Top

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.

Click Here to Download

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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

Click Here to Purchase

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

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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 

Teachers Pay Teachers  

Click Here to Purchase

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

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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

Teachers Pay Teachers

Click Here to Purchase

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!

 

To stay up-to-date on new blog posts, freebies, exclusive promo codes, and sales… Join the Teaching on Lemon Lane Community! Pick any or all of the following to stay in the loop of all things Teaching on Lemon Lane. 

If you enjoyed this PLEASE SHARE! Sharing on Pinterest, Facebook, or tagging on Instagram is a simple, yet wonderful way to support the efforts of Teaching on Lemon Lane!

 

#generalconference is just around the corner! Snag the link to this FREE paper chain countdown in this week’s post💛 Each chain link includes a QR Code video to watch and complete each day to help your family spiritually prepare 🍋
.
.
.
Tag a friend in the comments below!
...

“There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it.”
-Eyring
💛
🍋
💛
What insights did you have while studying #comefollowme this week? Comment below!
...

Great, FREE coloring page for this week’s #comefollowme lesson by @ldsbookstore Head to this week’s post for the link! Yo access this free download you will need to add the coloring page to your cart and “checkout” Tag a friend in the comments below 💛 ...

LOVED this post by @tendermercieseverywhere
🍋
Samuel risked it all.⁣

After being kicked out of Zarahemla, he returned to the hard-hearted Nephites, climbed that outer city wall, dodged arrows and stones, and put his life on the line to preach repentance and salvation through Christ.⁣

He prophesied that the Son of God would come to redeem “all those who shall believe on his name.” (Helaman 14:2)⁣
⁣.
Believe on His name.⁣

To “believe on His name” is really to believe on His 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴—and there are over 200 of them throughout the scriptures. Christ’s myriad titles perfectly capture who He is and who He can be in our lives if we’ll only believe. ⁣

————————-⁣

When we need an ally and a friend, He is our ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER.⁣

When we yearn for a constant in an ever-changing world, He is ALPHA AND OMEGA.⁣

When we are spiritually famished and emotionally fatigued, He is the BREAD OF LIFE.⁣

When we are encompassed by darkness and yearn for the light, He is our BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.⁣

When we just can’t shake the chains of addiction and sin, He is our DELIVERER.⁣

When our faith is not enough, yet we desire to believe, He is the FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.⁣

When we have wandered and can’t find our way back, He is our GOOD SHEPHERD.⁣

When we need hope for a future that only seems bleak, He is the HIGH PRIEST OF GOOD THINGS TO COME.⁣

When we’re consumed by the mists of darkness, He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.⁣

When we grieve, anguish, and cry out, He is the PRINCE OF PEACE.⁣

When we are wounded and seek divine healing, He is our PHYSICIAN.⁣

When we’re ready to be molded into something more, He is the POTTER.⁣

When our souls need reclaiming, He is our REDEEMER.⁣

When the winds of doubt blow us off course—when the waves of trial beat against us—He is our REFUGE FROM THE STORM.⁣

When our world is crumbling, He is our ROCK.⁣

When we need saving, He is our SAVIOR.⁣

————————-⁣

What’s in a name?⁣
What’s in 𝘏𝘪𝘴 name?⁣
Everything you and I will ever need.⁣
⁣.
.
.
.
.

What is your favorite title for Jesus Christ?
.
.
.
.
.
*A beautiful, talented student at the school where I formerly taught created this artwork 👏🏼 Checkout @emma.st
...

“As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them”

– President Ezra Taft Benson
...

Excited to share these two FREE activities with you this week! So a chronological sort of the events as you read the account of #samualthelamanite or cut out the symbols that represent the signs Samuel mentioned, hide them, and then ”LOOK” for the signs! This is a great activity that lends well to a follow up discussion on looking for the signs of our Savior’s second coming 💛
Tag a friend in the comments that would appreciate these downloads!
...

For those of you with kiddos headed back to school, don't forget about this FREE and CUSTOMIZABLE download!
-
Are your kids back in school? How’s it going? How are you doing????
-
Let me know, if you want the link and I’ll add it to the link in profile 💛
...

So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. […] When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us, as was the case with Nephi, the son of Helaman” (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [1979], 93–94). Elder Neal A. Maxwell ...

The Lord loves effort. Even when our effort feels like it is next to nothing, or all we have left, it is something. I think I’m learning that the Lord not only loves effort, but through the enabling power of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement… that effort can be consecrated and become more than what we ever had to give in the first place. Not only that but the Lord blesses us in our efforts. “When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us…” I have felt this. In the tiniest ways, I have felt this.
-
Read about my tender mercy on this week’s post.
-
Have you ever felt that way?
-
📷: @aruskdesign
...

EEK! You guys, I’m SO excited about this one🍋😍🍋 Introducing the Morning Meeting you NEED in your classroom. This one does it ALL.

