December Classroom Management

December Classroom Management is here! Two different options this month: a general winter one and a more holiday-specific one. December is such a fun month for teaching, but it can also be challenging heading into winter break. That’s why teachers are loving these printables with lots of variety for a simple yet effective way to motivate students to follow directions, stay on task, work together, and MORE! Perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!

December is full of excitement, fun, cheer…and a lot of restless students (and teachers haha!) That’s why you will love using simple, differentiated, and motivating classroom management tools to use in your classroom to help students stay on task and get everyone to winter break a little easier.

This activity goes well with these resources:


By December you probably have things figured out pretty well, but if you’re feeling a little bit of burnout (like most of us), just remember these basic standards:

  • Keep the rules simple, easy to understand, and clear
  • Model the procedures you want the students to do
  • Follow up reminders throughout the day
  • Communicate with parents/guardians

Focus on the positives! Students thrive on positive reinforcements. They love to be told when they’ve done a good job, no matter how small it may seem to you. Creative a positive environment leads to better relationships and students who will thrive in the classroom.

Some ideas of positive reinforcements:

  • “I see that you asked ___ to come play with you. That was such a great way to be a friend!”
  • “I noticed how quietly you were walking in the hallway. I’m so proud of you!”
  • “What a good choice you made by coming to the carpet the first time I asked!”

Keep building those relationships! It’s so important to build strong relationships with your students. A classroom that feels like a family or community will run so much smoother, and your students will feel like they can really depend on you. Ask them about their weekends, their holiday plans, any fun vacations they have coming up, etc. They will feel so special knowing how much you care about them outside the classroom!


One way to keep students motivated during December is to use one of these free printables, either Fill the Snowglobe or Fill the Tree!

You can choose to print out the snowglobe or tree and then physically fill in the snowflakes or ornaments, or use one of the options to simply color in the pieces for even easier management!

These are so cute, fun, and easy to do. You can fill the snowglobe up with snowflakes if you want a general winter theme, or fill the tree with ornaments if you want more of a holiday theme. Students can earn items for whatever you think works best: quick transitions, being good friends, being quiet in the hallway.

Or even pair it with our new Classroom Elf & Kindness Chain to earn a token for the different kindness items for the day! It’s important to set the expectations ahead of time though, so your students know exactly how to earn those snowflakes or ornaments.

When the item is full you can choose a fun reward that all the students can enjoy as a class (further building that positive community feeling!) Some examples could be:

  • Holiday party
  • Themed snack
  • Extra recess
  • Short movie
  • Pajama day

It would be fun to have the students help choose what their reward will be. Take a vote, count tallies, get students excited and make that part a learning activity too! Remember to remind students that if their idea isn’t chosen this month, they can try again next month when we have a printable for January!

Differentiated Plans

This month’s FREE printable for classroom management in December comes with a variety of differentiation options so you can pick what’s best for your students!

  • Fill the Snowglobe for a winter theme
    • 20 snowflakes to color
    • 10 snowflakes to color
    • Cut and paste the snowflakes onto the snowglobe
  • Fill the Tree for a holiday theme
    • 20 ornaments to color
    • 10 ornaments to color
    • Cut and paste the ornaments onto the tree

Another differentiated idea is to do this activity with tables working together. Or maybe just a couple of students need this as an individualized plan. This could even work well with your own kids at home haha!

Free Fill the Snowglobe or Fill the Tree Printable

This free December classroom management printable can help you this month! Make sure to grab it by entering your information below. You’ll unlock the freebie (even if you’re already a subscriber). Our freebie fairy (who is already dreaming about the holiday break) will fly that over to inbox immediately!

Make sure to share how you’re using this freebie in the Simply Kinder Teachers Facebook Group or tag #Simplykinder on Instagram!

Most Importantly, let us know if you love these December printable options so we can make a different themed one each month for you!

If your students love this printable, they’re sure to love the free printable Reindeer Hat You can find that here!

This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!

At Simply Kinder we work together to bring you ready-to-use resources to partner with great teaching for any curriculum, a Facebook community where teachers talk all things Kindergarten, and low-prep learning ideas that your students will love. Be sure to stay up to date with all things kindergarten on InstagramFacebookPinterest, and through email. Simply Kinder: where teaching Kinder is definitely better together!

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