Thankful for YOU!

I don’t about know about y’all but I absolutely LOVE holidays. I found myself chatting with students about how Thanksgiving was a special holiday to me due to it focusing on our blessings and relationships in life. One of my sweet lil ones said, “Don’t you love EVERY holiday?”  She’s right, I do. Each month a new holiday rolls around and I get just as excited.

Holidays give me an extra opportunity share my passions with my students. 

-Teach students kindness
-Teach students to believe in themselves
-Teach students to smile after a failure and get.back.up.
-Teach students to see the positive
-Teach students to LOVE and listen
-Teach students they matter
Nowhere on my list do you see teaching students to divide a four digit dividend by a one digit divisor.  Although my students believe I’m just as passionate about math as I am holidays (not even close!).

It’s easy to get caught up in the race of checking off my to-do list and forget that there are 25 little hearts who need more than a great math lesson. They need a listening ear, an open heart, a cheerleader, a coach, a counselor, someone in their corner day in and day out. Holidays remind me of this.

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday in this regard. We get to press pause the busyness and focus on gratitude. One way I love to do this is by making Thanksgiving Thankful Turkeys! The kids love it and we get to practice their writing! J

First, we brainstorm of all the positive things in our lives, or the negative things that in the end helped us, by making a graffiti wall. I tear off a long yellow sheet of butcher paper from the workroom and hang it up (spans from the front of the room to the back). Students spend about 15 minutes writing and drawing all over the “paper wall” of things that they’re thankful for. After the time is up we have a 10 minute gallery walk where students read and admire what the other’s wrote, followed by sharing time. It never fails to bring about meaningful conversations between the class.

Next I pass out this fun guy! Thankful Turkey! Students write, color, cut, and glue him together to create a fun holiday Thanksgiving turkey craft that we hang around the room to remind of us all our blessings!

Interested in making “Thankful Turkeys” in your class? Grab a set by clicking on this link here

I try to make our lessons around breaks holiday themed. We've been working on idioms and text structure in language arts along with reviewing concepts that we've covered so far this year (money, multiplication, division, place value, etc.) To help us do that while being festive I created this Thanksgiving Packet!  (available here)

The last special thing we did this year to celebrate Thanksgiving in our room is I surprised the kids with cards on their desk this morning, plus a little candy treat! Each card said, “I’m thankful for YOU because…” with a filled in note. It's the little things! :D 

If you want to show your kiddos how much you appreciate them you can grab these thankful notes as a FREEBIE! Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!  


P.S. Are you looking for ways to cultivate a culture of kindness in your classroom? Eliminate disruptive behaviors? Help your students with social-emotional learning? I've got your answer! Check out this totally free teacher right here. 

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