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My Favorite Classroom Activities for the Holidays and New Years

December can be such a WILD time in the classroom. You add the typical demands of a classroom, a dash of the Holiday Bustle, mixed with the added excitement of the season, and you have yourself a heavy dose of survival mode. To help you thrive instead of simply surviving, I wanted to share some of my favorite classroom activities for the month of December!

Holiday String Art Activity:

Ornament template from the Original Upper-Grade String Art patterns shown.

The first activity I had to share is the String Art Templates I created. This idea came from my first year of teaching. I noticed my 5th graders still wanted to participate in all the Holiday Fun. However, many of the December projects, crafts, and ornaments were more geared to the younger grades. I remembered doing a string art candy cane when I was their age and set off to find the perfect project. The thing is… I couldn’t find one. So I decided in true On Lemon Lane fashion that I would simply create my own.

Numbered Dot to Dot String Art Pattern Shown. Can be a Poinsettia or a Snowflake based on choice of colors.

To this day, all of our childhood ornaments hang on my parent’s Christmas tree. Some of my favorite ornaments are those with a school picture on it. There’s something about immortalizing that awkward stage that brings nothing but happiness. Based on that giddiness, I knew I wanted to create a pattern that would allow the option to include a student picture. Thus my original Upper-Grade Template was born. If Ornaments and student pictures aren’t your jam, I’ve also included a 5×7 and 8×10 String Art Christmas tree template that can be framed in a dollar store frame, or even folded on a piece of cardstock to make a beautiful hand-made card.

 

 

To learn more about my String Art Patterns, click here to read the full Blog Post.

 

Can’t decide between the two? Save BIG by purchasing both through the String Art Bundle.

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Numbered DOT to DOT String Art Pattern is a simplified template. Perfect for younger grades, or those on a tighter time constraint.

Click Here to Download

Teachers Pay Teachers

 

The Original Upper-Grade String Art Templates are a more intricate and complicated design. Though a simple process the details add more time to the project.

Click Here to Download

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Winter Math Wish List: Adding & Subtracting Decimals:

This activity is a favorite amongst many of my students, despite the fact that there is ALOT of math involved, cue maniacal laugh…  Many of your students will already be daydreaming and plotting their Holiday Wish List, so you may as well meet them in the middle and bridge math and their wish list together. By doing this you clearly exemplify the need for math in this Real-World Application project. Students are able to see a real-world application of how and when they might use rounding / estimating/compatible numbers with money. Also, the application used when adding and subtracting decimals or working within a budget.

I typically complete this activity around the Holidays, however, it can be used ANY TIME OF YEAR. The key benefit of completing or prepping for this activity in December is the sheer fact that FREE Toy catalogs can be found in every corner of every retailer. I’m looking at you Target and Walmart. This means you can pick up a CLASS SET of catalogs and not only will no one bat an eye, but it’s actually encouraged! Your kids will LOVE flipping through and shopping for their favorite items for a loved one and themself! ****Even better, I even save and reuse the catalogs for at least another year, and always pull them out again for an end of the school year review! If you are unable to get your hands on a couple of toy catalogs you can print off pages, display a page or two over the overhead, or allow the students to “shop” online!

The worksheet I’ve created guides students through each step and encourages students to explain their thinking as well as provide evidence to their answers. I have designed this product with a faint grid. The grid lines are to help guide your students to better organize their work. Which honestly with decimals this can be the biggest culprit of mistakes! I have my students use the columns to write each individual number and the lines to place their decimals. This helps students to line up their decimals and numbers being used by place value. I like to have students work in partnerships to encourage math talk in the classroom. There is not a wrong way to complete this activity. I guarantee that every version will lead to your class having a more sound understanding of the concepts, and an increase in student motivation to practice the concept!

 

Click Here to Download

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FREE Christmas Carol Crossword Puzzle:

My gift to you. This is SUCH a fun crossword. Essentially, students will test their knowledge and see how many of them actually know the lyrics to the classic Christmas Carols. The prompt will give them a snippet of the carol, and students must fill in the blank to complete the crossword. You may be surprised by how many you actually don’t know when you were so sure you did. Once completed students will count up how many they were able to complete and write the number in the circle provided. This is a great December Activity for morning work, winter rotations or centers, or your fast-finishers.

