I do not like Christmas

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Sarge, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Dec 13, 2008

    In the classroom, that is.

    I have a terrible time getting kids to finish any kind of project that involves making something. Of course, it's standard practice for first grade kids to make a gift for their parents in school.

    The problem is that I'm very challenged when it comes to teaching this kind of lesson. For some reason, it's easier for me to explain the different ways to spell the long U sound than it is for me to explain how to make a calendar to give as a gift.

    Basically, anything I've tried to have the kids make has turned out terrible. One year, I tried to have them make ornaments out of old cd by dumping glitter and sequins all over them. It looked like something Liberace would have given his mom when he was in first grade.

    The other problem is that I can't keep the kids organized so that they don't lose projects that take longer than one day. We're trying to do calendars this time, and at the end of the day, a bunch of kids tried to take them home in spite of the fact that we'd only done February and January. I had to stop them from stuffing them in their back packs.

    This, coupled with the fact that we have an Open Court pacing guide that has us basically teaching full lessons up until the next to the last day and normal first grade hyperness over Christmas (except for the one Jehovah's Witness kid. I wish they ran their own private schools. I'd apply in a heartbeat)

    Any ideas to make the next three and a half days easier for a non-Scrapbooking, non-Michaels shopping, teacher who failed gluing in kindergarten himself?

    I also don't have a tv or vcr in my room.
     
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  3. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I'm having mine glue puzzle pieces to a wooden picture frame and putting a picture of themselves in it. I buy 1000 piece puzzles at the dollar store for them to use. Two years ago I made it for Mother's Day and framed a drawing of their mother. You could make a frame from cardboard if you don't want to buy wooden frames.
     
  4. MsT

    MsT Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2008

    An easy craft is to make a thumbprint wreath magnet. We cut cardstock circles and use a green inkpad to stamp out the wreath. Then we take a red marker and dot it to make the berries, glue a small bow, and write "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas" in the center. I also add magnetic tape to the back. It's simple, but cute. Good luck on your craft this year!
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I'm artsy, but not crafty... I am discovering first graders are very excited by crafts, but I am just not interested in those things!

    We are going to make chocolate dipped pretzels as a gift for the holidays. It's likely that they will eat them on the way out the door though... some gift that will be!
     
  6. tcherjen

    tcherjen Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2008

    In the kindergarten classroom I was in they made reindeers. The teacher used one foot, painted brown and the child's hands. She placed the foot on a piece of paper and had the child place their hands on either side of the foot. The child wrote "Merry Christmas from your little deer." Then signed their name. It was adorable.
     
  7. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    picture frames are the way to fo for the non-artsy type! good luck and don't stress about their excitement, this is a really special time of year for kids!
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    last year I got wooden frames from Michael's for one dollar. The kids painted them red, blue or green. I got a bunch of poinsettia bouquets from the dollar store. I pulled a bloom off the plant and each child glued a blossom onto the bottom of the frame. I took their pictures and put them inside.

    This year we bought some clay. The kids used cookie cutters to cut out ornaments. I'm going in tomorrow to fire them in the kiln.
     
  9. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    One thing I have done is have the children choose from their favorite art works they have done and then I back the art work with construction paper and wrap the gift.
     
  10. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    Another teacher at our school found a great craft- I believe it was on this website somewhere...
    The kids use a cookie-cutter to cut a shape out in bread, you put a hole in it and string it- leave it overnight to dry, then paint it- it's a cheap, very easy ornament!! Last year we made candycanes out of construction paper and talked about patterning- the kids had a blast and that was super easy.
    Good luck! :)
     
  11. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I have to agree with you Sarge....... As a sub I hate anything in the lesson plan that requires "constructing" something.....:p:p:p

    Major
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    It's the curse of the male primary grade teacher.
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 13, 2008

    We mixed up a batch of salt clay(salt, cornstarch.glue,) and made shapes with cookie cutters, then pushed bright beads into the dough and let them dry. After they dried, the kids lightly glitter painted them as desired. If you do this, don't forget to poke the hole for the ribbon before drying. They are beautiful and we have received many compliments.
     
