The Mailbox® Plus—the established leader in providing teacher-created ideas that really work for 50 years—is edited by educators who are experienced at assessing what teachers will find valuable and worth incorporating into lessons. We’re sharing our “From the Editor” letters for December, where the editors of The Mailbox Plus share their thoughts on the December holidays as well as some festive activities to make the season bright.
Prekindergarten Activities for December
Editor Kimberly Ann Brugger writes:
“This Christmas we’re trying something different at my house. We’re going to put up a full-size tree. We usually only have a couple of tabletop trees because of the presence of our five cats. Is a full-size tree a smart idea? Probably not. But will it be festive? It sure will! I’m a big believer in trying new things. And speaking of new things—this is the first December issue with the new Perfect Plans for Littles feature! The topic is Christmas, so I’ve included activities on trees, ornaments, holiday baking, and more. Even Santa Claus makes an appearance! Enjoy this new feature in the magazine and don’t forget to check out some of my other favorites.
- Jingle Bell Math—Little ones develop musical math skills with this cheery selection of activities.
- Night and Day—Students learn about the characteristics of night and day with this whole-group activity and booklet!
- Festive Word Play—Rhyming and sound substitutions help little ones develop language skills with these festive and fun activities.
- Activity Pages for December: Sweet Treats—These printables for December feature wintertime sweet treats and reinforce visual discrimination, counting objects, and recognizing numbers.”
Kindergarten and Grade 1 Activities for December
Editor Amy Erickson Corkhill writes:
“There’s no doubt about it—channeling kids’ excitement at this time of year is a challenge. When I was growing up, my mother had a few tricks up her sleeve that worked wonders. One year she suggested that my sisters and I plan a Christmas show for our family all on our own. It freed her up and kept us kids busy. Best of all, we had a blast!
“With all the busyness that December brings, I have no doubt that you’d love to free up some of your time too. The easy-to-use activities in this month’s issue can help you do exactly that. Plus, they’re super engaging and designed to keep learning on track. In short, they’re a terrific solution for this hectic, high-energy time of year!
“Check out my top picks:
- Writing Made “Snow” Easy—Spark a flurry of writing with these ultra handy printables. Since the activities are open-ended, they’re perfect for a range of skill levels.
- Frosty Phonics Fun—Count on these no-prep “I spy” activities to be a hit with students!
- Centers for Decomposing Numbers—These hands-on activities include adorable center mats and handy recording sheets.
For Grade 1
- Fun and Frosty Task Cards—Use these no-fuss activities for morning work, center time, or early finishers.
- Sweet on Fact Families—Promote teamwork with this enticing math activity.
- Slam Dunk!—This game for words with glued sounds is sure to score big with students!”
December Activities for Grades 2–3
Editor Jen Moore writes:
“Close to the holidays last year I found several recipes on social media that I wanted to try. Unfortunately, everyone else must have wanted to try these recipes too because some of the main ingredients were nowhere to be found. This year, I decided to look for the ingredients in early fall. That way, I had plenty of time to try the recipes and if I liked them, would ensure that I had time to replace the ingredients. A little bit of planning ahead was just what I needed to do to make sure I had what I needed.
“We want to make sure that you have what you need this December, so we’ve put together a collection of ideas and activities that you and your students will love. From seasonal activities to those you can use year-round, this issue has a little bit of everything. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Celebrate December—Celebrate December holidays and observances with this collection of activities.
- Winter Printables: ELA and Math—Use them individually or combine them in a packet; either way, these printables are just right for winter!
- Drop and Write—Put a twist on writing word problems with this quick-prep idea. Use it for independent practice during a lesson or set the materials at a center.
- Let’s Go Fishing!—Build students’ knowledge of affixes and how to use context clues with this daily activity.”
December Activities for Grades 4–6
Editor Becky Andrews writes:
“I’ll never forget the December morning when I walked out of my bedroom only to watch our 10-foot Christmas tree topple ever-so-slowly to the floor—onto our cat, Thomas, no less. I remember yelling, ‘No. No. No!’ and ‘Thomas, RUN!’ We did not lose Thomas, or, believe it or not, a single ornament. My daughters and I propped the tree up with a ladder until my husband could get home from his business trip and work his magic to stabilize the tree. Like that ladder, a great activity or ready-to-use printable can save the day when you teach in a classroom of kids where anything can happen. We’ve included plenty of lesson-plan savers in this new issue, including the ideas in these sections:
- Printables for December—You’ll be ready for the biggest season of the year with these skill-building printables for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and winter!
- Ready-to-Use Lessons—Help students practice writing introductions to a story and conclusions to an opinion essay with two ready-to-use lesson plans.
- Reading & Writing About Polar Animals—Build important comprehension, research, and informative writing skills with this packet of activities on polar animals.
- Math Word Problem Practice—Give students targeted practice with solving word problems with a unit on using estimation to assess the reasonableness of an answer and a student booklet on solving word problems that involve fractions with unlike denominators.”
Try The Mailbox Plus
For 50 years, The Mailbox has been the leader in providing teacher-created ideas that really work. With The Mailbox Plus, your entire institution can have unlimited, simultaneous access to this incredible, ever-growing collection at one low price. The Mailbox Plus is packed with 54,000+ fun and engaging ideas, activities, and worksheets that are teacher-created, teacher-tested, and educationally sound—all carefully planned and edited by an in-house team of former teachers. Plus, new content is posted every month, with skills and topics right when teachers need them.
Learn360 subscribers: Did you know you can add more than 54,000 worksheets, activities, and lessons to your Learn360 subscription just by adding The Mailbox Plus? Subscribe to both and you’ll get unlimited access within your Learn360 to all the teacher-created content from The Mailbox, the best source for your teachers’ lesson-planning needs.