 

 

Click Here to Download

 

Free EOS Printable Gift Tag for Team Teachers and Colleagues:

While we’re talking about FREE activities I wanted to make sure you knew about this FREE download. It’s tough to come up with a practical and inexpensive gift idea for your fellow team teachers or colleagues. This is my gift to you! My hope is this free printable will save you time and stress. If you are like me Christmas seems to sneak up so quickly, and as a teacher, my time is already strapped! So finding the perfect, inexpensive gift for a friend, neighbor, room-mom, or colleague is out of the question.

 

This printable includes 4 different layouts and 2 different sizes. My favorite is the half-page. You can print either as a fold-able card, or simply write your message in the space provided below. I typically include chocolate with this gift, but with the EOS lip balm, this gift can stand alone. To use simply print on cardstock, then cut out the dashed circle in the center ornament. Open your EOS lip balm and insert it into the cut-out, then screw the EOS lid shut. Let me know if you have any questions! I know you and your lucky gift receiver will love this as much as I do!

Click Here to Download

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FREE New Year|New Goal Setting Mobile Activity:

This activity is FREE and a lot of fun. It’s the perfect launchpad into a new semester, new term, and new year. Students are asked to describe and illustrate their goals. We then hang these mobiles around the classroom. Hanging them in the classroom isn’t just a fun decoration but an effective reminder for the students to see every school day! Students are asked to set two academic goals for the term, one personal goal, and one future goal.

This product is versatile and can be used for the start of a new term, in January as a New Years Resolutions, or at the beginning of the year with the start of a new grade. I hope you enjoy this freebie as much as my students do!

Click Here to Download

One Word Resolution Activities & Interactive Bulletin Board.

I’m beyond excited to finally be able to share this idea with you! The best part is that EVERYONE can download the 1 Word Resolution Word Search for FREE! **Keep in mind you will need to be a member of On Lemon Lane to access this download. Not a member? Not a problem! Click Here to sign-up: Sign-up is FAST, FREE, and Easy-peasy Lemon Squeezy! This activity is JAM packed and so much fun. It’s the perfect way to ring in the year with focus and excitement.

Students begin with the word search. There are over 150 hidden 1-Word Resolutions in that pretty, little word search. The words range in difficulty so this is a great way to scaffold using the SAME resource. The word search requires students to find 8 words, then narrow their list to 1 meaningful word.

Once students have determined their word they will create a bookmark. This can be done by hand or digitally through Google Slides and Google Classroom then printed. The idea for the bookmark came from the need of students needing a daily reminder of their word.

The best part about this activity is that it all leads to an AWESOME, Interactive Bulletin Board Display.

Click here to learn more about the One Word Resolution Activities & Interactive Bulletin Board.

Click Here to Purchase 

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The Big Scribb|Free Mindset Mural:

Speaking of New Year Resolutions or goal-setting… This FREE project is a mural that is created in pieces by students in your class. Students have no idea what the end result or picture will be and instead are asked to focus on their small tile and to recreate the image assigned to them with as much accuracy as they can. Any lesson that includes a little mystery immediately means ENGAGEMENT.

This project leads to MEANINGFUL discussion, and the start of the New Year is the PERFECT time to have this discussion. I’ve included a poster and discussion questions to act as a guide. This is a great lesson to use when introducing setting goals. (Hello New Year, New Term, New Semester) This project illustrates why it’s important to set small attainable goals in order to achieve their big goals or dreams. It’s also wonderful for talking about teamwork, and unity in the classroom. You could use this as a morning meeting, at the beginning of the school year, with new year resolutions or at the start of a new term or semester! I love that at the end of this project you are left with a mural that can be used as a classroom display or bulletin board that MEANS something to your class. You can refer to it throughout the year when students come across a tough concept that feels like an “elephant”. Remind them of the power in taking it one small bite at a time.

