What to Give Teachers for Christmas

I was recently approached by a friend (who’s got lots of kids in school and her husband is currently deployed, so she’s flying solo right now) who asked me what teachers really want from their students for Christmas. As we talked, we identified what resources people might or might not have (time, energy, money, creativity) that would factor into what gift they would give a teacher for Christmas. Our discussion seemed to end on the idea that teachers are people too so they don’t necessarily need a huge “Teachers Are the Best” T-shirt or a giant package of stickers.

I then asked my Facebook readership (mostly teachers) about this and they confirmed what I had discussed with my friend.  This main theme emerged from teachers: Treat us like regular people rather than teachers! (So, skip the “world’s best teacher” mug. She’s probably got a few of them already.)

I’ve combined those two ideas (varying resources from gift-givers and teachers being treated like regular people) and I’ve come up with some gift-giving advice for you:

 

If the resource you have is MONEY…

Give gift cards! Teachers love going out to eat, seeing a movie, adding to their personal music/media collection or splurging on something fun at the store. If you still want to give something teaching-related, my readers suggested a gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers. Unfortunately, gift cards don’t come on sale very often, so you probably won’t get a deal on them. But you will probably check it off your list the fastest by grabbing a gift card while you’re at the grocery store.

 

If the resource you have is TIME…

Spend time in your teacher’s classroom! I think I would die of joy if parents in my class had “gifted” me 2 hours of help in my classroom. Before, during, after school, it wouldn’t matter. I would ask them to help me grade/record papers, redo a bulletin board, sort supplies or books, or about a million other things. I think this could also apply to school things the teacher would otherwise have to bring home. For example, you could volunteer to take home some laminated things, cut them out for the teacher and then send them back to school with your student. Heck, one teacher friend of mine had a parent take home her electric pencil sharpener and the parent sharpened a hundred pencils for her at home! Unconventional gift, I know, but it saved my teacher friend so much time and sanity! This kind of gift might not cost much (maybe the cost of a babysitter?), but it will speak volumes about your appreciation!

 

If you want to save your teacher some time…

Give the teacher a prepaid car wash. You probably know how good it feels to have a clean car. And you probably also know the nagging feeling that you should just wash and vacuum out your dang car yourself, but you don’t have time (or energy)! Well, be the teacher’s hero and grab him a certificate for a car wash. It’s probably something they’ve been meaning to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Practical, simple and something they can actually use!!

 

If you’ve got a bunch of teachers on your list…

Give baked goods! Do I really need to say more? I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like a delicious goodie! Homemade or store-bought, it’ll be delicious. Just make sure you know if the teacher has any food allergies! (And don’t worry about making your presentation “Pinterest-worthy”. Most teachers don’t have time to make everything super fancy, so they don’t expect others to either.)

 

If you’re low on time and money…

Write a heartfelt note. Yes, you the parent. Kids give teacher notes all the time, but parents rarely do. Write down a note of appreciation telling them what you admire and appreciate about them as an individual and as a teacher. Consider telling them how your child has grown since they’ve been in the teacher’s classroom. Have your child draw a picture or make their own card to go with it.

 

Merry Christmas and happy gifting!!

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Christmas Classroom Door Ideas

I love how creative teachers are! I’m always impressed at the clever door decorations I see. Here are some of my favorites from my web-surfing this year!

 This is how you show you’re a trendy teacher!

 

This one seems like it would be one to laminate and reuse.
I just love the Peanuts Gang! They’re pretty timeless.

 

Just plain cute!

 

New perspective of a snowman! I love it! (If you’re not a math teacher, obviously, you can change the text to fit whatever subject you’re teaching!)

 

I found these on Pinterest, and sadly, my 4 favorites didn’t have good photo credits. If these images are yours, please email me and I’l post your photo credit! Merry Christmas!

 

Santa’s Elf Application (Writing Activity)

Santa's Elf STICKER

Kids crack me up. They say, write and do the silliest things! Here’s another opportunity to capture all that creativity. This writing activity asks kids to apply to be one of Santa’s elves. Be sure to give kids an opportunity to share their application with other students. Maybe have the kids collect “endorsements” from classmates (Have students write their name on the back of a classmate’s paper to indicate that the student shared it with them). Merry Christmas!

Click here for the free printable PDF: Santa’s Elf Application

Christmas Craft Projects for Kids

Ok, one more collection of fun and easy Christmas/holiday crafts for kids and then I’m done for the week! (It’s almost Christmas!!! Finally!). Check out these Pinterest (follow me!) gems:

Mitten Snowmen (source)


Paper Plate Snowman (source)


Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes (source)


Paper Punch Christmas Tree (source)

Christmas/Winter Crafts for Kids

Today, I’ve got more kids Christmas craft ideas for you! Check out more cool ideas I’ve discovered on Pinterest (follow me!). Happy crafting!

Whole Class Christmas Tree (source)


Northern Lights Pastels Project (source unknown?)


Pop Up 3D Christmas Tree Card (source)

Paper Poinsettias Christmas Craft

Poinsettia final STICKER

This is quick and easy paper Christmas/holiday craft was submitted by a lower grade teacher!  She loves doing this with all ages. I love how simple it is. It would be perfect to do after you read Tomie dePaola’s book, The Legend of the Poinsettia The book tells a Mexican legend of how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child. It’s perfect for a Christmas around the world unit! Anyway, here are the directions for the paper poinsettia craft:

Materials:  

  • 1 red square 9″ x 9″
  • 1 yellow square 2″ x 2″
  • 3 green strips 2″ x 9″
  • scissors
  • glue
  • pencil

Directions:

1.  Fold red paper in half.  Then open it open and fold it in half the other way.

Poinsettia 1

Poinsettia 2

2.  Round corners of yellow square.

Poinsettia 4

3.  Glue yellow square in center of red square.

Poinsettia 5

4.  Cut along the fold line until you get to the yellow.  Don’t cut into the yellow.

Poinsettia 6

5.  Curl the poinsettia ends with a pencil.

Poinsettia 7

Poinsettia 8

6.  Cut the ends of the green strips into a point.

Poinsettia 9 Poinsettia 10

7.  Glue the green strips to the back of the poinsettia.

Poinsettia 11 Poinsettia final

What are your favorite Christmas crafts for kids? Let me know in the comments below! Merry Christmas!

Holiday Synonyms and Antonyms Worksheet

Holiday syn-ant

Christmas is almost here!!! Yay! Check out this new page I made, using some of my favorite Squarehead cartoons from my dad. This one deals with one of my favorite language arts topics: synonyms and antonyms. Let me know what you think by commenting below!

Click here for the FREE PDF: Holiday Synonyms-Antonyms

Holiday Number Sequences Worksheet

Holiday Number Sequences STICKERCheck out my new Christmas/holiday number sequences worksheet for pre-K or kindergarten. The kids should write in the missing number from the sequence. No need for an answer key; all you need to do is count! And as always, it’s FREE! Merry Christmas!

Click here to download: Holiday Number Sequences – Reindeer