Holiday Activities for the Classroom

I know how crazy the last few days/week before winter break can be. We are entering crazy times teachers and we need to have as many fun, educational activities in our back pocket ready to go as we can.

So, here are a few things I will be using with my class this week....

Christmas Writing Prompts - This is a FREEBIE in my TPT Store.  It includes two writing prompts that are focused on personal narratives.  Great way to incorporate writing into the holiday excitement.

Candy Cane Science Lab - I did this activity with my class last year and will be starting it this week. We've been learning about lab reports during Writing Workshop and this is a fun science experiment to do this time of year. Check out my blog post on

Olive, the Other Reindeer Book Study - This is a cute story and my students love hearing it every year.  This book study is now in my TPT Store. It includes comprehension questions and four different writing prompts. This could be used whole group or as a small group activity.

Christmas Story Problems - We will be starting these today.  I love using holiday story problems as one of my rotations during our daily math time.  The kids love that they are themed and fitting of the season.  The Christmas Story Problems include addition and subtraction problems with and without regrouping.

Winter Story Problems - I will actually be using these when we return to school in January, but if your school focuses on winter instead of the specific holidays - these story problems would be great. These can be used whole group, small group, or at a math center.  These winter themed problems focus on ice skating, hot chocolate, snowmen, etc.  Includes addition and subtraction problems.

Hope these activities and ideas help with the last bit of school before break. I'm down to 7.5 days left with students. We can do it teachers!

Five Fun Christmas Books

I love the holidays. In my class, all of my students celebrate Christmas while some celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.  So, we read a lot of Christmas and Hanukkah books during read aloud time during the month of December.  Here are Five Fun Christmas Books to use with your class...

The Polar Express - Yes, I know this is a predictable choice, but it's such a great book. We read it and also watch the movie at our party each year.
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Olive the Other Reinder - Olive is a dog who decides she must be a reindeer based on the lyrics in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This book goes through how she tries to join Santa's team. Super cute!
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How Santa Got His Job - A fun story about how Santa realized his true calling...

The Jolly Christmas Postman - I love the Jolly Postman story for teaching about letter writing and the Christmas version revisits many of the same characters. Kids love how it has the letters and things you can pull out from inside.
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How The Grinch Stole Christmas - Another popular choice that had to make the list! Can't go wrong with Dr. Seuss!
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What are your favorite holiday books to read in class?

Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

For the past few years, we've had an elf visit our 2nd grade classroom during the month of December.  Each time my class has come up with a different name for our little friend. We've had Sparky, Buddy, Snowy, and this year they decided to name him Gold. The elf always does something funny or naughty, and also always writes a note to our class. In our note, the elf always reminds us of the good choices we should be making.

Below are some of my favorite elf adventures from the past few years...

Our little elf friend came back from the North Pole with a cold or flu.  He had to rest all day, but still had a good spot to keep an eye on everyone's behavior.

Snowy the Elf decided he wanted to be part of the decorations.  On our tree, we had ornaments with each student's face on them. Snowy decided to take over.  

Here we have Snowy again. He decided to call no math homework for the night and even cut up all of the homework. The kids couldn't believe it!

Our elf Sparky loved his name. He loved his name so much that he decided to decorate our room with it.

Here is Buddy the Elf. Poor Buddy was climbing a tower of unifix cubes the day before and fell when he tried to get down.  He had to rest and keep his leg elevated for the day.

Here we have Buddy again. Buddy decided his own behavior was outstanding and brought his own clip for the clip chart. He challenged the whole class to try to clip up that day.

Each week I have a different student who is star student and they fill in and share the poster above. Buddy didn't want to be left out so he created his own star student poster to share with the class.

Here we have Sparky leaving us some friendly reminders...

I love having the elf visit our classroom. Do you have an elf in your classroom? If so, comment below!

Last Day of the TPT Cyber Sale

Today is the last day of the TPT Cyber Sale. My entire store - Jordan Johnson - will be up to 25% off with the code CYBER17. Check out some of my book studies that are also for sale below...

