TeachersFirst's Christmas Resources

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We Wish You A Merry Christmas! This collection of Christmas-related resources is sure to get you into the spirit. Find historical information and research, some neat ways to correlate the Christmas Holiday into your language arts classes, art, social studies, and many other subjects, plus some “educationally fun” ideas to use to celebrate. There are resources here for all grades. Don’t let the season pass you by without checking out these FREE resources. Be sure to check out our resources for all December holiday celebrations on our TeachersFirst Classroom Planning Calendar.  

 

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Kwanzaa History - History.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Use the short video at the top of this page as an introduction to Kwanzaa. On the rest of the page, you'll find information on the history of Kwanzaa, descriptions, ...more
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Use the short video at the top of this page as an introduction to Kwanzaa. On the rest of the page, you'll find information on the history of Kwanzaa, descriptions, and instructions for Kwanzaa observances, and other information about this holiday. Learn about the seven principles and the seven symbols of Kwanzaa.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (148), holidays (138), kwanzaa (14)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your activities to use during December and to help students from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December. Introduce this site using the colorful video, then have small groups research a different principle and symbol of Kwanzaa and present their findings to the class. Use an engaging bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Kwanzaa topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity enhance learning by having each student compare Kwanzaa to Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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Santa's Village and Tracker - Google

Grades
K to 6
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured...more
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured holiday games and educational resources like coding games and a visit to the North Pole. Start checking this site on December 1 to find the latest goodies offered!

tag(s): christmas (46), cross cultural understanding (148), cultures (115), holidays (138), maps (281)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the Santa's Village on your class website and classroom computers. Allow students to explore and try options offered each day. Replace paper and pencil and have students share information from the daily activities on a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Include images and videos of activities with blog posts. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops.

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NorthPole.com - Northpole Productions, LLC

Grades
K to 7
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with...more
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa. Attend the Elf Academy, read stories about your elf, send animated Christmas postcards, write Santa a letter and get a reply! For those into the maker movement, there are holiday crafts to make with directions and free templates. Create an account and register your students at the same time. Students will be assigned a user ID and password.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (46), holidays (138)

In the Classroom

Introduce the NorthPole to students by projecting it for all to see the different areas to explore. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific areas. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. With younger students, consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site. Take photos, or have older students take photos, of the crafts and recipes the students make and post them on your website for parents to see. Engage older students by having them post the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as Pathbrite, reviewed here. Alternatively, students could enhance their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spanish Christmas Food - Mama's Box

Grades
K to 12
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions ...more
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Do you need new ideas for a Christmas Around the World celebration or a unit about Spain? Try some authentic Spanish dessert recipes for starters. The easy to follow directions along with vibrant images offer interesting suggestions to liven up any event.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (46), cooking (33), cross cultural understanding (148), cultures (115), spain (10)

In the Classroom

Ask parents to volunteer to cook and bring in items for celebrations. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to describe the different foods or ingredients. Have students create maps using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, videos, and location stops from their around the world food tasting! If teaching Spanish, have students rewrite recipes in Spanish.

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Torah Tots - torahtots.com

Grades
K to 6
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah,...more
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah, Yom Kippur, Passover, or Rosh Hashanah. Other sections teach about the Jewish Calendar, Jewish history, and offer traditional Jewish music.
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tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (138), jews (27), puzzles (193), religions (67), rosh hashanah (7), yom kippur (8)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as an easy place to find lists of the Jewish months, Jewish symbols, information about Judaism, and plenty of information about Jewish holidays. Classes studying world cultures, the Hebrew language, and/or international holidays can learn from this site and also use it as a model to create similar games and projects for other cultures and languages. Select music for students to listen to while completing coloring pages and puzzles. Engage students and replace paper and pencil and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast traditional Christmas activities with Hanukkah events.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Planet Publish - Planet Publish

Grades
4 to 12
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer,...more
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Find free downloadable ebooks of many classics. Some titles available are: Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, The Iliad, The Red Badge of Courage, Oliver Twist, Heart of Darkness, A Christmas Carol, and many others. Find an introduction (or Gallery) to the books by scrolling down the page. View the menu on the right to see all titles. Download the PDF to get the full book.

tag(s): literacy (91), literature (228), reading lists (69)

In the Classroom

When studying the classics, and using close reading techniques, pull up your PDF copy of the ebook to project on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use short passages to determine your literature circles. Read part of a story, and have students write the ending of the scene. Download to computers at centers for center time. Add to your classroom website to have ample reading material available for your students. Challenge your gifted students to read as many classics as possible. Locate classics to compliment your study of time, era, or author.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Celebrating the Holidays with a Kid's Heart - Roxie Carroll - A Kids Heart

