Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas in the Classroom!

Christmas in 2nd grade is always an adventure!  I have been teaching for 15 years and have my set traditions, but I also throw in some new fun every year to spice things up!

Every year, I always have my students watch the traditional movies like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. This year my school decided to have Polar Express Day!  The kids loved it!  My teammate and I loved it! (We actually made it more like a Polar Express week!)  Here are my students, in their PJs, waiting for the movie to start.
Each year, it has been a tradition to make our yearly ornaments that my students take home to place on their trees.  My students create a felt Christmas tree and a mock stained glass ornament that can be hung on the tree on in a window.
I cut trees out of green felt and hot glue ribbon to the top.  I also hot glue a popsicle stick to it and add each child's name and year with a sharpie marker.
I always set up my ornament stations during one of our Christmas movies and have three or four students create their ornaments at a time.  I use paper plates to put out assorted shiny little ornaments and sequins that can be found at any craft store.  I actually purchased a large bag fifteen years ago and am still using the same bag!  A bag of these will go a long way!  I have assorted colors of glitter and each child will need regular glue. 

When the children come to me, I add glue and their choice of glitter to the tree.  I use old cool whip containers for this.  And then the decorating begins! 
The students place their trees on a table to dry overnight and then they go home in their ornament bag for Holiday Break.  Their ornament bag is usually a white lunch bag  with their name on it.  I glue a cute cut-out tree or ornament to it before it goes home.  Any small goodies they may receive also gets placed in the bag.

The mock stained glass ornaments are printed on old overhead sheets. Luckily, my school still has boxes of the old sheets so I am able to get these for free.  I copy the pattern onto the sheets putting the sheets through the bypass tray on the copy machine.  Then I lay them on the table for the children to choose one.  I have old patterns I have been using for fifteen years, but this year I was able to introduce some new patterns thanks to From the Pond who has a product called Christmas Window Art.  So my kids could choose from both. Once they choose, your kids will need sharpie markers to draw with. When complete the teacher just cuts them out, punches a hole, and adds some yarn or ribbon.  They look awesome hung on a tree with the Christmas lights behind them!

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