Check out my newest book study series - Jake Drake....

Jake Drake - Know-It-All

Jake Drake Know-It-All - Book Study        Jake Drake Teacher's Pet - Book Study

Check out my other book studies below. Click on the picture for more information...

Nate the Great Goes Undercover - Book Study       Cam Jansen - The Mystery of the Dinosaur Bones - Book Study     Flat Stanley - Framed In France - Book Study

Ivy and Bean - Book Study       Ivy + Bean and The Ghost That Had to Go - Book Study      Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record - Book Study

Nate the Great and the Lost List - Book Study       Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Book Study      Surprises According to Humphrey - Book Study

I Survived - The Great Chicago Fire, 1871 - Book Study

Happy Shopping!

TPT Cyber Sale Begins Today

The TPT Cyber Sale begins today!! My entire store - Jordan Johnson - will be on sale up to 25% off using the code CYBER17 today and tomorrow! Check out some of my story problem products below... I even have a new Christmas Story Problems product that was just added to my store.

Christmas Story Problems - This one of my newest additions to my TPT Store. Christmas Story Problems are great for advanced first graders and second graders.  Includes 16 different addition and subtraction story problems perfect for the holiday season.
Christmas Story Problems

Elapsed Time Story Problems Differentiated - 3 different versions of elapsed time story problems. Includes a set for beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. 

Elapsed Time Story Problems - Differentiated Task Cards

Multiplication Differentiated Story Problems - Includes a factors to 12 version and a challenge version.  Great for a math station or independent practice!

Multiplication Story Problems - Differentiated

Division Story Problems - This product includes story problems with division situations within 100.

Division Story Problems

Happy Shopping!

TPT Cyber Sale - Starts Tomorrow!

The TPT Cyber Sale begins tomorrow, November 27! My entire store - Jordan Johnson - will be on sale for up to 25% with the code CYBER17.  Check out some of my grammar products below...

Check out my Grammar Fix It Products - On Sale using the code CYBER17

Grammar Fix It provides grammar practice perfect for literacy stations, small groups, whole group, assessments, and more.  All Grammar Fix Its are printer friendly and offer 2 printing options.  Each packet offers at least three different versions for skill practice.  Recording sheets and answer keys are included.  For more info, click on the pictures below to see the product in my store.

Grammar Fix It - Capitalization & End Marks        Grammar Fix It - Apostrophes - Possessives and Contractions

 Grammar Fix It - Verb Tense Agreement       Grammar Fix It - Commas        

Grammar Fix It - Spelling High Frequency Words        Grammar Fix It - Quotation Marks

All of the Grammar Fix It's above can be found in my Grammar Fix It Bundle - also on sale!
Grammar Fix It -  BUNDLE

Happy Shopping!

Jake Drake - Teacher's Pet - Book Study

My next Jake Drake Book Study is now available in my TPT Store (Jordan Johnson). My students love these books written by Andrew Clements and I'm creating book studies to go with each!  The newest one available is Jake Drake Teacher's Pet.

Included in the product:

  • Cover page
  • 3 comprehension questions for each chapter
  • Reflection questions for the end of the book
  • Answer Key
Check it out here...

Five Fun Thanksgiving Books

Here are a few fun Thanksgiving books to throw in during read aloud time!  My students love holiday books and these are five kid-approved picture books!

Turkey Trouble - This one is funny because the turkey tries out many disguises to avoid being eaten!
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There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey - I love the There Was An Old Lady series and this one is a a great one too!!
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10 Fat Turkeys - This is a fun counting and rhyming book.
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Pete the Cat - The First Thanksgiving - Pete the Cat has many fun books and my students love that there is also a Thanksgiving version.
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A Plump and Perky Turkey - In this book, the townspeople try to trick the turkeys into making it easier to catch them for Thanksgiving dinner.
A Plump And Perky Turkey by [Bateman, Teresa]

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving books? Comment below...