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Monday, December 2, 2013

Coordinate Grids for the Holidays
 This week begins the month of December. It's a perfect time to help your students create some fun shapes and letters using coordinate grids. In these activities, students will use a pair of perpendicular number lines, called axes, to define a coordinate system, with the intersection of the lines (the origin) arranged to coincide with the 0 on each line and a given point in the plane. Students will draw lines by using an ordered pair of numbers, called coordinates to connect lines that will form shapes. These worksheets will help your students understand that the first number indicates how far to travel from the origin in the direction of one axis, and the second number indicates how far to travel in the direction of the second axis. The class will learn the convention that the names of the two axes and the coordinates correspond (e.g., x-axis and x-coordinate, y-axis and y-coordinate). You can help them understand that (2, 3) means 2 across to the right on the x axis and 3 up on the y axis. It will take some practice for your students to be able to distinguish the x and y coordinates. Explain that X comes before Y in the alphabet so the x coordinate is shown first in the ordered pair of coordinate points, followed by the y coordinate.
 Give each student a December Coordinate Grid page. Have the students label the x and y axes on the grid. Then have them draw the points at the coordinates given. Help the students connect the points in order, beginning and ending with (10, 20). The finished grid will create a star. The students can cut out the star, add a yarn hanger and decorate it with glitter glue. Make sure names are on the pages or on the star ornaments.

 You can also have the class create winter snowflakes to hang from your windows. The snowflakes can overlap to create wreaths and ornaments. The snowflake pattern can be used to make gift tags for the holidays as well as gratitude notecards to thank those important people in their lives. If you let your students decorate the snowflakes with glitter, use the glitter glue that they can roll on the card. Or collect shirt boxes and lids so each student can have one or the other. Have the student place his snowflakes in the box, spread glue on them, and then sprinkle them lightly with glitter. Shake off the excess glitter into the box and reuse it. Spread the snowflakes out on newspaper to dry. Then hang them from clothesline or yarn hangers (use sparkly yarn) to give your room a festive atmosphere. Snowflake Ornament
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