Christmas Literacy and Math Activities for Kindergarten

Can you believe Christmas is less than two weeks away? I feel like I've blinked and December has just raced on by. It's definitely feeling like Christmas around here. The lights, the music, the goodies...and the snow! It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Today I'm sharing some great Christmas literacy and math activities for Kindergarten. I hope you enjoy!

I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite Christmas read alouds. I have a rather large collection of Christmas books, so I narrowed it down to my all-time favorites {and the ones that always seem to be a Kindergarten crowd pleaser too!}.

What is your favorite Christmas read aloud? I hope you'll share it with me in the comments. I love finding new books to read!

You can use my affiliate link to check these books out on Amazon.

I don't know about you but this is the time of year where I try every trick in the book to keep student engagement high and learning fun and exciting.

The free activity pictured below is a fun way to keep kids on task and excited about vowel sounds! Why? Because it involves bingo dabbers! And what kid doesn't love that? Students say the name of the picture to identify the middle vowel sound, then they dab their answer. Students are still learning, it's just with a fun twist.

And now for a couple of freebies that require little to no prep, but would be great for morning tubs, partner games, or fast finisher activities.

Last year we played a similar game to practice making five. You can read about that in this post. This version of the game is to help students practice making ten. You can have students play this game individually or play with a partner. Just print the game boards and then slide it into page protectors. Students need a pencil and paper clip to make a spinner and mini erasers or snap cubes.

Students spin the spinner and read the number that they spun. They determine how many more are needed to make ten and then cover that number on their game board. For example, if a student spins a 7 they will cover the 3 on their game board because 7 and 3 make 10. If a student spins and the number has already been cover they lose a turn.

If students are playing with a partner, the first player to cover all of the numbers on their game board wins the game. If students are playing alone, they would play until all of the spaces on their game board are full. You can click on the picture above to download this activity.

Here's another fun Kindergarten Christmas math activity to keep learning going strong. One of my favorite uses for the mountain of mini erasers I have collected over the years has been to have students make letters with them. I shared uppercase letter in this postlowercase letters in this post, and now we are making numbers!

Just print the work mats and ten frame cards. Slide the mat in a page protector and cut apart the ten frame cards. Students select a card and count the ten frame. Then using the mini erasers they make that number on the mat. Included in the download {but not pictured} is a number formation page with directional arrows to help students with number formation.

Here's a version for numbers to 20. To include some fine motor practice add a spoon or tweezers to have students pick up the erasers. Just click on either picture above to download the freebie activity.

Next up are so very low prep literacy freebie ideas.

Students need snap cubes for this activity. They use the Christmas lights as the color code. First they read the word family and then find the pictures/words that belong in that word family. They use the color code to place a corresponding snap cube on the picture. You could have students write the CVC words using the color code when they are finished.

Another literacy activity that you just need to print and slide in a page protector. This can also be used as a partner game or individual activity. Students need a paper clip and pencil to make a spinner and mini erasers or snap cubes. Students spin the spinner and identify the short vowel sound. They cover a picture with the matching middle short vowel sound.

If you're using this as a partner game, play this as a BUMP! game. Students take turns spinning the spinner and take turns covering pictures that match their spin. If the other player lands on the same vowel sound, they can bump the player off and put their snap cube down. However, if a player lands on the same vowel twice, they can stack their snap cubes (like a king in Checkers) and cannot be bumped off. The game is over when all of the spaces are full. The player with the most spaces covered wins the game.

You can click on any of the pictures above to download the freebies. I hope you will find them useful and that your kiddos will love them!

And now here's a peak at some of our favorite Christmas literacy and math activities for Kindergarten. There's 25 centers included. All come with recording sheets and "I Can" visual directions. Each center also comes with at least one no prep follow up practice page. These are great for reviewing skills or put them together  and send home to make a fun winter break review.

First up is this Christmas themed counting activity. Students count each set of objects and record how many. Then they compare the numbers to determine which number is greater. They color the picture to show which number was greater.

This is a fun and easy way to practice graphing. Students count each set of objects and color their graph to show how many. They use the information to complete answer the questions on the right. This packet includes three different graphing activities plus two no prep practice pages. You could use this as a whole group activity by displaying the graphing mat on the Smartboard or document camera and completing the page together.

Counting by 10 practice: You can use this activity with or without the number line that's included. Students count by ten to identify the missing number and then record the series of three numbers on their paper. At the bottom of this post is a sneak peek of the no prep follow up activity for this center.

Aren't these reindeer shapes the cutest? Students identify the shape of the reindeer and then find the matching 2D shape on their paper and color it to match the background on the reindeer card.

Students practice number order with this activity. They read the three numbers on the card and count to put them in order. They record the number in order on their paper. A version for numbers to 20 is also included.

Students look at a series of three pictures to determine which two have the same ending sound. They color or dab the two pictures that have the same ending sound.

