What better thing to do on the day after Thanksgiving than begin to put some finishing touches on our RAKs project for December?!? I dove head first into a RAKs project last December after being inspired by a fellow Kindie teacher. I had no idea what I was doing, but I asked for some advice, scoured Pinterest and blogs, and developed a plan. I kept it all very hush-hush because it was a top-secret mission and I didn't want anyone in my school finding out about it.
As soon as we completed our first RAK, I knew that this was something I would want to do again and again. The excitement my kids felt about our TOP-SECRET missions each day was so contagious! Sure, it added to an already busy month, but what better time of year to talk about KINDNESS, JOY, and the true spirit of GIVING than at Christmas??
I kept things mostly the same for this year, but tweaked a few things based on what I learned last year. There is definitely still time if you want to do something like this with your class this year. Hopefully these ideas can help get you started if it's something you want to try.
I send this note home mid-way through November explaining to parents what we'll be doing and asking for them to help if they are willing and/or able. Over half of my class sent back forms this year. I just divide what we'll need between the students who offer to help, and I take care of whatever doesn't get covered.
After the due date has passed, I review the forms and send these home...with specific items for each student to send in.
I went into school for a bit today to get things organized and got so excited by this pile of LOVE! Pencils for every student in the school, hot chocolate packets for our awesome para-professionals and recess aides, and fun Sharpie markers for teachers. And Hershey's kisses for all!!
A friend of mine who teaches in my district is doing RAKs with her class this year too and she wrote this letter to share with her students on the first day of December. She has an elf that she'll be using to reveal the missions to her class each day. I didn't do this last year, but I LOVE the idea. I don't have an elf, so I'll be using a polar bear. This is the letter that she wrote -- I just tweaked it a bit for my class. And my son fancied it up for me... :)
I use this calendar that I made in PowerPoint. I'll change it each year to match the correct dates. I keep track of which classrooms/teachers/staff members we will surprise each day so that I don't miss anyone.
I'll keep posting throughout the month as we complete our RAKs. I'm so excited to get started!!