poster board and THEN trace them on the BACK of the foam paper so you don't have black cut lines on them. #6. Plan for more than a few days if the kids are helping! --- Hope this helps. I used them as gift tags on parent gifts from the kids. They were a little flimsy on the head. Maybe next time, I will double side that.


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