Grades
K to 4
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print,...more
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print, desktop wallpaper, and whole lot more! Build background knowledge about the many holidays people around the world celebrate. Some of the holidays included are birthdays, New Years, Winter, Father's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Summer Time, Independence Day, Presidents' Day, Purim, St Patrick's Day, Spring Time, Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Grandparents' Day, Fall Harvest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Find informative, entertaining activities at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (46), earth day (79), fathers day (9), hanukkah (14), holidays (138), july 4th (8), martin luther king (33), mothers day (11), new years (8), preK (277), rosh hashanah (7), st patricks day (13), thanksgiving (27), valentines day (12), yom kippur (8)

In the Classroom

Need to find quick activities for a special holiday in your class? Find ready-made activities to use during center time, class celebrations, or special reward time on your interactive whiteboard. After school programs can easily use activities for all different interests during holiday times.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Sites for Education: Christmas - Weebly

Grades
K to 2
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating"...more
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating" art fun, coordinate challenges, word searches, logic games, puzzles, and more! Help children from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December.

tag(s): addition (217), christmas (46), game based learning (159), holidays (138), puzzles (193)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your lesson plans to use in December. They are sure to engage your students! Introduce the activities on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Bookmark (or save) these games at your classroom computers to used during center time. Share this link on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Map Your Recipe - Wilfried Houjebek

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter any recipe to find a map for the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the...more
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Enter any recipe to find a map for the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables. These are the sources where the pants first came from, not necessarily where they can be found today. Also find a list of countries and their products. Click the example recipes included or copy and paste your own recipes right into the ingredient box. Our editors noticed that some fruits also could be mapped. Try entering cocoa to find out where the cocoa beans first came form.

tag(s): christmas (46), cooking (33), holidays (138), maps (281), nutrition (163), plants (169), species (29), thanksgiving (27)

In the Classroom

Use Map Your Recipe when teaching holiday traditions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Around the World. Use this engaging way to find out where the vegetables (and some fruits) were originally domesticated. Include with a geography lesson and attempt to find recipes with ingredients native to countries located on the map and to your own region. In science class, talk about the conditions that allow a plant to find a new home on another continent. Are all plant species welcome? What conditions must be present for a plant to thrive in a new location?

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Make a Victorian Cornucopia - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 10
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th...more
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This simple lesson activity gives instructions for making a Victorian "cornucopia" Christmas ornament filled with candy or other treats. This Victorian tradition dates back to the 19th century. The printable pattern is included. See more Victorian Christmas activities on the TeachersFirst Victorian Christmas page.

tag(s): christmas (46), victorian (19)

In the Classroom

Try this easy activity during a Christmas 'Round the World unit or as part of a study of the Victorian Era. Have students take digital pictures of the steps and include them on your class web page or wiki (with captions!) so others can try the activity at home. Older students could enhance their learning by posting the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw also offers tools for incorporating blogs. Alternatively, students could transform their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here. Make cornucopias as gifts for a visit to a local nursing home or children's home so the activity becomes a service project.

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Nutcracker Study Guide - Inland Pacific Ballet

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4 to 8
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site...more
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site offers lots of ways to incorporate the Nutcracker story and history into curriculum.

tag(s): christmas (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during a historic examination of Christmas. Have students re-write their own version of the story using a different setting, time period, or both be sure that they consider how costumes, sets, characters, folk dances,music, landmarks, locations, events, and animals might be different. Have students consider the Dance of the Snowflakes scene in The Nutcracker. Discuss what animals they might find living in this kind of habitat? What else would you likely find living in this habitat (plants, trees, insects, etc.)? Have students record their ideas on a graphic organizer and draw pictures to go along with it, or replace the pencil and paper with a blog tool like Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations.Have students compare or contrast The Nutcracker with another folk tale, fairy tale or story they have read or are familiar with.

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Carol after Edgar Allen Poe - J.H. McNulty

Grades
8 to 12
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on ...more
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Tie together two well-known 19th Century masterworks with this adaptation of A Christmas Carol set to the meter and rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This creative twist on Dickens holiday tale can serve as a summarization of the novel for your students, or as a springboard to a creative writing activity on Victorian poets and novelists. Composed by J. H. McNulty.

tag(s): dickens (8), poetry (202)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a tool during a unit about the Christmas Carol or as part of creative writing unit. Gifted students will especially enjoy the combination of two works into an original. Have them try their own, perhaps more contemporary combination of style from one work with substance from another for a creative synthesis extraordinaire.

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Aspects of the Antebellum Christmas - Tim Crumrin

Grades
7 to 9
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas...more
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas holiday as we know it, examining those traditions that have continued into the 20th Century and those that are but a memory.

tag(s): christmas (46), civil war (143), victorian (19)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource during a unit on Christmas, or while looking at the differences in American life before and after the Civil War. Extend learning and challenge students to create a comparison chart using an online tool like Xmind, reviewed here, and then writing about their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (46), dickens (8), victorian (19)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Divide students into small groups or pairs to read the information on this page. The text might be challenging for some students. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Exchange paper and pencil and instruct students to use Webnote, reviewed here, to take online "sticky notes" for the important information they learn. If some of the passages are difficult, even for the strong reader, have them use Rewordify, reviewed here, to replace the difficult text shown with easier to understand words. Be sure to tell students to use Webnote (mentioned above) to make a sticky for the difficult word or phrase and it's definition, or easier wording. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

Redefine learning and challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Canva Infographic, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Vizia.