🍋Digital Daily Attendance
🍋SEL Learning & Awareness
🍋Grit & 🌱 Mindset Challenges
🍋Daily Interaction & Connection
🍋Build Classroom Community
🍋Improve Organization
🍋Daily Challenges & Class Games
🍋Set-Up Routines & Structure
🍋100% Paperless
🍋100% Virtual Classroom Ready
🍋100% Any Classroom Ready
🍋EDITABLE
➕➕➕SO MUCH MORE➕➕➕
.
I’m SO sure you’re going to LOVE it, I’m giving ALL of the August slides away for FREE! If you want more information on how and when you can download ALL of August, comment below! Don’t forget to spread the love by tagging a teacher friend that NEEDS this!
...

Did you download this FREE Printable for your Young Women? This is the perfect little drop off for your girls as they get ready to head back to school💛 Link in Profile, tag a friend with a calling in Young Womens Below 🍋🍋🍋 ...

Loved this excerpt from the #comefollowme manual this week:
.
🍋
.

Think about evidences that the Lord has given you. For example, maybe you haven’t literally heard the Lord’s voice, but have you felt “a whisper” from the Holy Ghost that “did pierce even to the very soul”? (Helaman 5:30; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:66). Perhaps you’ve been in darkness, cried unto God for greater faith, and been “filled with that joy which is unspeakable” (Helaman 5:40–47).
What other experiences have strengthened your faith in Christ and His gospel?
Helaman 5:29–33: What experiences have we had with recognizing the voice of God in our lives?
...

The language in Heleman 5:12 has always really intrigued me. Scriptures like this one can become really relevant by simply noticing a single word. In the case of this scripture that powerful word for me is When.

Do you see it? Did the verse become that much more powerful to you by simply paying attention to that single word?

Notice that the verse doesn’t read, “If the devil shall send forth his mighty winds,” or “If all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you…”. The language instead is when.

Hardships, trials, pain, discomfort, and all-out storms WILL come, no amount of righteous living can prevent them… However, if our foundations are firm, and built upon our Savior Jesus Christ… We will not fall. There is peace in that. There is promise in that. There is POWER in that.
...

Weekly Round-Up of FREE resources to help with your study of #comefollowme is on the website! Link in profile🍋🍋 ...

Guys. I don’t even know where to begin.... Except be on the lookout for this fun little DIGITAL project to be added today!
.
🍋Students come up with a One Word Goal for the school year/ first term...
.
🍋Students then create a “quilt” piece of their 1 Word, using figurative language and pictures to illustrate.
.
🍋Students will then upload their piece to a COLLABORATIVE Class “quilt”
.
🍋You can then use this Collaborative Class “Quilt” to create a DIGITAL Bulletin Board for your Virtual Classrooms, OR print it off and assemble in your actual classroom!
.
🍋More details coming soon! Comment below if you have a Virtual classroom you would like to try this out with!
...

“It is not by chance that you have been reserved to come to earth in this last dispensation of the fulness of times. Your birth at this particular time was foreordained in the eternities. You are to be the royal army of the Lord in the last days. You are “youth of the noble birthright.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 255.) In the spiritual battles you are waging, I see you as today’s sons of Helaman. Remember well the Book of Mormon account of Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors and how the teachings of their mothers gave them strength and faith. These marvelous mothers taught them to put on the whole armor of God, to place their trust in the Lord, and to doubt not. By so doing, not one of these young men was lost. (See Alma 53:10–23; Alma 56:41–56.)”. -President Ezra Taft Benson ...

PSA FOR ALL 5th GRADE TEACHERS:
No matter how you’re teaching this year, you’re going to want to add this resource to your tool belt.
Why?
🍋Includes Spiral #commoncorealigned Math AND Language/Grammar Work for the ENTIRE year
.
.
🍋It DOUBLES as a Student Planner
.
.
🍋Math Anchor Charts and Password Tracker INCLUDED.
.
.
🍋No matter what the school year throws at you, this guy will #haveyourback.
.
.
🍋
Check out my story for more information and a fun little tour from @topknoteacher
.
💛
.
This product will forever hold my heart. Maybe it was the countless hours, sweat and forethought that went into it..... or maybe it was the simple fact that it saved me my second year of teaching! Regardless if you are new to 5th grade or a seasoned veteran, this one is sure to be loved 💛💛💛
.
.
Tag a 5th grade teacher in the comments! I’m thinking we should give one away 💛💛💛
...

Need a fun drop off for your Young Women? With back to school just around the corner, it’s always nice to send your girls off with a sweet reminder to remember who they are, that you are thinking of them, and of course that you love them.
.
🍋
.
Tag a Young Women Leader in the comments below!
.
🍋
.
This is a FREE Download, Link in Profile 💛
...

YOU GUYS. I am COMPLETELY swooning over this #teachingfromhome classroom setup! All the little details are speaking my love language💛 You’ve outdone yourself @how_i_teach_high_school
.
🍋
.
For those of you teaching at home, what are your MUST HAVES??
.
🍋
.
Comment below! Don’t forget to check out my latest posts for Digital Back to School activities for your UPPER GRADE Students!
...

Hi There! So Glad You're Here

Let's be Friends!

📚 Adding a Little Zest to your Teaching!
🍏Fresh Ideas for Upper-Grade Teachers
💕Detail Oriented Products
🍋 Everything’s Better with a Little Lemon