Sorry this is a little late but I really still wanted to share an activity that I incorporated during December that quickly became the MOST anticipated event of each day! I'm talking about our Classroom Countdown to Christmas. Awhile back, I was reading a post at Teaching Heart (correct me if I'm wrong Colleen but I'm pretty sure I got the idea from you :). Anyway, she shared how each Christmas she would wrap up the holiday books and each night her kids would get to open one up for their before bedtime reading. Well, this got my brain cells cooking and I thought of a way to incorporate a fun advent countdown into my classroom but still keep it "common core happy". So, one night after everyone left to go home, I brought a decorated tree into my classroom, put some twinkly lights on it, plugged it in and wrapped 26 (that's how many kinders I have) holiday books. The next morning you would have thought Santa came but I made them wait till after lunch to know what it was all about.
The next thing I did was put each of the little darlings names on a cute gift tag and hide them all in a Christmas tin! At read aloud time I would open the tin up, shake it around (add to the suspense) and pull a name. Think of a "naughty and nice list" here! I had TOTAL control over whose name was getting pulled that day [wink, wink]!!
Whomever's name (is that correct grammar, or is whomever's even a word??) was pulled got to pick a present, unwrap it, sit by me and turn the pages as I read the book!!! WOW was I teacher of the year (in my kiddos eyes) or what?!!
It was a pretty easy peasy lemon squeezy idea to pull off and brought great delight!