With students returning from Winter Break, this is one of the first activities I would do, followed by the goal-setting mobiles mentioned above.

Click Here to Download 

Grit & Growth Mindset Challenges|Facilitate Failure in the New Year

The start of the New Year is the perfect time to facilitate failure in your classroom.

With the start of the new year, and the end of the school year now fast approaching… there is not a better time to facilitate failure in the classroom. GRIT and Growth Mindset are the hot topics in the classroom at the moment and for very good reason. However, most products, blog posts, and resources only discuss what it is, what it looks like, and the importance of it. This line of products allows you to explicitly teach it.

These activities are designed to make your students struggle and fail, tossing them into the depths of the learning pit. Sounds a little harsh? Maybe. But I can’t think of a better place, than the safety of the classroom, in a controlled environment for students to exercise grit and growth mindset than under the watchful eye of a loving teacher.  By facilitating failure you and your students are able to pinpoint those tough emotions, negative thoughts, and capitalize on them. 

 

 

Click Here to Read the Full Blog Post

Click Here to Download

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Christmas | Winter | Holiday | Steam & Stem Ideas for the Classroom

We’ve had a warm December this year, but if Winter is anything like it was last year… we’re in for another ETERNAL WINTER. We had so much snow last year that I figured it was time to stop complaining about it and time to put it to work. I rounded up some of my favorite STEAM &  STEM activities that use SNOW.

Click here to read the post. 

No Snow… No problem. There are plenty of other Holiday-themed STEAM and STEM Ideas for you to enjoy! I’ve gathered a handful of my favorite projects and will include the links below. Before I share them, if you’re anything like me, you may have a strained relationship with Steam or Stem challenges in the classroom. You love them in theory, but in practice, they lack in academic application… If so make sure to check out my Steam and Stem planning and reflecting response sheets below. They are the perfect companion to ANY project. These pages give your students the structure, scaffolding, and organization needed to guarantee success, application, and a deep and thoughtful discussion.

Click here to learn more about the Steam| Stem Planning & Reflecting Response Pages.

Click Here to Download

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Steam and Stem Ideas for the classroom for Christmas and Holidays ClassroomAs promised… Here is a list of my favorite Holiday Themed Steam and Stem Challenges for the classroom!

Holiday Themed Steam & Stem Challenges:

 

What’s your favorite activity for the holiday? Comment below!

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Better yet, what did your students think? Comment below, or let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook! Tag me in your pictures pretty please!

 

 

Comment below if you’re starting the COUNTDOWN TO GENERAL CONFERENCE Paper Chain! With two versions available you're good not matter how old your kiddos are. I've included videos from a couple of my favorites, @latterdaykids @angiemaek and @davidbowmanart as well as a podcast episode of Gordon B. Hinkley’s perspective on Joseph Smith that is INCREDIBLE. ...

