December is a super busy month! In addition to teaching our regular curriculum, we have to plan & practice for our big Christmas program, finish up parent conferences, complete progress reports, and plan our Christmas party. Yikes! But…despite the craziness it is my favorite time of the year 🙂
I love how excited the students are and the overall jolly vibe everywhere in the school! However, it is hectic and I have less time for planning and preparing centers that will keep young kiddos engaged this time of year.
That is why I LOVE Boom Cards and made digital centers that require no prep on my part (no printing, cutting, or laminating!). All I have to do is assign students the digital Boom Card decks that are appropriate for them (easy differentiation) and have students access them during center time on laptops and/or iPads or put them on the Smart Board for whole group. So simple! (If you are not familiar with Boom Cards read this post for more information).
Here are the Boom Card decks I created for December (Christmas). Feel free to use them with your students, I linked to each one in the descriptions.
December (Christmas) Literacy
Because I have students with a wide variety of literacy needs, I needed to create engaging practice for a number of skills.
Students who still need practice with letter recognition and matching uppercase letters to lowercase letters work on this Christmas Tree ABC deck.
It helps them become fluent in matching uppercase and lowercase letters as well as visual discrimination skills and recognizing letters in different styles of print which are important reading foundational skills.
Students have fun decorating Christmas trees by placing the 4 correct ornaments on each tree. They look at the letter on the star at the top and then find the 4 ornaments that have the matching lowercase letters.
They are self-checking so young students can complete them independently and they love the digital, interactive nature of the cards!
The students who need to practice letter sounds / beginning sounds access this Christmas Tree Letter Sounds deck.
This self-checking deck helps my students master and become fluent in beginning sounds (letter sounds) as well as visual discrimination skills and letter recognition which are also important reading foundational skills.
They get to decorate Christmas trees in this deck as well, but this time they have to choose the correct tree topper by looking at the pictures on the ornaments and choosing the star topper that has the pictures’ beginning sound.
Here is a short video that shows both of the Christmas alphabet decks in action. They are also a fun way to assess students!
I wanted to keep with the tree decorating theme, so I have students fix strings of Christmas lights that have missing bulbs to see if they can get them to light. Once they replace the correct bulb on the string, they get to see them lit up.
Once students have mastered isolating each sound, we move on to forming the entire CVC word.
Students love helping the kids fix the lights! Here is a short video of the CVC words:
December (Christmas) Math
Since young students need a strong foundation with number sense, we work on it throughout the year. I wanted these Christmas decks to be similar in nature to the alphabet centers so students would already be familiar with how they work.
I created two separate decks, one for numbers 1-10 and one for numbers 11-20 so I could easily assign the appropriate decks for students’ needs (some still need to master 1-10 before moving on to those tricky teens).
Students have fun decorating Christmas trees and practicing numbers to 20, number recognition, counting, and one-to-one correspondence. They look at the number on the star at the top of each tree and then drag and drop the correct number of ornaments to decorate the tree.
Our math practice also includes working on making 10 (common core standard K.OA.A.4). This is something we work on throughout the year so I like to create seasonal, fun practice activities. The Christmas Making Ten deck requires students to help the elves pack up Santa’s sleigh. First, they drag and drop the correct number of Christmas gifts to the ten frame to make ten. Then, they type the missing addend in the box.
In addition to making ten, we start to learn addition to 10. When we are starting to learn addition we use a number line because it helps students see a visual representation of addition and begin to develop a mental strategy for solving addition problems so eventually they will be able to solve equations on their own.
I made the Addition to 10 with a Number Line deck similar to the CVC word deck in that it also has a Christmas light string. In this case, it acts as the number line. Students move the Christmas light along the number line (light string) to help them solve each addition problem. Then, they type the sum in the box.