Holiday Hoopla: A December Classroom Transformation!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The week before Christmas break = MASSIVE Chaos! Anyone else agree? Last year, in an attempt to AVOID the chaos, myself and my coworkers created a classroom transformation to keep the learning going and the engagement at a high! It was a SUCCESS and I cannot wait to do it again this year. Let's all keep the learning happening down to the final day! This year we plan on having three different theme days. Two are educational, and the last one is our Christmas party day. Read below for the scoop on EVERYTHING.

I created a HOLIDAY HOOPLA pack that can be found on TPT that has EVERYTHING you need for a successful two day transformation, but you could easily use my ideas below and use resources you already have!

Holiday Hoopla Transformation: The Decor

Decor for this transformation is EASY. I string lights EVERYWHERE and wrap our tables with wrapping paper. I also traced a Grinch and displayed him on my board. In order to make this transformation affordable, I asked parents for lights they didn't plan on using this year and for old wrapping paper. I simply labeled the lights so they could be returned after Christmas!

For supplies, I also asked parents to bring in items. All of the supplies needed were SUPER cheap, so they each grabbed an item or two. I purchased the rest on a super fun Walmart trip with my coworker Hannah! Hah!

Holiday Hoopla Transformation Day 1: Whooooville Day 
Our first theme day will be full of STEM challenges and a fun ELA activity. To start the day, students will come in and create their own WHO name. It is so fun! They will wear their names around their necks for the day. We will also tell our students to wear crazy hair like the people of Whoville. = ) 

STEAM ACTIVITIES: Students will also complete three STEM Challenges. The first challenge is to build a GRINCH SLED. Students will be given the scenario that the Grinch needed a sled that could hold ALL the presents from Whoville. The objective is to build the stage that would be able to hold the most presents. The second STEM Challenge we will do is from the amazing Brooke Brown. She has an incredibly fun STEM challenge called "SNOWBALL SHOOTERS" that is so easy and fun to do with PVC piping. In order to tie this into STEM day, students are given the scenario that the people of Whoville created shooters to defend themselves from the Grinch. The final challenge is the PRESENT PARACHUTE. Students create parachutes using any type of stem materials in your classroom! Once they are created we go outside to see if they can handle a BIG drop! The parachute is so that the Grinch can quickly get all of the gifts back to Whoville.

Items you'll want to grab for the stem challenges are: paper plates, straws, popsicle sticks, etc. I always ask parents to send in these items. They are inexpensive and I normally get good participation. 

ELA ACTIVITY: For ELA on this day we will make Mexican Hot Chocolate and Hot Chocolate. The people of Whoville need to warm up with hot chocolate around the fire after caroling. Some love hot chocolate, while others love Mexican hot chocolate. For this activity, while the hot chocolate is being made, students will read a passage about the hot chocolate and compare and contrast them. They will also compare and contrast using their senses once the hot chocolate is made. Mexican hot chocolate was so unique and last year my kiddos really enjoyed it! 

Holiday Hoopla Transformation Day 2: Reindeer Games 

Our second day will consist of lots of fun and reindeer games! For this day we will ask students to wear brown and they will come in and pick a reindeer name. They will also make antlers using brown paper and sentence strips. I was worried my 5th graders would be too old for this last year, but they LOVED it. They wore their hats all day long! = ) 

Activity #1: Scavenger Hunt - For this, students will go around the school and gather math problems and solve a riddle. Students LOVE these scavenger hunts and the engagement is always through the roof. 

Activity #2: Snowman Bowling - For this game, students read a task card and then students will get to bowl in between each round. I made this station pretty easily with a foam ball from the craft store and solo cups! Doesn't have to be fancy to be fun. (For this activity, I pair math word problems with the game.)

Activity #3: Snow in the Face - This game is a twist on Pie Face. The whipped topping? It's actually snow! For this activity students solve another task card and then one student gets to play a round of pie face. This was a major hit last year! (For this activity, I pair ELA snow-themed task cards.)

Activity #4: Antler Toss - For this activity, students will answer task cards and then play a round of antler toss. Antler toss is a super cheap game I grabbed on Amazon. The task cards I use for this game are reindeer themed context clues task cards.

SO EXCITED for a fun week before Christmas! Let me know what questions you have! I'm happy to help! Happy transforming! 

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