1st Classroom Christmas

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by MissTexas, Nov 20, 2006.

  1. MissTexas

    MissTexas Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2006

    Well this is my first year teaching, and I was wondering what you guys do for Christmas. Do you allow for a gift exchange? I am kind of skeptical about this particular ritual because there will always be that one student who forgets to buy their gift for someone. I was also wondering what you guys give your students? I would like to purchase books for my students but don't know where I can get a good deal. Any comments and/or suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks :) :) :)
     
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  3. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Nov 21, 2006

    I ask my students to bring in $1 gifts from the dollar store or wal-mart. If their parents are busy and can't go out to get the gift, they can bring $1 and I'll go buy it for them. If someone doesn't bring one for whatever reason, it's only $1,so I'll buy a few extras. Last year I gave my children activity books.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2006

    check out oriental trading company for gifts to give your students.
     
  5. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Nov 21, 2006

    We do "Penny Gifts". Students will buy the same gift for all students such as; pencils, erasers, bubbles, candy canes, playdoh, etc. Each student makes a gift bag (a plain brown gift bag and then we put a picture of a reindeer on the front, and add a red pompon or button for the nose). On the day of our party the students will put one gift into each bag. This has always worked well for us. The students all get the same gifts, and if someone doesn't bring a gift, its not a big deal and the other students don't know who didn't bring something.

    As far as gifts to my students, I give them books that I have received from Scholastic.
     
  6. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Nov 21, 2006

    We do not do a gift exchange as I work a very low income school. In my experience gift exchanges are a huge headache for both the teachers and parents and cause lots of problems for everybody, I prefer to keep it simple. On our party day we play several fun games, have a sing-a-long, and read some holiday stories, the kids are very satisfied with that. You can see the games we play and the gifts I give my students at the following link: Vanna's Holiday Page
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2006

    I agree with vannapk. There are going to be kids who can't afford to buy gifts or they may not celebrate Christmas and my feel left out. All in all, I don't think it's worth the stress. What you could do, is maybe have the kids draw a picture of make somthing, like an ornament. Put these in a "Santa Bag" and then pass them out to the kids. Just an idea.

    I bought gifts for my kids from Scholastic. You can use your bonus points to buy them gifts. I didn't for some reason. I bought the books like in August or September and I think I figured out if I bought the books with money, I would get major bonus points. Anyways, that's always an easy one to do.
     
  8. MissTexas

    MissTexas Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2006

    Thank you all for your responses! You guys have some great ideas! I will consider using them in my classroom this holiday season!
     
  9. Heart2Heart

    Heart2Heart Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2006

    In my classroom, my students do not exchange gifts either. We play games, dance to music, and eat snacks. We play pin the tail and other fun games. But I have asked the students to bring a $1.00 for their parent's gifts. I usually go to the dollar store and buy cute cermanic gifts for the parents. The kids choose a gift for their parent and I bring wrapping paper and the kids wrap the gifts. We have a wrapping party usually the day before our party so that each child can give their parents a gift for Christmas. I always buy two to three extra gifts just in case. They really enjoy this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
  10. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Nov 21, 2006

    I also teach in a low income area so we do not do present exchange in the classroom. However I do buy them a small present from Oriental Trading. I bought snowman pads and pencils b/c I have many different religions in my classroom. Not everyone believes in Santa. I am also going to give them ingredients for snowman soup.

    On the last day of school before Winter Vacation we will
    make a snowman craft that we bought from Oriental Trading.
    Then we have a holiday breakfast - muffins, bagels, juice, dance, play some music and play games

    Our principal will read The Polar Express afterwards we will set up one of the classrooms like a movie theatre to watch the movie.
    In the afternoon we have a school wide sing-a-long.
     
  11. MsAnn

    MsAnn Companion

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    Nov 21, 2006

    We do not give gifts, although I do give the children a small homemade ornament.

    However, my sons class did something really neat last year. Each parent was asked to bring in a dollar tree toy (like the party packs), ornament (from a package) or whatever -- we did 50 cent coloring books for our gift. Each child had a stocking in the classroom and when they brought in their gifts they got to go down the line and drop the gifts in. In the end my son came home with 18 gifts. Most of it was junk but you know, he was so thrilled and he really enjoyed giving something to each and every student. It was not expensive at all, I paid a whole 9 bucks for the entire class and could have gone cheaper if I would have bought party packs with 5 or 6 items in them (comes out to 3 dollars).

