Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up!

Finally made it to Christmas, or really "winter" break! I'm excited to just read, sleep, and eat good food more than anything else. I had a 3.5 day week this week and it just seemed like a marathon. I dunno about anyone else, but my firsties seemed to have an incredible amount of energy this week that was directed in the most random places.  Every year, I finish the last few days of school before break with Polar Express activities. Who doesn't love a little Chris Van Allsburg?!?! First I read the book, and we practice summarizing by completing the activity below. I then add student pics, laminate the summaries, and wrap with ribbons so that kids can take them home and give them as gifts to their parents.

**Polar Express Summary Gifts**

The following day, we watch the movie and compare and contrast it to the book.  My students are always SO impressed to learn that the book was written far before the movie lol. 

We also finished our reindeer gifts! This was the first year I tried this little craft and I think it turned out much cuter than I expected to. Note to self: next year I will NOT wear a white sweater when painting and stamping student feet in BROWN paint! Somehow, I managed to get away unscathed, but I may not be as lucky in the future...

This year, I had a really tough time figuring out what I wanted to give my students as gifts. I typically buy a $1 book from Scholastic and give that to everyone, but I just wanted to give something a bit more meaningful and memorable. As I was shopping in the grocery store, I saw a simple pack of bells...
I was able to buy the bells from Giant in 6 packs. The assortment of colors was very festive! I put all all of the bells in a reindeer gift bag and told my class that last year, I had written to Santa. I wanted to know if the Polar Express was really fiction. I went on to say that I came home recently and found a bag of these bells on my doorstep with NO note attached! My class went crazy! They just knew that Mr. C (Santa) had left 'em on my doorstep to teach me that the story was nonfiction and that he really does exist. When I shook the baggie of bells and my class could hear them, they were thrilled. They reminded me that only "believers" could hear the bell. I then let each student pick a bell from the bag (with their eyes closed). It was one magical afternoon! I also gave each student 2 homework passes, but they paled in comparison to the reindeer bells.

Happy Holidays!


Post a Comment