Monday, December 30, 2013

Wrapping up December...

Since I pretty much haven't posted anything in December, this post is a complete hodge-podge of things.  December was a blur.  Having one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas threw me off a bit at school!  I was still able to fit lots of fun holiday activities in, but it all felt a little rushed to me.  And, apparently, I took very few photos of things we did in December, so I'll only be sharing a few things! :)

The best part of December for my class were the Random Acts of Kindness we did all month long.  I presented the idea just before Thanksgiving, and my families responded overwhelmingly by helping us gather goodies and gifts to share with the students and teachers at our school.
Each day, we "RAK'd" a classroom, teacher, custodian, para-professional, secretary, etc.  The students helped by coloring our "You've been RAK'd!" cards, and counting out bookmarks and pencils.  They couldn't wait each day to find out who we would be surprising.  It was a blast!!  
We worked SO HARD to keep it all secret, but the teachers figured out it was us pretty quickly.  They were wonderful, though, about not letting my class know that they knew.  My sweet kindies still think that no one knows.  Love them.
Each day I chose two students to be our "deliverers", then the whole class would go together to watch the fun!  The deliverers would sneak down to the classroom, set the goodies down by the door, knockknockknock, and RUN!  The ONLY time they are allowed to run in the hallway!  They LOVED it!  Then, when we got back to our classroom, the delivery friends would report to the class exactly what they did and if anyone saw them.  They had the best time with it.
I loved it because it gave us such a great chance to discuss the JOY that comes from giving to others and not expecting anything in return!  Christmas is about LOVE!  And we were able to love on every single student in our building.  I will definitely be doing this again.

 After several years of making the same Christmas gifts for my students to give their parents, I am still so in love with these handprint reindeer ornaments.  They are easy-peasy, and so gosh darn adorable.  Thankfully, we had them wrapped up and sent home a few days early because our last day before Christmas Break was cancelled due to ice!
 I love them so much that I made them with my own kids a couple years ago.  Here was my daughter's on our tree this year.

The last picture I have is from our class book exchange.  I have learned that scheduling our classroom party the Thursday before break allows Friday to be so much more calm and relaxed.  Party day can be downright nuts, and I don't love spending my final few hours before break in the craziness.  I would much rather do it the day before, and then spend Friday reading Christmas stories, listening to Christmas music, playing games, and having {non-choatic} fun.  This all worked out perfectly this year since we didn't have school on that last day before break.  I was so glad that we had been able to have our classroom party.
Anyway, the book exchange always makes me laugh because the kids sit in a big circle and pass their books clockwise (which only a handful of Kindergarteners can ever figure out) while I play Christmas music.  When the music stops, the book that is in their hands is the book they get to open and keep.  It never fails that there are always one or two laps that look like this while the books are being passed.
 And then, when the music stops, I have to remove the pile from the lap and make sure that everyone has a book before we open.
And also before we open I have to have the talk that explains how we SHOULD and SHOULD NOT act once we open the book that one of our friends has so generously purchased and wrapped and brought to school just for you.  And even if you have that same book at home, or even if you are a boy and you open a Hello Kitty book (even though I clearly state to parents that they should be gender-neutral), or even if the book you open looks completely uninteresting to you, you smile and thank your friend.  And they always do.  They OOH and AAH and everyone leaves with a smile!  And then we spend the next 10-15 minutes sharing our brand new book with a partner, which is always so much fun.

It was a fabulous three weeks of holiday fun in December.  And this Christmas Break has been a much-needed reprieve from our busy schedule.  We are enjoying lots of family time and are soaking the days in!  I know that, by Monday, I'll be ready to back at school with my kindies, but tonight, I am thankful for a few more days at home! 

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Love your RAK ideas! And the reindeer ornaments...easy and cute!