I’m so late posting this! BUT SO EXCITED!! General Conference is a week away, to help you prepare I’ve created a FREE Countdown to General Conference Paper Chain! This download is editable and includes 2 READY-TO-GO versions.
Version 1: Made with toddlers and young children in mind
Version 2: Families & Youth
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To keep things as simple as possible each link includes a QR code that once scanned will quickly bring you to one of my favorite videos, podcasts, songs, or illustrated stories with an emphasis on preparing for Conference, Joseph Smith, and the Restoration of the Gospel Of Jesus Christ! Head to the website, download now, and get started TODAY! Complete one activity for the next 7 days💛💛💛
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SO excited to share this FREE with you for #comefollowme this week! Get ready to study the account of Enos, while pulling out the specifics and pattern of his prayer... then relating that same pattern to your own life! The idea for the activity came from a suggestion from @theensignmagazine the download included both the answer key **shown, and the response page! You will get access to the digital version meaning you can alter the text, or complete online as opposed to printing and completing! This activity is perfect for a wide range of ages even starting with my 4 year old! .
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Head to the website to download this FREEBIE now! .
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Do me a favor and tag a friend or share this image to your story💛 With all of us worshipping at home there has been an increase in people searching for supports for their home based church 💛 Sharing and tagging is one of the best ways to support the efforts of @livingonlemonlane
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Enos records, “I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.” It wasn’t easy. Faith did not come quickly. In fact, Enos characterized his experience in prayer as a “wrestle which [he] had before God.”But faith did come. By the power of the Holy Ghost, he did receive a witness for himself. -Elder Robert D. Hales
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Head to the website for this week’s Come Follow Me, FREE Resource Roundup! This week includes free videos, activities, coloring pages, articles, and printables! .
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You can also download this weekly reading assignment reminder along with other graphics to share through social media, or text!
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Come Follow Me: Book of Mormon
Enos-Words of Mormon
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Head to the website to see this week’s round up of FREE resources to help your study of Come Follow Me! From Printables to Videos, to Podcasts to Activities! This week is JAM PACKED with awesome resources! .
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Comment your favorite resource for this week below, I’ll share mine in the comments😍 .
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As always do me a favor and share an IG post from @livingonlemonlane to your story or tag a friend in the comments! With this new focus on Home Centered Church many are looking for resources and helps for Come Follow Me, sharing is one of the best ways to support the efforts of @livingonlemonlane 💛🍋💛
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This week we’re doing it a little differently... In light of Jacob 5, the LONGEST chapter in the Book of Mormon and the chapter that always caused the wheels to fall off my reading wagon, I wanted to create a tool that would better help (me) you and your family better understand the WHAT and the WHY of the Allegory of the Olive Tree. Instead of an object lesson I’ve provided my favorite resources for teaching the allegory to toddlers/ youth, and individual study. This FREE download is included. .
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Comment below how your FIRST Home Centered Church Supported Sunday went!! Any highlights?? What about low lights?? What went well? I want to hear it all! .
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Don’t forget to tag a friend in the comments and share the love, we could all use a support and pick me up during this crazy, social distanced time!
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“These surely are the latter days, and the Lord is hastening His work to gather Israel. That gathering is the most important thing taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude, nothing else compares in importance, nothing else compares in majesty. And if you choose to, if you want to, you can be a big part of it. You can be a big part of something big, something grand, something majestic!” -President Russel M. Nelson
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Share this image to your story or Facebook as a fun visual reminder for this week’s study! .
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Head to the website for this week’s free resources and study tools for better understanding Jacob’s Allegory of the Olive Trees 🍋
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If you’re like me, when you realized we had finally made it to Jacob 5, your breath may have been shortened as you realized you were about to embark on the Olive Tree Allegory with your family. This is a section of scripture, where admittedly I try to get in and get out and with that plan of attack I am left getting little to nothing out of it. I wanted this to be different. Instead of planning an object lesson this week, instead, I wanted to dive into this allegory and give it the time and attention I’m told it deserves. So my hope this week is to give you the tools necessary to “GET” these chapters, no matter how old your kiddos are, or what stage of life you are in.
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Head to the website for my favorite FREE resources | tools for teaching the Allegory of the Olive Trees. .
Do me a favor and tag a friend in the comments, I’ve noticed a large influx of others looking for resources for #comefollowme with the renewed focus on home centered church 💛💛💛
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Surely by now you know I love giving you FREEBIES. #piday is no exception! Head to the website to download TWO Of my favorite FREE Activities for Pi Day. You will also find some fun activities and inspiration to make this year’s Pi Day Festivities the best day ever! My ALL time favorite is where you actually make PIE in the classroom using MATH and ZIPLOCK Bags!!! Head to the website to learn more 🥧
Comment below and tag a friend or teammate that needs a free activity to celebrate Pi Day on Monday! 💛
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Utah schools are officially closed for the next two weeks! Comment below if your school is closed or not and where your from! .
If you are still in school or need a fun St. Patrick’s Day project to assign make sure to head to the website where I’ve linked my favorites, (FREEBIES INCLUDED) In case your didn’t know I’m a bit obsessed with all things Irish. I think it all started with this throwback to Notre Dame Stadium to watch the #fightingirish🍀 Anybody else fascinated with all things Irish?? I’ll go to Ireland one day.... maybe just not today 😳🤧🤒
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With all the madness going on... you could use a FREEBIE. In case you didn’t know I have a bit of an obsession with all things Irish and St. Patrick... I can’t describe how much I LOVED learning about the man behind the holiday. St. Patrick’s story is inspiring. He truly believed in something and went up against all odds, naysayers, and dangers to achieve it. Not to mention you throw in a little Celtic mythology with fairies and leprechauns and I’m all in! 🍀🌈☘️🌈☘️🌈
I hope this product brings you joy and a little peace amongst the Chaos. You are STRONG. .
Tag a friend in the comments to share the love, link in story and profile!
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It doesn’t take long for the crumbled crayon boxes and loose, scrambled crayons lead you to slowly lose your sanity.... I love this tip from @heidisongs I also organized my crayons in drawers but her drawer separators are taking it to a whole other level!!! This makes my teacher heart so happy! .
How do you stay ahead of the scrambled Crayon Game???
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What’s your Game Plan for this week?? Did you check out this week’s Come Follow Me Resource Roundup? All Free and all WONDERFUL! .
Make sure to comment or tag a friend below!
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Jacob 4:6