  14. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I have been doing TLC lessons with my kids this year. They are wonderful for fine motor and direction following. The kids made a wonderful Thanksgiving book that we sent home and the parents loved it. We have made Poinsetias (sorry about the spelling), a mennorah, and we will be making a reindeer and santa this week. They are really wonderful and so easy to follow. Check out their website http://www.tlclessons.com/about.php
    If you would like directions for these let me know.
    I will be making handprint calendars with the kiddos this week.
    I agree that the lead up to the Holidays is definitely a tricky time at school. I am planning on keeping them busy and not having much down time this upcoming week or so... UGH!
     
  15. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2008

    I'm being an over-achiever with the gift this year. I can't do much else at the moment. We brainstormed picture poses for each month, and then I'm going to take individual pictures of the kids in those poses (cupid costume/pose for February, Lepreuchan for March, etc.). Then each child will get a calendar of their pictures for each month. We made the backgrounds on Friday, and will take pictures on Monday.

    You can also get carpet squares from a local carpet store, and let students paint them with tempra paint. It dries and makes a wonderful doormat. Simply and fun!
     
  16. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2008

    There's always the applesauce and cinnamon ornaments. Or anything with food. How about making trail mix? Or dipped pretzels? Or even sorting and counting Christmas colored m and m's?

    Don't reinvent the wheel. Keep it as simple as possible.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Oh, and don't forget-there's no Christmas-ornament-making law. You don't HAVE to. You could have them do a community service project in their parents' names...
     
  18. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Personally, as a parent...

    I do want something my kids MADE. I would love a food gift too though, just not as the primary. There's something special about something a kid made with love and just has KID written all over it. It isn't perfect and it wasn't perfectly organized by the teacher. I would pick a glittered sequined CD over a poem the teacher printed out and the kids colored any day. Ornaments are nice because we keep up with them and remember them every year. I like photos but I think I've made too many of them in first grade to appreciate a popsicle stick picture frame anymore though I think they are probably well received.

    I'm gonna say this though...

    One year I didn't get a Mother's Day gift from my child because the teacher felt my child didn't complete his work in a timely manner. I will never forget that teacher. While I have the above preference, I've learned to appreciate ANY gift the teacher has organized for my child to complete.
     
  19. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Dec 14, 2008

    This year my K kids are working on a book. It has about 10 pages so I made a folder for each child to use for their pages. When they have free time they get a page from their folder to color. When they are finished we will spiral bind them.

    These type folders would be great for storing any type of project that will fit inside.
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    ecsmom, your comment reminded me of something I saw at my friends house. Her first grader made this little book, simple. It's a book of things he drew and the he wrote what each picture was about, in HIS writing, words misspelled and letters made backwards. It is the cutest thing I've ever seen. He drew pictures of his grampa's tractor and things like that. All kid made and so precious.
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    cutnglue, I agree about the "too many photo" gifts. I TOTALLY agree about keeping it simple. As a parent/grama, I would LOVE to get a CD with stuff glued all over it! Ornaments are easy and great. I still have the ornaments my son made in Kindergarten, ugly little star cut outs all glittered and sloppy paint. We treasure those kinds of things made by those little hands with love.
     
  22. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    We are doing the same thing with a 1-10 book- it has nothing to do with Christmas, but it really would work for any project that could go over a day and fit in a folder. It has really helped my kiddos stay organized!
     
  23. paola66

    paola66 Rookie

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    It's very difficult when the lesson plan requires "constructing" something.....It's possible survive if you think to something very simple...
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    The teacher I was subbing for expected 3 crafts in the last hour on top of the normal weather lesson. The class is only 35 minutes. I skipped the 3 crafts (emailed her ahead of time) and focused on finishing up the day's work. That's the only thing I didn't finish all week except 2 additional assignments for a kid that was constantly being pulled out.