Students read the word on the cookie sheet and use the cookie letters to spell the sight word. Blank cookie sheets and cookies are included so that you can write the sight words that your class is working on.

While you could definitely use this activity without a recording sheet, one is included. Students write down the sight words that they worked on.

For this rhyming activity students look at a series of three pictures to determine which two words rhyme. They dab {or color} the two pictures to show a rhyming pair.

Here's another activity to practice middle vowel sounds. Students say and stretch the name of the CVC picture on the card. They match the envelopes with the vowels to complete the CVC word.

To show their work, students record the missing vowel on their paper.

Pictured above and below are two examples of the no prep practice pages included with each activity. These are great for morning work, homework, sub tubs, or a winter break review packet.

You can check out all 25 Christmas literacy and math activities for Kindergarten included in this packet by clicking on the picture below.

Thank you for reading all about my Christmas literacy and math activities for Kindergarten.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Finding Work Life Balance as a Teacher During the Holidays

For many of us working mommas, the balance between work and home is a constant struggle. Throw in a holiday season and the stress level seems to be on a steady incline. The good news is, it doesn't have to be! Learning to have a good balance of both worlds allows for a feeling of a content and successful life: at school and home.

With the coming holiday break and all the hustle and bustle of moving among places for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, keep in mind that a little freedom from the normal structure is okay. It will pass and life will be back to normal before you know it! The trick is to balance the two and stay ahead of the game so you don't feel like your life is spinning out of control. There's a few things you can do to help keep you sane in what can be an insane time!

Stay Consistent

Instead of sleeping in an extra two hours (of course this probably wouldn't happen anyway if you have young kiddos!), play to wake within 30-45 minutes of your normal time This allows for you and your family to keep to somewhat of the same structured routine as you would during the workweek. Same goes for bedtime. Try to keep the routine the same, with the exception of maybe an up of variation.

Start planning early. Plan as much as you can ahead of time - at both school and home! Get your holiday cards addressed and ready to be mailed as early as possible. Make a list of things you absolutely want or need to do during the holiday season. (But make sure to stay realistic!) Make a list of who you need to buy Christmas gifts for and then plan a budget accordingly. Try to stick to that budget as much as possible so you don't feel guilty after the fact. And remember, it's okay to say no. It's okay if not all of the decorations are put up! It's okay if you can't attend every holiday event. It's okay! The world will not end!

Be Prepared

Some of us have multiple family celebrations to attend. Make sure you coordinate your plans and mark them on the calendar so you don't forget. I also like to pick up a few hostess gifts and have them on hand during this time of year. In addition, I keep the ingredients to a few appetizers or desserts that I can quickly make and bring to a party should something come up unexpectedly. This way I don't have to make an extra, unexpected trip to the store.

Build your own family traditions or rituals. This way you and your family have some fun activities to look forward to. This also helps create a sense of family. Your kids will only be little for so long, so make sure to take the time to enjoy them! For our family, we like to put on our pajamas and drive around our neighborhood to look at Christmas lights while drinking hot cocoa and listening to Christmas music in the car. For your family it might be making cookies for a family gathering, guessing your gifts before opening them, playing board games before Christmas supper, or reading a book about the Christmas story. Making these important memories with your children will allow for years of enjoyment during the holiday season!

Make a Shopping List

Which gifts can you shop for online, and which do you need to hit the mall for? After you've made your lists, you can plan a day to do your store shopping and another to do your online shopping {plus this helps keep you on budget!}. Hire a babysitter or call grandma for a few hours. Or arrange a swap with a friend. Watch their children for a few hours so she can shop, and in return she can watch your kids for a few hours while you shop. You'll enjoy the quiet time and you'll get your shopping done even faster! You can even plan to make one stop a week on the way home. Just don't wait until the last minute to get your holiday shopping done.

What happens after you get the gifts home? Who has time to wrap all of them?! If you are shopping in a store, many offer wrapping on the spot. Take advantage of it! If you don't have that luxury or you enjoy wrapping - but simply stress over doing it - wrap one gift at a time! After the kiddos are sleeping, wrap one or two gifts a night. Don't wait to try and do a gift wrapping marathon, unless that's your thing.

This holiday season slow down, breathe, and enjoy. This time of year goes by so quickly. Rather than get caught up in the hustle and bustle of making everything look perfect, remember what is really important. Family.

So rather than overdoing it, spend time making memories with the ones you love. The kids won't remember how decorated the house was or how many gifts were under the tree - what they will remember is the love and attention their sweet mom gave  them! They will remember the way you made them feel.

May you be surrounded by love and family the whole season long!

From our house to yours - Merry Christmas!

