Christmas Gnome Craft

Are you looking for a simple holiday craft to decorate your classroom or hallway with? I absolutely love this Christmas Gnome Craft! It is very simple to put together, and the prep is very minimal. The finished project looks adorable, and can be customized according to what each student wants!

Step 1

Print and cut out the pieces! The students choose what shape of a body they would like. They then cut out the template pieces for the body, nose, legs, and beard. They trace the hat template on the design of scrapbook paper of their choice (this is provided by you). They then cut it out. Once the pieces are cut, they are ready to put their Gnome together. 

Step 2

We used a blue background for our Gnome, but you can choose what color works for your class.
We laid out all of our pieces to make sure they fit like we wanted them to before we pulled out those glue sticks.

Step 3

Once we knew what we wanted our gnome to look like, we glued on the legs, body, beard, hat, and nose.

The finished Gnome was simply adorable!

Use this pin to save this post!

Crystal McGinnis

Christmas Gift Ideas and Tags for the Classroom (Want, Need, Wear, Read)

I have a sweet friend who is very crafty! She created these Christmas tags with the sayings: Something You Want, Something You Need, Something to Wear, and Something to Read.
I thought that these would be perfect for the classroom during the holiday season. Each student could get 4 simple gifts labeled with these adorable tags. You can get these printable tags in her TPT store and print as many as you would like. They come in 3 sizes, and can be used year after year!

Kids love play-doh!  Play-doh would be a perfect "Something You Want!" You could also give your students stickers or candy.

We all know that students, especially young students, cannot have enough pencils or glue sticks! How about giving the students a new pencil or a new glue stick. Have them place them in their desk, and when everyone returns from Winter break they will be good to go!

You can get mittens or gloves pretty inexpensively during winter, and they would make a perfect "Something to Wear" gift. The students could leave these in their desks to wear at recess, or they could be sent home. You choose!

Books are a perfect gift for students, no matter what their age. Scholastic is a great place to find inexpensive books. I love their dollar books! Make sure that you write a quick message in the cover. These will be treasured for years to come!


Crystal McGinnis

Kindergarten Skills Color by Color Code Activities

Thanksgiving is almost here, and then it will soon be CHRISTMAS! Do your kids love to color? Most kindergarten students do, but sadly they don't get that opportunity much anymore with the rigor of the standards that need to be taught. I just completed this set of KINDERGARTEN SKILLS color by color code printables. The kiddos practice teen numbers, alphabet, sight words, color words, addition, shapes, number words, and more! So.....yes they are coloring, but they are also learning! These make the perfect morning work, learning center activity, or the teacher needs a break and a time filler activity.


Crystal McGinnis

10 Color Word Books

  Color words are included in almost every kindergarten curriculum! Kindergarten students read them, spell them, and write them! When teaching color words, I try to expose the kiddos to them as much as possible. One way I do this is by incorporating color words into small group reading sessions. We use these color word books during small group, and then we place them in our book boxes to use as a familiar read later. These books are perfect for teaching color words, sight words, tracking print, text features, context clues and more. When creating these books, I tried to keep them very predictable for new readers at the beginning of the school year. They all follow a predictable pattern, and incorporate the given color word on each page.

If you would like to use these in your classroom, they are available in my Teacher Pay Teachers store. They are incredibly easy to print and staple. No sorting needed! I created them so that they print 3 books with each set to save paper.

Use this pin to come back if you choose!

You may also like more of my color words activities!

Crystal McGinnis

Songs for Teaching Kids How to Take Care of School Supplies

Do your kids love to sing as much as mine do? Songs are a perfect way to teach skills in your classroom. Your kids will pick them up quickly, and they can learn so much from them! I wrote these "school supply" songs to teach kinders the proper way to care for their school supplies. I wrote songs for glue, crayons, pencils, and scissors. I tried to incorporate as many "rules" into the songs as I could. Hopefully these songs will help the kids throughout the year. All of the songs are sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot." You can grab these songs for FREE in my tpt store by clicking the link below. I hope your kids love them!

Pin this pin if you want to save these for your classroom!

Crystal McGinnis

Alphabet Poems for Shared Reading

I am always looking for new ways to introduce the letters of the alphabet! I use anchor charts, centers, songs, digital games, books, play-doh, and almost every other kind of manipulative that I can to make those alphabet letters and sounds stick. A couple of years ago, I observed an amazing teacher modeling shared reading during a professional development day. It was at that moment that I decided, shared reading would be the perfect way to not only introduce the letters of the alphabet, but also help those new readers develop phonemic awareness, understand concepts of print, be exposed to rhyming, and so much more! I sat down one quiet Sunday afternoon, and started writing these alphabet poems for shared reading. It was my goal to write one for each letter of the alphabet, and then let my kinders create a poetry notebook with all of the poems included. I am happy to say that I was able to get this accomplished. (Some of those letters were tough!) Now that they are complete, we will add a poem to our poetry notebook each week as we focus on a new letter. I will also keep these displayed in the classroom so that they can be used as a reference by the kiddos. If you would like to use these poems in your classroom, follow this link to get the printable version.

Crystal McGinnis

10 Pattern Centers for Kindergarten

Morning Math Tubs are a great way to keep your kiddos busy while you are taking care of attendance, lunch count, and those other morning tasks that need your attention. I created this set of morning math tubs, or math centers, to use at the beginning of the school year when patterns are introduced. This set includes 10 math tubs, with 10 separate patterning activities. I tried to include math manipulatives that most kindergarten classes have such as teddy bear counters, pattern blocks, linking chains, and more. I also created them in BLACK OR WHITE to save ink. Check them out below. If you want to use them in your classroom, click this link to get them.

 Teddy Bear Patterns
The kiddos create patterns, and extend patterns using teddy bear counters.

Number Patterns
Students extend patterns using numbered clothespins.

Pattern Block Patterns
The kids create and extend patterns using pattern blocks.

Linking Chain Patterns
Students create linking chain patterns, and extend them using colored linking chains.

Pattern Clip-It
Students complete each pattern by clipping the missing picture.

People Patterns
Students complete each pattern card by placing the correct missing person in each box.

Unifix Cube Patterns
The kiddos create and extend colored patterns using unifix cubes. They create ab, abb, aab, and abc patterns.

Pattern Mats
Students use these pattern mats to create patterns using manipulatives of their choice, such as pom poms! These could be used with target erasers or any other counters. Whatever small counters you have on hand would work!

Play-doh Patterns
The kiddos create and mimic patterns using play-doh. 

Popsicle Stick Patterns
Students match pattern cards, and then create the pattern with popsicle sticks. I colored the popsicle sticks with marker, but crayons would work. It was simple!

Grab this pin if you want to come back later!

Crystal McGinnis