December Activities and a FREEBIE

I hope you're starting to get into the holiday spirit! With December quickly upon us, I thought I would share with you a few of the activities that I plan on doing in the next few weeks before break. You can also check out my blog post all about surviving the overwhelm of teaching in December called "5 Tips for Teacher Survival in December".
December teaching activities (writing, math, reading) and a FREE download!


We have been using my Original Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time to really focus on writing a good quality paragraph before we move into bigger pieces of writing. Now that I've been using my Perfect Paragraphs for a little while, I realized that I needed a little something more for my advanced writers. This is why I created the ADVANCED Perfect Paragraphs One Step at a Time. The good thing is that I can use both the Original Perfect Paragraphs and the ADVANCED Perfect Paragraphs to differentiate in my classroom.

First, we will be writing a narrative paragraph about a shopping trip. The stories I hear students tell me about Black Friday shopping with their parents are simply hilarious which is what gave me the idea to create this writing prompt! However, it can be about any shopping trip, not just Black Friday shopping. We brainstorm together to think of other shopping times, including last-minute Christmas shopping - ha!

This is from my Original Perfect Paragraphs: December Edition. The students are writing a 5-sentence paragraph.
Teach your students to write a perfect paragraph with this step-by-step approach perfect for December.

This is from my ADVANCED Perfect Paragraphs: December Edition. As you can tell, these students are including an example with every detail creating 8-sentence paragraphs.
Teach your students to write a perfect paragraph with this step-by-step approach perfect for December.

Additionally, we create an authentic writing piece as a class. Each year, we adopt one of our less fortunate families from our very own school to help out through the holidays. Our class brings in items that are on the family's list and then at our Holiday Party on the last day of school, we present the gifts to our Family Resource Coordinator, and then she presents the gifts to the anonymous family after school hours. It's a wonderful way to teach the students about how giving is more important than receiving and that the holidays aren't always a special time for everyone, especially the less fortunate.

Since this is very near and dear to our hearts, I like to incorporate a little authentic writing into this idea. We brainstorm ways in which we could help and then the students write a letter to their parents persuading them to send in money and/or donations for our family in need. This letter takes the place of a letter written by me and the students know that, so they take this writing piece VERY seriously! I love it! Each year this activity gets such sweet comments from our class families. This can be found in my December Common Core Writing Activities pack.
Common Core Writing Activities perfect for December.


In the next three weeks, we will be finishing up our last unit in math. As we finish and get ready for end-of-quarter progress reports, I will be using some quick, formative assessments to make sure my students have mastered each standard covered on the test. This will give me an idea of how to carry on with my instruction over the next three weeks and what I really need to focus on. These are from my Common Core-Aligned Quick Math Assessments: 3rd Grade. I also have these for 1st Grade and 2nd Grade.
Quick Common Core Math Assessments for standards-based grading.

We will also be using these fun QR Code Task Cards to review addition and subtraction. The QR Codes can be scanned with a iPod, old iPhone, iPad or tablet, or any computer using a QR Code scanning website like THIS one. The students love it!
QR Code Task Cards. Self-checking centers for addition and subtraction for 2nd grade.

QR Code Task Cards. Self-checking centers for addition and subtraction for 2nd grade.

QR Code Task Cards. Self-checking centers for addition and subtraction for 2nd grade.


This is where I squeeze in my favorite seasonal picture books which means HOLIDAY-themed graphic organizers! One of my favorites is {affiliate link} The Polar Express. I will read it aloud and then have the students complete the two graphic organizers you see below. These are from my Christmas ELA Printables pack where you can find many more!
These ELA printables are perfect for the month of December! Common Core Graphic Organizers with a seasonal theme.

Snow Day:

The last thing that I like to have prepped and ready *just in case* for the month of December is my Day After a Snow Day pack. This resource is full of fun goodies for reading, math, writing, science, AND social studies - an entire day of fun activities that can be copied and placed in a folder! These activities work perfectly for those last-minute snow days or snow delays. You can check it out HERE.
This is the perfect resource pack to have prepped and ready for the day after an unexpected snow day.


If you're still with me, you're in luck because I have a FREEBIE for you! This is perfect for morning work or to leave with a sub. You can download this cut-and-paste freebie by submitting the form below the picture. It will be delivered straight to your inbox as a 2nd Grade Stuff VIP email subscriber. No email? Make sure to check your junk or spam folder. Hope you enjoy!
Perfect free download for Common Core Math Standards.

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