Friday, December 21, 2012

Polar Bear Party Literacy Activity -- Friday Freebie Extra

Today I am prepping all activities for January 7th,  our first day back to school.      Yesterday I introduced my New Years mini unit on this blog.  "P. Bear's New Year's Party", by Paul Owen Lewis, covers the concepts of hourly time and numbers 1 to 12.  
      The unit begins by reading the book to the children.    To make this more interactive,  I created number cards with pictures of each guest animal.   Twelve cards have number words, another twelve display dots.    I distribute the cards evenly before I read the book.   As I read about the animal guests, the children put the corresponding cards into the top hat.
          I made the top hat out of two old Folgers cans of different sizes.    I used a small can and a large can.    We buy small cans of decaf and giant cans of regular coffee.   Hubby only likes the strong stuff, but I like decaf on a cold night.   I save all the empty canisters and use them for crafts and dry bulk storage.  I also save egg cartons for math, but that is a different story.  

The next thing I tackled was assembling the time games.   To assemble the games,  I used page protectors to make a folder.  I taped one protector to another.   This assembly allows me to fold the games and store in a large document envelope. 
Game 1 requires place markers.  I clipped colored paper clips to the side of the game board.   These will be the game markers.

There are three spinners to add for two games. I have several novelty spinners already.   I did not want to use my large spinners, so I made spinners with a paper brad and paper clips.

How to make a spinner

  1.  Pierce the center of the circle with a thumb tack.
  2.  Place a small paper brad about half way through the paper.
  3. Tape the prongs of the brad to the back of the paper.
  4.  Slip a small paper clip over the top of the brad.

Make certain the paper brad  protrudes above the paper.  Tape the end of the brad down on the reverse side of the paper.  The brad creates a post for the paper clip to turn around.   If you need a longer spinner, then join 2 paper clips together.     Place a water bottle cap over the brad before putting the game away.   The cap protects the brad, so it doesn't get bent in storage.

Finally, I cut out the story sequencing puzzle pieces.  The puzzle board has clocks showing the time and an outline of the puzzle piece.   The puzzle pieces have animal pictures.   The child  reads the clock and finds the visitor that arrived at that time.  

You can download the free number cards from here.
The mini unit is on my TpT store.  Download the preview to receive a free Polar Bear in Top Hat and Bow Tie craft

The children are asking to do this activity.   Their enthusiasm reassures me that the first day on the new year will be fun.  This project takes some preparation,  but adds novelty to returning to school after the holidays..  It is hard to get little ones excited after the holiday festivities are over.  I think this will do the trick for us.  Finally, I  can take a needed break.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.
Mrs. D

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