Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just a Pinch of Grinch

Just unloading some pics from this week and wow, these past five days have been busy.  Christmas programs, parties, crafts, assessments, the flu, presents, special books, class visitors, and lots of repeating myself.  The week before winter break is crazy, but of course lots of fun.
Some of our time was devoted to the mean one, Mr. Grinch.  Most of my students know the Grinch, so they were super excited when I had "Grinchy Activities" up on our class agenda.  We started the day with a read aloud of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Then we moved straight to our craft.

Our Grinches were inspired by a Glyph Girls' project I pinned a few years ago.  I love how they turned out.  The kids loved making them and were totally cracked up when they realized their Grinches would not be wearing any pants.
We did these first because I wanted to pop them up around the room to Grinch-it up a bit before our other activities.

After finishing our Grinches, we moved on to a little literacy scoot game I put together.  I placed a Grinch word card at every desk, face down.  Students had to read the word on the card and determine if it has a long vowel sound or a short vowel sound.  Then they wrote their answers on a recording sheet.  When I gave the signal, everyone scooted to the next seat.
Since we just wrapped up the basic vowel, consonant, silent e pattern for all long vowel sounds, this activity was a perfect informal assessment.

We broke up the morning with a yummy pinspired snack one of my dear moms sent in.  The kids were really happy to get a treat.  (Maybe next year I'll let them put their Grinch treats together on their own.)

For math we got moving again with a write the room fact review.  I put addition and subtraction facts around the room.  (Some of my kids need lots more practice solving addition and subtraction facts when they are mixed.)  Just like in scoot, students started at one card, solved the problem, recorded their answers, and then moved when I signaled.
Since it was the week before winter break and my kids were a little more lively than usual, I built in another element of movement besides moving from card to card.  I printed a set of "Max cards" to help get out some of the wiggles.
The Max cards have various exercises on them.  "Do 4 squats."  "Do a plank and count to 12."  "Do 10 jumping jacks."  (You get the picture.)  After about for or five equations I would announce that it was time for a Max card and then I'd read the exercise.
The kids loved, loved, loved the Max cards.  It was something just a little different in our routine and it worked great.

Another activity with Grinch was an entry into our Elf journal, Diary of an Elf.  The kids wrote about what they thought was going on between the Grinch and our class elf.  They wrapped up their entries by telling what they thought might happen that evening, when it was time for our elf to return to the North Pole.  I got some very interesting responses.

We ended our Grinchy learning by watching the classic cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  After spending much of the day learning with Grinch, my sweet students were extra interested in watching the story unfold on screen.
Our time with Grinch was just what we needed this week, a high level of engagement with a beloved character and plenty of chances to move around.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your well deserved break.


  1. Amber, what fun your class looked like this week! I love the adding around the room! AND those Max cards! That snack is precious, too! Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year! :)

  2. I've bookmarked this page for next year and can't wait to do your activities. I follow your blog and always look forward to seeing what you are doing in your classroom. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  3. Love the Grinch activities! We also do a Grinch Day! Do you have these available to purchase?

    1. Sorry. I do not have these activities available. Whoever owns the rights to Dr. Seuss has been very strict about sharing.
      Thanks for the interest and for stopping by.