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This last week Friday we finished off our Polar Express week with our very special Polar Express day!!  At the beginning of this week I decorated the front of our classroom door and on Friday before school I decorated the tables in the room to look like the Polar Express.  The class got to also come to school wearing pajamas like the children in the book got to wear.

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Students were given golden tickets to the Polar Express as they went off to lunch.  When they came back from lunch they gave me their golden tickets and I punched holes in them like the conductor did in the movie.  We then reread the book the Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and discussed the elements of the story and drew the pictures of the things we discussed.

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Finally students got to sit in our “train area” like they would sit on the train and watch the movie.  Students got to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while they watched the movie.

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We finished off our Polar Express week with talking about Santa.  Students describe him using the Polar Express as an example as well as other Christmas related stories.  Students were able to describe how he was kind, giving, jolly, and friendly.  Then they wrote their Christmas lists and created their own Santa art.

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To be like Santa students also began making Christmas ornament presents for their friends and family.  They took clear ornaments and put two different colors of paint and swirled them around to make a marble effect.

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As part of our Polar Express week students got to try out hot chocolate before our Polar Express Day.  I showed students how to make hot chocolate and they wrote 3 step directions on how to make it.  Students also drew pictures on the back of the directions.

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Students got to sample the hot chocolate and then we made a class graph on if the class liked hot chocolate or not.  It was a very lopsided graph since everyone said the liked hot chocolate!

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At the end students cut out a cup of hot chocolate on construction paper and wrote about what they thought hot chocolate is.

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Last week we learned about the difference between needs and wants.  We watched the lesson on Brain Pop Junior then we made Christmas stockings that displayed needs and wants from pictures on magazines.

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We read the story Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and created a story map about the story.  Then each student illustrated and wrote about the problem in the story.

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We also made our own Rudolph’s with a cut and paste activity.  Then we read a non fiction about real reindeer (caribou) and made a venn diagram to compare and contrast Rudolph to real reindeer.  This reindeer template comes from First School Activities.

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As we finished up our Thanksgiving activities last week, we read some more books about the first Thanksgiving and learned more about Native Americans and Pilgrims.  For math we’ve been learning about 2D and 3D shapes, and how to make bigger shapes from smaller shapes.  We made Native Americans designs from pattern block shapes.

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During poetry time, we read the poem Five Little Turkeys using retelling cards and turkey pictures.  Then students filled in missing words using number word sight word knowledge.  The Five Little Turkeys book and cards came from Kindergarten Fever’s TpT.

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Today we learned about the first Thanksgiving by reading The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern, and we retold the first thanksgiving by putting pictures back into the correct order.  The First Thanksgiving Sequence activity can be found here.

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We also finished up our discussion on nutrition and read the emergent reader book called Thanksgiving – “I Like” Series.  Students partner read the story and completed the extra page at the end.  Finally we made toilet paper roll turkeys with colored tissue paper and paper plates as the backing.

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