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A Victorian Christmas - Malcolm Warrington

Grades
4 to 8
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions....more
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions. We wish the images were bigger, but this is a nicely designed introduction to Victorian celebrations.

In the Classroom

Use this website during a unit on Christmas or Victorian history. Enhance learning and allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them. Consider extending learning by having students create their own online Victorian "albums" using a tool such as MyScrapNook, reviewed here.

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Celebrate a Victorian Christmas - Victoriana Magazine

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1 to 8
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December...more
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This site provides a wealth of information concerning 19th century holiday traditions. Learn about Victorian Christmas tree decorations, view holiday illustrations from the December 1860 issue of Godey's Lady's Book, and explore appropriate 19th Century gift suggestions. This site also contains a complete dinner menu from 1890, with recipes for plum pudding, easy to follow directions for making a pine cone Santa (Harper's Bazaar, December 1867) and a facsimile of the first Christmas card, sent in 1843.

tag(s): christmas (46), victorian (19)

In the Classroom

This site is especially useful as a teacher-resource in planning a series of activities centering around a historic, Victorian approach to Christmas. It's an excellent resource to use as the basis for an informational treasure hunt with students from upper elementary through middle school. Use to a tool such as TrackStar, reviewed here, to extend learning by creating a treasure hunt, scavenger hunt, or webquest. Use Celebrate a Victorian Christmas as a resource for study of the Victorian Era. Enhance learning for ESL/ELL students by using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them.

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Learning Chocolate - learningchocolate.com

Grades
K to 12
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of...more
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of the week, Europe, Fruit, Work Site Problems, Medical Jobs, and much more! Click on a category and you get common vocabulary as well as five review games for that category. Each word has sound, and many of the review activities are based on hearing the word to complete the required work. An added benefit to the site is that it is easy to switch the target language from English to three other languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (48), japan (58), japanese (42), spanish (109), vocabulary (254)

In the Classroom

Save/bookmark this site on your classroom computers to serve as a vocabulary resource for ESL/ELL and also world language students. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share this site with Chinese, Japanese and Spanish teachers as well as with special needs professionals for help with vocabulary development and articulation. You could also have students create their own narrations of photos (similar to this site) using a site such as Thinklink reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Christmas Fun - Mrs. Robin Martin

Grades
K to 5
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making...more
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If you are looking for fun activities to feed the holiday spirit check out Mrs. Martin's blog. Students will enjoy decorating digital gingerbread cookies, "elfing" themselves, making virtual snowflakes, creating colorful sand drawings, and counting down the days to Christmas on advent calendars from around the world.

*BE AWARE: at the time of this review, a few of the links were "under construction." However, what IS available is worth taking a look at!

tag(s): christmas (46), snow (20)

In the Classroom

Incorporate fun digital activities into your interactive whiteboard or projector lessons this December. Make a shortcut to links from this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Read Jan Brett's book "Gingerbread Baby" and then have students create virtual gingerbread cookies from the variety of sites on this blog. Science units covering the states of matter, weather, or water cycle can include a fun diversion to cutting out virtual snowflakes. Schools that celebrate Christmas will enjoy projecting an advent calendar daily and seeing what surprises each new day brings.

General Tips and Reminders: Fully preview the links on this site at school before introducing them to students. Some sites may be down or not accessible on your school network. There is some advertising on a few sites. Students may have the opportunity to create virtual cards. These require users to enter email addresses directly into the site. Advise your students to print their work rather than submitting personal emails. Or use a class email (rather than your personal email, create a class gmail account for all students to use).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Paper Toys - Marilyn Scott-Waters

Grades
1 to 4
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Designed by an artist, this site offers a number of free toy patterns to print out and put together. Students can choose toys that spin and fly as well as ...more
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Designed by an artist, this site offers a number of free toy patterns to print out and put together. Students can choose toys that spin and fly as well as learning toys that teach math concepts and problem solving. Also featured are an array of toy patterns organized by themes as well as miniature toys. An option at the bottom of the pattern page allows the directions to be translated into 6 other languages. The simplicity of the patterns on the site allows students to use their creativity and individuality.

tag(s): patterns (79)

In the Classroom

Check out the learning toys; students will enjoy making their own tools to learn multiplication or to solve puzzles. Use the gift boxes patterns for students to put small Christmas, Mothers' and Fathers' Days gifts in. After examining some of these patterns, ask your students to design their own folding patterns. Use the printables and images from this site for your bulletin boards. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects.

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Thought Audio - thoughtaudio.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the...more
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, some Mark Twain, and a few Christmas recordings for children including "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Gift of the Magi," and "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol."

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.

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