All aboard!! It was Polar Express day yesterday and to celebrate we came to school in pajamas just like kids did in the book. Throughout the month of December our classroom has had door decorations and a Polar Express bulletin board. (PS It was also hat day for the entire school this is why you see regular hats on the kids and principal in the pictures).
To start off the morning we made A-Z Polar Express train puzzles in our own cut and paste activity. We unfortunately ran out of room on our papers so we were unable to get all of the alphabet.
Afterwards myself and my student teacher Ms. Daniels opened presents that our students got us. Each student also got a present from myself and Ms. Daniels. They received a book from me and Ms. Daniels knitted a hat for each student with their name on it.
As students came back from lunch they were given a ticket to the Polar Express which I hole punched like they do in the movie. They entered the room to find it decorated in the form the Polar Express train as well as a special guest. The special guest was our assistant principal who read the book the class. Afterwards we sat in columns of two like in the train, had hot chocolate & train cookies, and watched the movie The Polar Express.
As we continued our Polar Express unit we read the book The Night Tree, which is a book about a family that goes to decorate a tree with food that is made to look like a Christmas tree. The book is very different than The Polar Express however it is a great introduction in showing how to compare popular stories. We discussed how in both stories the characters had hot chocolate.
We then watched a video on how to make hot chocolate and then wrote directions on how to make hot chocolate in three easy steps. For math we made hot chocolate mug art with cotton balls acting as marshmallows. Students wrote how many marshmallows were in their cup. To have a copy of the mug activity click here.
Today we continued our unit on the Polar Express. We read the story Christmas Kitten and compared the gift that the boy got (the bell) as the first gift of Christmas in the Polar Express and the gift Sophie got (a kitten) in Christmas Kitten. Based on the story Christmas Kitten we guessed on what we thought Sophie would have picked as the first gift of Christmas. Then we wrote about what we would pick.
During read to self, students read the emergent reader Santa Has.. and filled in the blank line with the word ‘has’ and drew the picture of what the sentence said Santa had.
For math & art students completed a cut and paste puzzle that matched numbers with their number word. Students then colored the picture showing The Polar Express and the conductor.
Today begins our last week of school before Christmas break and it also begins our Polar Express week! We started off by reading The Polar Express. We used pictures and illustrations to create a flow map to re-tell the story. Then on their own students put the story back in the correct sequence with a cut and paste activity.
During center time students put together A-Z alphabetical order train puzzles. For math we reviewed 2D shapes and made a train glyph based on answers about trains and The Polar Express. The train activity comes from Simply Kinder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
At the end students cut out a cup of hot chocolate on construction paper and wrote about what they thought hot chocolate is.
For the second day of Polar Express week, students made glyphs based on questions about trains and Polar Express.
Then we read the story Christmas Kitten by Vivian French. We talked about how the girl in the story really wanted a kitten for Christmas, and how the boy in The Polar Express got the bell he really wanted as the first gift of Christmas. We then wrote about what we would pick for the first gift of Christmas.