Christmas Gifts

Discussion in 'Second Grade' started by kjteaches2, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    Nov 22, 2007

    I received free books for my first order with scholastic this year. Oriental trading had animal book marks. I also look for deals on the magic stretch mittens/gloves as many of my kids cannot afford them.
     
  2. twincheryl

    twincheryl Rookie

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    Nov 23, 2007

    Holiday gifts

    As for gifts for students, we rarely do anything other than maybe a book certificate for Scholastic book orders or a pencil or something very small. Maybe it's because our students are mostly from quite high income families...?

    Are most of you able to do all that Christmas stuff? Our Jewish parents are very upset if we do anything that even remotely has to do with Christmas... and if we do, we must have an alternate activity for the Jewish kids.
     
  3. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Nov 23, 2007

    (I teach Kinder, but....) I like to read The Polar Express to the kids the week before break. (It has such a nice tone to it, and the "magic" of Christmas is within the words.) For the last day before break, I give them a silver bell with their names on them, in remembrance of the story. I bought the bells at Dollar Tree (6 for $1, I think), and a paint pen from Michael's. They "get" the connection. Any primary age group would love them.

    I also use Scholastic points to buy a book. This year's is about building a snowman, which also goes with our curriculum story, "All to Build a Snowman." I LOVE it when things relate to each other!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 24, 2007

    twincheryl...

    One of my pet peeves is in my class we read a story about Hannukah and it explains the meaning of the menorah. It even gives a brief age appropriate historical account. We then read a story for Kawaanza. We do activities for both. Yet when we do Christmas it is only about Santa Claus. No historical account of a baby born. Yet in 3 years I've been there, we've had one jewish family and the rest are Christian or secular. I have no problem with the jewish parent in your class requiring you to have another activity. If we are going to teach it at all, we need to be well rounded because technically religion has no place in the classroom. Culturally speaking if we are going to include one, we should respect others. The same thing goes for Christianity. We shouldn't let the pendalum swing so far the other way that we can't celebrate Christmas either.

    I probably wouldn't mind the childbirth not being mentioned except that the Jewish story told is just as religiously graphical in my classroom.
     
  5. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Nov 24, 2007

    Side Note: In my 3 years of teaching (plus a semester of ST now that I think about it), I've only seen an "issue" with parents of Jehovah's Witness students. In those cases, the parents have opted to exclude the chlld whenever anything offensive to their beliefs has been on the agenda (Santa visiting, gift exchange, etc.). As a grade level, we tend to go "generic" on stories, and include non-religious stories such as "Too Many Tamales" just to round things out. But I am a Christian (even have a degree in Bible :-D), and I find myself not choosing stories depicting the manger specifically. I don't read "pinpointed" belief stories, but rather, do stories that are more general in nature and less a problem. Most of the kids in my classroom come from the Christian philosophy as well, but unless you are careful to include EVERY belief system, it is a better idea NOT to introduce specifics. There are many other places to share the Gospel (or your own thinking...) without becoming a target in the classroom. I don't want to lose my credibility during the rest of the year because a parent feels he/she cannot trust me in doing my job. It's probably the only time of year that I think I would actually enjoy working in a Christian school!
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I do agree that school isn't a place for specifics and as I said, I wouldn't have objected if the jewish story that is read didn't have some specifics in it.
     
  7. twincheryl

    twincheryl Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2007

    Holiday stuff

    Yes, I agree with all of you... and I've been teaching for 17 years! I generally do a "winter celebrations around the world" theme for the month of December and never have any problems. I was just surprised about how many posts there were with teachers giving the kids gifts at holiday time... and in our area, the non-Christian parents are really getting kind of out of control. Not like you can go to Target or Walmart or anywhere else and not see Christmas. I try to remember that it's not the kids who make the choice of family religious preference so these little ones shouldn't have to be singled out or made to sit out of something their parents don't agree with... so it is easier to just do a winter theme or something for everyone.
     

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