    Umm...THREE crafts in a short time is a bit much when I don't know what I'm doing and there is no demo.
     
  25. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Wow. 1 craft in 35 minutes would be hard!!!
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I know that's why I was offended that she was upset we didn't finish everything. I decided she's hurting and it wasn't worth it. She'll figure it out soon enough when she comes back on Monday and has to do it herself.
     
  27. peggy27

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    Dec 14, 2008

    For next year, check out Oriental Trading. Our second grades buy the gingerbread ornament and use the stickie pictures from school pictures and put them on the ornament. They other teachers said it's easy and takes them about 5 minutes and looks great.
    I use to do cinnamon applesauce ornaments but they always broke and were a hassle.
    Go on mathwire.com and see if there are any glyphs or math games you could do with your class.
     
  28. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    peggy, the cinnamon/applesauce ornaments never break for me. They have to be made thick so they don't break. Just a thought.
     
  29. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Sarge, Festive Candle holders are VERY simple to make; here's a photo to look at:

    http://www.education.com/activity/article/tissuepapercandleholder_kindergarten/

    1. each student needs a small glass jar; baby food jar or jelly jar...

    2. precut pieces of colored tissue paper; preferably Christmas colors; cut them out while you watch TV ;)

    3. have each student "paint" the outside of their glass jar with glue; then the student glues pieces of tissue paper all over. do a final coat with glue...elmer's glue works just fine.

    4. let dry; add a little candle inside. You can also add ribbon around the neck of the jar.

    INSTANT CANDLE HOLDER!

    Or how about taking a picture of each student; have them wear a santa or elf hat from the dollar store. put in one of those instant frames from Michael's. Don't forget to use a 40% coupon from Sunday's paper.
    Parents love ANYTHING!
     
  30. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Dec 14, 2008

    The thumbprint wreath sounds easy.

    It's difficult... this time of year, we go through so much paint. Wednesday and Thursday are when we will be doing our ornaments, candles, and picture frames, but it will certainly not be all that easy because it takes so much time and work, even for fourth graders.
     
  31. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I go the easy way out and buy sets frame sets from oriental trading. I take the kids pic in front of the office tree & have them glue together the picture frame. As a matter of fact, a parent is coming in today to help me with it.
     
  32. Happy Chatter

    Happy Chatter Rookie

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    Dec 15, 2008

    I love any crafts....=)
    We have made xmas calendars using a computer drawing package. an Advent wreath using childrens green hand cut outs, mince pies..and pomanders from fresh oranges and cloves...my class smells and looks beautiful..

    -------------------------------------------
    http://pirates5.edublogs.org/
    http://mrscunningham.edublogs.org/
     
  33. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

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    Go easy on yourself....just make a Christmas ornament. There's no need to go overboard and make a gift that takes more than 1 day (unless of course you have to let glue or paint dry).

    I LOVE crafts, so we are having a blast this week making stuff!
    Parents love Christmas ornaments that they can hang on the tree and remember when their child was in 1st grade.
     
  34. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2008

    This is what I did...Reindeer ornaments/magnets(your choice)

    Materials:

    3 popscicle sticks
    2 googly eyes
    two pipe cleaners
    magnet or yarn(depending on your choice)
    small fuzz balls

    Students glue the sticks into a triangle and glue the googly eyes on each side.

    Students glue the fuzz ball on bottom corner.

    Students choose two pipe cleaners and twist around the top stick.

    You can take a picture and put it in the middle.


    I am also having them make a snowman ornament. You can use inexpensive ornaments, white paint(acrylic I think), and paint pens.

    You paint the students hand white and students place their hand on the ornament closing their hand over the ornament. Fingers are the snowmen and students use paint pens to decorate the snowmen.

    I did this last year with my first graders and they loved it!
     

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