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Monday, December 30, 2013

PreChristmas Rewind. . . I know I'm a Little Late!

One of the ways that we celebrate the Christmas holiday at our school is for the 2nd graders to decorate gingerbread people. (I always buy them in January when they are half off, then save them until the next year!)
First we read several gingerbread books, compare them, make a chart about them, and enjoy their differences. 

Then we draw a couple possibilities for what our gingerbread people could look like. They have to be creating a story in their heads while they are making it. This story will have their description, likes, dislikes, where they live, etc in it. 

The parents supply the candy and frosting for us. We always have too much and then we let them eat a "bit" of it when they are done.

 This little guy had a specific plan for his gingerbread and while borrowing from neighbors, 
he was able to get enough blues to make the overalls!
 We discussed what the gingerbread would look like if we just dumped stuff on top of it. And while Brenda's isn't a complete dump, you can see that it's hard to stop yourself once you get to decorating! 
I would probably have the same problem!
Then we take a picture of each child and their cookie. I will type their stories up and display these pictures with their stories. These class books are a hoot to read for this year and the following years too.

Early in December our students write letters to Santa. We teach them the skills needed to write a proper letter. They must include 3 things about themselves and ask 3 questions of Santa. These letters get published in our local newspaper so I want to be sure that they don't sound like gimme gimme gimme!

Our local businesses support the newspaper's efforts at this time of the year, by granting the wishes of some of the children. The teachers are asked to mark a couple students who could truly need some extra help this year. I happened to have 2 of my students who got to go to a special party and get some gifts. 
Our community rocks!

But meanwhile these same letters are sent off to SANTA. 
(promise you won't tell if I share where they really go?)

(I also send a biography sheet about each student that tells their favorites, siblings, birthdays, etc. The students don't know that I have sent these!)

We send them to the high school students in our Marriage and Parenting class or to the Creative Writing classes. These high school students are taught how to write letters also. But this time they need to write as if they were Santa. They don't promise to grant their wishes, but they say a lot of nice things. They'll include some of the extra information in the letters, and my students are amazed that Santa knew about these things! 
For example. . . I have one student who is always playing with his glasses. Santa mentioned that it was important to keep your glasses on your face. . . This student was SO Surprised that Santa knew about that!

Here are just a few of the pictures. 
They want everyone to read theirs and they read them over and over again!
Can you hear her saying "Ho HO HO?"

Then all by themselves they broke into song! It was so precious!

Now, if you are still hanging around, I have one final picture to share with you!

This is how my daughter and her husband shared with my family on Christmas Day about their new addition!
We were all very excited and giggly after this!

That's all for now! Come back tomorrow for a chance to win a freebie from me.



  1. Like your description of all the letter writing. And your one student's surprise that he is being watched!
    Congrats to your daughter & hubby.

  2. Those Santa letters are so wonderful!!!! What a special gift for your second graders. Happy New Year!

  3. What a CUTE way to announce a pregnancy!! Congrats to you and your daughter!

    Kate :)
    McDee's Busy Bees


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