    Have fun and Merry Christmas!!!!! :D
     
  12. Miss_J

    Miss_J Habitué

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    Nov 22, 2006

    We do not do a gift exchange either. I have several students who do not celebrate the holiday and several who could not afford to do things like that.
    We have a winter party where we play pin the nose on the snowman and pass the snowball. We also make a snowman out of ivory snow.
    I do give out gifts. I bought snow themed books from Scholastic for $1.95 each. I had a coupon for $10.00 that I used towards that as well. You could also use points for the books. I prefer to use the points to purchase things for the classroom though.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 22, 2006

    HUGE CAUTION....Not everybody shares the holiday the same way. Know your kid's backgrounds before proceeding. Half our class last year was jewish. Perfectly fine, but how we proceeded had to be respectful.

    I vote for not doing the gift exchange. There is so much to do!

    HAVE FUN!
     
  14. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2006

    I always check to see what holidays my kids celebrate. This year, it's all Christmas. I did a gift exchange one year and it just resulted in hurt feelings, so I haven't done it again. I am giving my kids 2 books (Scholastic's Gift of the Magi and Other Stories, and Maple St. something or other) and a few other little things.

    I was thrilled today to find new packaged crafts at a thrift store today. They were 50 cents each. There are several different kinds, so each child can pick which one they want to do.
     
  15. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Nov 24, 2006

    Please check with your students' parents before doing ANY Christmas-themed activity, craft, story, etc.. NOT ALL FAMILIES celebrate Christmas and not all families celebrate the same way. Some families may emphasize GIFT-giving but others may not want that value for their kids.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 24, 2006

    Here's what my kid's Kindergarten teacher did:

    She called it a "holiday gift exchange"

    Then she asked each child to bring in a wrapped softcover book costing under $5. Each child did, and they had a grab bag. (I'm fairly certain she had some spares, just in case. Had they not been needed, she could have added them to her classroom library.)

    So the emphasis is on literacy, but each child got a nice new book to read over the break.

    Two of my 3 kids have had her; I'm sincerely hoping my 3rd gets her as well!
     
  17. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Nov 27, 2006

    I really like this. Especially winter-themed items-that would go well with the themes I'm teaching..:)
     
  18. stephanie may

    stephanie may Rookie

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    Nov 29, 2006

    I do a gift exchange in my room every year. I teach in a christian school - kindergarten level. I have the boys bring a boy book and the girls bring a girl book. I number the presents and then we draw numbers from a hat. This has worked well for me so far, just make sure the class understands that they will not end up with the book they brought! It is all about the giving!

    Hope this helps!

    Blessings,

    Stephanie
     
  19. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Nov 30, 2006

    My first Christmas as a teacher is one of my favorite memories. I baught the kids mittens( 2 sets for a dollar at Walmart), stuffed them with candy and tied them with a ribbon. They LOVED them! I live in Arizona where it is not too cold during the winter, so mittens where a great "novelty" for them.
     
  20. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Nov 30, 2006

    oops-I do know how to spell!
     
  21. TXTeacher4

    TXTeacher4 Companion

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    Dec 7, 2006

    I love the mitten idea! I would like to use it. I seemed to have waited til the last minute this year. Ooops! I hope I can find the same deal you did.
     
  22. kem

    kem Companion

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    Dec 8, 2006

    It's probably too late now, but for future reference...I had a clinical in a classroom where the teacher had each child pick a few books that he/she would like from a Scholastic book order. The books all had to be $2.95 or less. Every child brought in $3 and picked a friend's name out of a hat. The children chose a book off of their friends list, and the teacher ordered the books with the money that the parents had sent.
     
  23. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Dec 9, 2006

    Good Idea, I second the emotion. Oriental Trading company is awesome!
     
  24. geegee

    geegee Companion

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    Dec 10, 2006

    hi, i ask the kids to bring and empty match box gift wrapped and tell them if they have been good this year santa will put something intl their box !!! what i do is i buy erasers and open each gift and put one in.the day we have the christmas party the kids are thrilled and fascinated that they have been given a gift!:)
     
  25. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    Dec 10, 2006

    I love this idea so much!;)

    I'm going to share it w/a teaching friend in a private school, where they celebrate the holiday.

    :love:
     

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