Gingerbread Activities for Kindergarten {Books, FREEBIE, and MORE!}

Gingerbread is one of my favorite themes. There's something about planning this unit that gets me in the holiday spirit. It's definitely the highlight of December activities in the classroom {for me anyways!}. It's one of those units that every kid can participate in because it's not holiday related. This is why today I wanted to share some great gingerbread activities for Kindergarten

With so many different versions of The Gingerbread Man, this is a great time of year to teach comparing and contrasting or making text-to-text connections. Below is a picture of some of my favorite read alouds for our gingerbread unit.

Gingerbread Activities for Kindergarten - BOOKS!

You can use my affiliate link to purchase any of the books above by clicking on the links below to Amazon:

With each new holiday I look forward to new mini erasers at Target. Oh the joys of adulthood and being a teacher. I don't think I'm alone in this. Hands up if you too stalk the Dollar Spot for new erasers? I love coming up with new ways to use them!

If you don't have a Target nearby, you can use my affiliate link to pick up these Christmas erasers on Amazon. That version has snowmen, santas, and Christmas trees. Here's another set that has trees, candy canes, stars, and stockings

Back in October I posted a freebie on this blog post using mini erasers to make uppercase letters. I received several e-mails and messages from teachers sharing how much they loved the activity so I decided to make a lowercase version and share it with you!

Just print and cut apart the cards. You can laminate the work mats, or just slide them in page protectors. Students select a letter card, place it on the work mat and then use erasers to make the letter. If you don't have mini erasers, you can always use snap cubes.

Next up is a fun partner game which also can be played individually.

Here's a fun little gingerbread activities for Kindergarten game to practice short a word families. Just print this page and slide it in a page protector. Students need a paper clip and a pencil to make a spinner and their own color snap cubes.

The directions are similar to BUMP! Students take turns spinning the spinner. They read the word family that they landed on and place a snap cube (or you can use two different kinds of mini erasers) on a picture that belongs in that word family. If the other player lands on the same word family, they can bump the player off and put their snap cube down. However, if a player lands on the same word family twice, they can stack their snap cubes (like a king in Checkers) and cannot be bumped off. The game is over when all of the spaces are full. The player with the most spaces covered wins the game.

You can also have students play this individually. They spin the spinner and cover a picture from that word family. They continue spinning and covering the pictures until all are covered.

I hope you'll love these math games. All you've got to do is print and slide them in page protectors...oh, and add some mini erasers!

For this activity students need a pair of dice. They roll the dice and count to determine the number. They find the number on their work mat and count out that many erasers. If you're short on erasers, you can have students just use one eraser to cover the number that they rolled.

The activity pictured above and below focus on numbers to 20. Directions are similar to the activity using dice. Students need a paper clip and pencil to make a spinner. They spin the spinner and identify the number. Then they count out that many erasers to add to the mat.

Here's a few pictures from the activities included in the 6 Pack Centers: Gingerbread Edition. This packet includes 6 centers: 3 literacy and 3 math centers . Also included are 6 follow up practice pages which can be used to morning work, homework, sub tubs, extra practice, or an extra center activity.

Students count each set of gumdrops to determine which set is less. I added clothes pins for students to clip their answers. These adorable clothes pins came from the Dollar Spot at Target, or you can use my affiliate link to get a non-seasonal set of mini clothespins on Amazon. You could also use snap cubes, mini erasers, or regular clothes pins for students to mark their answers.

To record their answers student color the large gumdrop to match the color that showed less. They record the number on the gumdrop.

This activity helps students practice making ten. You'll need snap cubes or mini erasers for this activity. Students count the number of gumdrops on the card. They add snap cubes or mini erasers to make 10.

On the recording sheet students color the gumdrop and record the number sentence to show how they made ten. You could use this activity without the recording sheet as a fast finisher activity or in a morning tub.

Students practice ten frames, counting, and one-to-one correspondence with this activity. Students identify the number represented by the ten frame. They use snap cubes or mini erasers to show that number on the card.

Numbers 11 - 20 are also included in this set! These could also be used in morning tubs or as fast finisher activities.

To show their work students record the number and color the ten frame to match.

I included a no-prep version of this activity in A Dab of Learning: December edition last year. I got so many requests to make a center version...so here it is!

Students identify the target sound in the upper left corner. They say and stretch the word to determine if the target sound is the beginning, middle, or ending sound. They place a snap cube {or mini eraser} on the gumdrop that matches.

To show their work they color the gumdrop to match: green = beginning sound, yellow = middle sound, red = ending sound.

Here's an activity to practice ending sounds. There are two color coded letter mats and matching ending sound picture cards.

Students identify the ending sound of each picture and use a snap cube or mini eraser to cover the letter on the mat. They continue until all of the letters are covered.

Students match the picture on the card to their paper and record the letter to show the ending sound.

Students practice simple predictable sentences and color words with this activity. After they've sorted the cards by color they will put them in order to create a sentence. They record their sentence and color the gumdrop to match.

You can check out this 6 Pack Centers packet by clicking on the picture below.