Do you give your students Christmas gifts?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by heavens54, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Nov 23, 2010

    I was at Walmart yesterday and they had all of these little stocking stuffer towys. Some were cute, I was tempted. This is my first year with my own students (20 something students in 5th) I am not sure what I want to do for my students this year, but buying some cheap pencil or eraser for them doesn't seem to be the answer. But what???

    :dizzy: :help: :whistle: :dizzy: :help: :whistle: :dizzy:
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I teach preschool... in the past, I have generally given a book or two... if you use Scholastic, you can usually get books for $1 or $1.50, which makes them pretty do-able. One year when I hadn't ordered from them in time, I made playdough for my kids... I did several different colors and split it up, so each kid got a ball of 2 different colors... I gave them a small cookie cutter to go with it along with a pencil and a candy cane.

    I'm not sure what I'd do with 5th graders, though :)
     
  4. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I know its not exciting, but I give my students a Skip a Night pass for Christmas. They love them.
     
  5. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    I use the cheaper books on Scholastic as gifts, candy cane, some years some McD's coupons...(I teach K)
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    As a parent, I strongly dislike cutesy little gifts that will end up in the back seat of my car, on the floor of the living room, or in my washing machine within a couple days. I say give them something school related and useful, such as a free night of HW, or maybe bonus points on a quiz, or eat lunch with the teacher.

    Last year I gave my kids a coupon book with various things in it, like lunch in the room with 3 friends, bring a CD to listen to during work time (prescreened by me of course), a free night of HW, 5 bonus points in any subject, you and 3 friends stay in from recess (they have to go outside, so staying in to play games is a big one), and choose your seat for an afternoon (my chair is an option-VERY popular).

    Cheap---no, free---and easy. And they were thrilled. Many teachers give books, but I find that a lot of kids don't appreciate them very much, so I stopped doing that.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sometime during the last week before Christmas break, my class will get their gift from me--we'll spend an afternoon drinking hot chocolate (complete with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and candy cane stir sticks), decorating (and eating) gingerbread cookies and reading "The Grinch".
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I teach a total of 8 classes of 40, in addition to a homeroom of 34. Last week I picked up another math class for a colleague who is recovering from surgery.

    Nope, no gifts from Mrs. A.

    I am giving a little something to the 17 5th graders in my Religious Education class.
     
  9. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I give mine 2 pencils, an eraser, a new box of crayons, and a Scholastic book certificate so they can order out of the next book order.
     
  10. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    In the past, I have purchased board games for my class to use during the indoor recesses we will have. This was very popular,and they took such good care of them.
    I love the coupon book idea, kcjo! Mind if I steal it?
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Love the coupon book, kc!

    I bought crayons when they were on sale--many of my kids are due for a new box. I don't know what else I'll do.
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I buy them each a copy of The Gingerbread Man, which I can always find cheap in a Scholastic Book Order (it's a $1 book this year!). Then, we decorate gingerbread man cookies. They LOVE it. I think any grade would enjoy decorating the cookies. We read a lot of gingerbread man books in December, so it's a fun thing to do the day before break begins.

    When I student taught in 3rd grade, the teacher would buy a class gift. She bought them 2 indoor recess games that they were really excited about. I liked that idea a lot.
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I use my scholastic points and buy them each a book. This year I also got them popapoint pencils (I am SICK of sharpening pencils!) and large erasers. They'll also get a candy cane and a few pieces of candy.
     
  14. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    I usually make a small goodie bag with an ink pen, pack of gum, candy cane, and ornament. I buy the ornaments at Target the day after Christmas for the following year. The past few years I bought some very glittery snowflake ornaments.
     
  15. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I made crayon rolls for all of my students this year. I filled them with 8 new crayons. That is going to be it for me.
     
  16. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    What board games do they like to have in the classroom? I have been wanting to buy some but not sure what that age goes for...
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Steal away at the coupon book! I'd even email you my coupons if you PM me your email address.

    I like the hot chocolate/gingerbread cookies (although I'd do sugar because I'm not a fan of gingerbread). That would also be cheap and easy...hot chocolate was on sale at the store for a dollar a box of 12...
     
  18. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    There is always snowman, reindeer, penguin, etc. poop. It's cute with the little poem and inexpensive!
     
  19. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    I buy plain ornaments and write their name and the year to give them along with a small box of crayons.
     
  20. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Nov 24, 2010

    Well, I teach 5th grade, and these were the top winners for me:
    Battleship
    Connect Four
    Uno (card game)
    Guess Who
    Apples to Apples
    Trouble
    Checkers
    Outburst Jr.

    I found a cheap! air hockey game I bought for my son for Christmas one year. He outgrew it-and I took it to school. My 5th graders STILL line up to have air hockey competitions!
    I try to stay away from games that are too involved-Monopoly, Life, etc. With only a half hour, they take too long.
    Good luck!
     
