Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Holidays from Room 4: Crafting, Gifting, and More!

December was an ultra busy month for us. Looking back, I wish I could extend it (without losing any vacation days, of course).

Check out some of the crafting from our month of holiday cheer:

My coworker at Confessions of a Multi-Tasker made our cutesy holiday bulletin board. The icicles are tissue paper and the snowflakes were foam shapes from the Dollar Tree!

Each student also made a stocking using construction paper, scissors, and glue.

Marble Painted Christmas Trees

Students folded green paper in half and made zig-zag cuts. Once unfolded, students rolled marbles covered with (thinned down) black paint across to make "string" for the tree's lights. Finally, we added a star and a trunk, as well as thumbprint "lights."

This bulletin board is mounted in our "break area." We use it to display some student work relative to our current theme.

What crafts did your kiddos (at home or at school) do for December?

We started planning holiday gifts for parents during Thanksgiving break. In hindsight, this was just enough time to get the job done. We decided on a few different gifts including personalized Handprint Calendars and a hand-selected gift on our CBI shopping trip.

Of course I'll give credit where credit is due. After stumbling on a handprint calendar by G Whiz Teacher, it was deemed a must-make gift timed perfectly for 2014! I did make a few changes, though. Each child created all 12-months for the 2014 calendar, as well as a cover that consisted of their handprints. (*Note: The calendar pictured was one of a few extras I made as a "compilation" of student work that was later gifted to staff members.) I think the best part was making the calendar with each student and hearing some of the dialogue:

"Wow! Uh huh.. a spider!"
"We use 'lots of colors to make a turkey."
"Three white for the snowman."

Cover of Calendar
(Student Handprints or Holiday Message)

January Artwork

February Artwork

March Artwork

April Artwork

May Artwork

June Artwork

July Artwork

August Artwork

September Artwork

October Artwork

November Artwork

December Artwork
(Christmas Tree)

I'll admit it was a bit of work but, in general, the kiddos loved it! They were excited to see what they would paint on each page. Each month also has a corresponding poem printed at the top. December's poem was as follows:
"Here's a little holiday tree,
With lights so shiny and bright.
A star goes on top just in time
For a special winter night."

There are also plenty of ways to incorporate academics into the calendar. Some examples include asking students to:
  • Label the holidays and important days on the calendar months
  • Select stickers or embellishments appropriate to each month
  • Decorate pages according to theme
  • Fill in calendar dates

I hope the calendars are a gift parents will use all year. One parent already wrote back a note saying it was a gift they will cherish forever... It feels great to know our hard work was appreciated!

For full directions, download a copy of my 2014 Handprint Calendar in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. It includes a few extras that will (hopefully) make the handprint calendar process a bit easier!

BONUS: My 2014 Handprint Calendar is FREE THROUGH FRIDAY 1/3/14! That's right. Consider it a late holiday present! ;)

Happy Teaching!
Kortnie C.

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