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CREATE HAPPY CLASSROOM HOLIDAYS


Welcome friends!

There's only one more day left in November, and then the season I love most will soon be upon us!  I'm here with this re-vamped post to share some favorite holiday traditions that transfer well to my classroom!



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



I can hardly wait until doorbells and sleigh bells will ring and 
schnitzel with noodles will be served!

Wait a minute.

Schnitzel with noodles?

I can't say that I've ever tried it.

But...

 Snickerdoodles are holiday favorites that I've taste-tested over and over again! The soft centers, the mix of sugar and cinnamon sprinkles and the crinkles on top, and the way they melt in your mouth when you eat them warm right out of the oven.  Such are the cookie memories of my childhood Christmas holidays!



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!




Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



During the month of December, I teach a unit about family traditions to my second graders.  We talk about how baking was something my family always did to herald the holidays.  Both my grandmother and my mother would bake a variety of sweet treats to share with other relatives, friends, and neighbors.  Our teachers would get platters of home-baked goodies, along with the mailman and newspaper carrier.  Simple gifts from the heart meant a lot and defined generosity not as the amount of money spent but as the amount of personal time, talent, and effort invested.  The saying, "It's the thought that counts!" rang very true throughout our small community.




Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



I then explain to my students that even though I was not blessed with baking skills that allow me to make cookies for friends and family, I instead try to thank those that mean the most to me with simple gifts and gestures every day.   That spending lots of money on the latest and greatest gadget isn't required to spread comfort and joy. 



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!


I share Dr. Seuss' classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and display this story quote above our writing center to help them brainstorm ways they can "light up" the lives of others with random acts of kindness and caring.

Maybe Christmas, perhaps...
didn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps...
means a little bit more!

I package the task cards and thematic templates I've created in
gift boxes or bags at our writing station, and encourage the children to think of words they can use or things that can do that will spread cheer and happiness to others.  I also share Shel Silverstein's powerful story, The Giving Tree,  to remind them that it is not what you get, but what you give, that will bring great rewards and personal satisfaction.




Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



We talk a lot about conducting random acts of courtesy and kindness and being "bucket-fillers" all year-round in my classroom, but the holidays are a good time to help young children focus on selfless instead of selfish acts.  Writing thank you notes to school staff, friends, and family members is a good way to help young children "pay it forward."  Collecting gently used hats, gloves, and blankets to donate to a homeless shelter or conducting a canned food drive are also two service projects that your class or your entire school could organize during the winter to help those less fortunate.



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!


Whatever you do to make the holidays a little more merry or bright for others, remember this excerpt from Francis Pharcellus Church's Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus....

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.  Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus!  It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.  There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.  We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight.  The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!




Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!



Also, give this song from Peter, Paul, and Mary a listen while you 
wish for peace, hope, and love,
and make the holidays a little bit brighter for someone else!



Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!
 


Bringing holiday traditions into your classroom is a great way to teach kindness and build classroom community!


Also, be sure to watch this video for how-to's on how to make
Snickerdoodles! 


Know that I wish you the best as we head into a season of sharing and giving!  

If you'd like to check out the holiday writing activities featured above, you will find the literacy pack in my TpT store 
{HERE}.  

Be sure to grab this great set of coordinating posters that you can display in your classroom all through the 
month of December!  You will find it 
{HERE}!  

























As always, may thank you for sharing my story.  Continue to hold a song in your heart and teach your children well!





 
Jennifer Reynolds
4 Comments
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4 comments:

  1. Jennifer, Your post resonates with me. My grandmother was always cooking and baking her yummy treats to give out to everyone. Everyone wanted to be at her house on Sundays because then they would be invited to the feast she called lunch. Every Sunday. Thank you so much for linking up with me.
    Take Care, Amy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My grandmother was a baker extraordinare, and her Ginger Crinkles took a close second to her Snickerdoodles! Thanks for commenting, Amy! May your days be merry and bright!

      Delete
  2. Love your ideas and products! Such great traditions and ways to celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind comments! They are appreciated!
      ~Jennifer

      Delete

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