  21. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Jenga is another popular game. I bought a Mancala game and my kids love it. They also love playing with my Knex. I bought a simple Lego set for the room, because I used Legos as an example of something and got nothing but a blank stare. Finally one kid raised their hand and said "What???" That led to a blanket of "What's that? I've never heard of them." Crazy!
     
  22. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I always give a book or two (yes from Scholastic... the usually have them $1 or sometimes even send me free ones). I usually give a candy cane or something sweet too and a home made card - that's it! :)
     
  23. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    I teach high school, so things are a little different for me. But, I give all of my kids Christmas pencils and make a Christmas treat for them. I do chocolate dipped pretzels or something like that. I also have about 65 kids, so I have to go cheap to cover everyone.
     
  24. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    I usually give them a book (this year I got some free ones, so it'll be two), sometimes a pencil, sometimes a simple bookmark I make with their name on it.
     
  25. lindita323

    lindita323 Companion

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    Every year I order personalized pencils with my students' names imprinted on them for Christmas. I found them on forteachersonly.com. They LOVE them and it eliminates pencil problems for a while :O)

    Someone asked about board games..... my 4th graders LOVE Don't Break the Ice, it is the number one they want to play. I have tons of decks of cards and I always teach the kids how to play Spoons, another big-time favorite. They also enjoy Boggle, Yahtzee, and puzzles.
     
  26. teacherheath

    teacherheath Companion

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    Just bought some pencil sharpeners, bookmarks and pencil grips online at Oriental Trading. They are going to be pretty happy. I usually just go w/ a book/pencil, but I have a soft spot for my class this year. I had over half of them last year as I moved up w/ them. :)
     
  27. teach2read10

    teach2read10 Companion

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    Help

    We're lucky in that our local Rotary club gives us new books every year to distribute to our students. I just add a personalized card. It saves me the time and money involved in shopping.
     
  28. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Totally off topic, but isn't Spoons a drinking game? It's been many years, but I feel like maybe I played it in my college years! I'm not sure I would teach my kids that game (even without the drinking, lol).
     
  29. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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  30. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Any game can be made into a drinking game.
    I played spoons as a child and LOVED it!
     
  31. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    We always have a half day on Dec 24th...crazy I know!
    That morning we have hot cocoa, read & watch Polar Express, and make necklaces with a jingle bell.
     
  32. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oh, we'll be adding Polar Express to our "celebration"--we're doing an author study of Chris van Allsburg in December, so it fits in perfectly!
     
  33. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    The board games that you listed; how many students usually play each game? Well, Checkers would be two, but some of the other ones, are they usually two players or more?

    Thanks for all of the ideas.
     
  34. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our school has a Polar Express Day the last day of school. We'll read the story that week as our reading story, and that last day we all wear pajamas and the specials teachers, along with our principal and vice-principal keep the kids in the gym for about half an hour that morning to let us get everything set up in our room for our celebrations. I start the hot chocolate in the crock pot early that morning so that when we get back to the room it's hot and creamy. We have hot chocolate and gingerbread men (thanks to Little Debbie! lol) and watch the movie. I invite the students to bring their favorite Christmas treats divided so that they can be wrapped and brought home if need be.
     
  35. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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    guess who is a 2 player game
    connect 4 is a two player game
    Battleship is a two player game
    I want to say that apples to apples Jr. is a 4+ player game but I don't know for sure.
    I think trouble is a 4 player game
     
  36. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I do stockings with my students. The week before Christmas break I hang up 1 miniature stocking for each of my students. I write their names on them with glitter glue. I buy the stockings at Wal-mart and they are 75 cents for 2. Then each day for 1 week I add 1 item to the stockings. I do things as simple as a Hershey Kiss. At our Christmas party we open our stockings together. It's a lot of fun! Now, I've taught primary until this year, we'll see how it goes over in 6th grade!
     
  37. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Blokus is a great classroom game too. My kids love that game.
     
  38. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Ohhhhhh....I just discovered you can play Blokus online...I may never sleep again...!
     
  39. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Continuing my theme of minimalist Christmas . . . I have finally settled on giving kids an ornament for a gift. One year I found beautiful silver plated snowflakes at Safeway, and it ended up costing about one dollar for each child.

    I write the year and Love, Mrs. ____ on the back of the ornament. I also write a personal note in a card telling the student something special I appreciate about him. I wrap the ornament in tissue paper and put it in a paper sack with colorful ribbon.

    My students are so saturated with gifts there is nothing I could give them that would stand out really. So rather than contribute to the "gimme gimme" I keep the gift very simple.
     
  40. TeachSpeak

    TeachSpeak Rookie

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    I think I'm going to steal the coupon book AND the hot chocolate/peppermint stirrers....can't wait! Thanks for these, folks! :cool:
     
  41. CreativeMind

    CreativeMind Rookie

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    I print out a free homework pass and wrap it around a candy cane tied with a ribbon. Cheap, Easy, and students love it!
     

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