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My humorous thoughts about life.

"My Humorous and Helpful Thoughts About Teaching / Educational Resources for Your Classroom / Music and Random Fun"

Sunday, November 14, 2021

My Favorite Christmas Activity in the Classroom

After thirty years in the gifted and talented classroom, I had a favorite activity each Christmas season that was so much fun for all! I would partner with a primary teacher who would have her students write letters to Santa, and my older kids would answer these. I know it is still November, but mail is slow to and from the North Pole, so I'd give this an early start!
Let's face it. There comes a time when kids stop believing in Santa and become a part of the secret. I found the best age to return letters is sixth grade and up. One year, I did this activity with fifth graders and got a horrible look on one young man's face that told me I was destroying a valued secret. 😢 I spoke to his mother who said, "It's about time!" Still, I felt horrible and never went below sixth grade after that.
I also found that first grade is the ideal age for the letter writers. The kindergarten letters are pretty much illegible, but the third grade up crew have several non-believers. Second grade is kinda a toss-up in terms of nonbelievers, but may also work.
The best of the best is to pair siblings together or kids that know each other. When my son was in sixth grade, he was in my class and his littlest sister was in first. He wrote, "Be nice to your brother and sister . . . especially Daniel." 😂😂
If you can tap into a pair that know each other, the letter gets very personal and fun. I also got the first-grade teacher to spill the juice on kids who we didn't know. I heard that the first graders were in shock at how Santa knew so much. The older kids had a blast writing letters from Santa!
However, a couple of ground rules are important. Do not promise anything that the parent has not given you permission to say! This is especially true for puppies. 😂😂 I remember a young child asking for a puppy and Santa's reply. "We don't have any puppies at the North Pole. How about a polar bear?"
The final bit of fun takes a little money out of the teacher's pocket. I mean face it, what doesn't? I used to buy peppermint sticks and staple them to each letter. Of course, candy is optional but adds to the enjoyment.
If you decide to write letters have fun and drop me a line telling me how it went. I'd love to hear from you.
I have also posted two new Christmas logic puzzles and am working on a third. Christmas Logic Puzzles for 4th - 6th grade are 1/2 off until tomorrow.
I also just posted a High School Christmas Logic Puzzle for 20% off. I typically will not sell resources for under a dollar and am not even sure TpT will let me.
I am currently working on a Primary Christmas Critical Thinking Activities Pack for 1st - 3rd, which should be in my store soon. It will also start at 1/2 price for a limited time, so please make sure you follow my store to receive notification for when it goes on sale.
If your kids do not fit in these exact grade categories, these resources might still work for them. After all, you know your kids best. The previews are pretty extensive and should give you a good idea of what is inside.
Also, a quick apology to the high school teachers for not making multiple puzzle packs like for the younger kids. Let's face it, creating the rigour appropriate for high school can be tough. I do my best. Hopefully, one day I will have a high school puzzle for each season/holiday and will create a bundle that way. Just like the letters, I make no promises because who knows whether or not Santa can deliver. 😂 After all, the most recent puzzle had to be proofed multiple times because I kept getting a different answer. My rule of thumb is that if a puzzle doesn't make me sweat, at least a little, it's not difficult enough for high school.
Have a great rest of the weekend and please keep your headaches to a minimum as you teach during the holiday season. I remember how tough it was. (((HUGS)))
Joyce Catch My Products The Gifted Department Store
Thanks to Blame it on The Weekend for the photos.