When we are troubled, our first reflex must be to search the scriptures and the words of the living prophets. Their writings are beacons that cannot deceive us: “Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken” -Bishop Gérald Caussé
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This weeks resource roundup is live! Excuse my tardiness I’ve been a little under the weather but am working to be two weeks ahead again 💛💛
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This week’s object lesson is all about comparing our testimony’s to a tree. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the metaphor of our leaves or branches being shaken!
Comment below💛
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Guys.... I’m not usually one to toot my own horn.... but 🎺 🎺. You HAVE to try this in your classroom. I racked my brain to come up with a pie recipe that didn’t require melting butter, a hand mixer, oven, or mess, that still incorporated math and fun. When plastic bags came to mind I couldn’t find anything that supported the idea of whipped cream in a bag but, in theory it should work.... IT. DOES. Every “piece” of that pie #punintended is made in a ziplock bag with ingredients that simply require measuring. Best part, it’s delicious. This is SURE to be a favorite and memorable activity with your class! 💛 be sure to tag me, I can’t wait to hear all about it!.
Link can be found in my story! You should know by now I’ve got FREEBIES for you for Pi Day as well 💛💛💛 .
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Comment below if you plan to try this activity with your class! Also what day are you celebrating Pi day??? Friday or Monday?? Let me know!
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PSA: If you are wanting to try these in your own classroom, (outfit your whole grade level for less than $15!) Follow the link in my profile and order supplies through Amazon Prime👊 While you’re at the website check out the detailed step by step video tutorial for the lucky charm bracelet! Notice no glue or flame required to make this pretty little thing! Also make sure to download the FREE and EXCLUSIVE St. Patrick’s Day resources while you’re there🍀🌈☘️🌈🍀🌈☘️
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Tag a team member or friend that needs to try this with you!
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With it being National Women’s Day Yesterday it seems only appropriate to highlight a woman I love and admire... My mother. Some find it funny or strange that I hope to be just like her, but I truly mean it. She epitomizes what I believe the divinity of femininity is. She is soft and kind, all while being strong and grounded. She is all-giving and self-sacrificing all while knowing her worth. The needs of others especially those she loves will always be put before her own. Oddly enough this could be considered her weakness, which at the end of the day speaks volumes of the type of person she is. What a blessing it is to know her, how grateful I am to call her mom. .
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Who do you think of on National Women’s Day? Comment below!
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What was your favorite FREE Resource for #comefollowme this week?? Did anyone download the Feast Upon the Words is Christ Scripture Tracker? Comment below:
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“Craving the Lord’s companionship, the scriptures infuse my spirit with the Spirit. They will do the same for you. They will enlighten you, lift you, comfort you, strengthen you. They will envelop you in a warm blanket of heavenly love. How do I know? Because they do that for me. It is Heavenly Father’s promise to us. It is eating at the Lord’s table.” ...