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[Past Newsletters]

  FrontLine Teaching
Published By ReadingLady.com
www.readinglady.com
readinglady@readinglady.com

December 15, 2001

Contents:

1)
Christmas Classroom Ideas
2) Funny Stuff
3) This & That
4) Holiday Greetings

Christmas Classroom Ideas

From Debbie in Duluth

This is a way of including any and all holiday traditions represented in your families. I invite family members to come and read a story that their family likes to read at this time of year. We've had quite a variety - secular Christmas, Christian Christmas, folk tales, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc.

Families sign up for a day to come, and most come at our regular read-aloud time, then stay for SSR. Siblings are welcome, too, and love to sit with the class. Some families bring a souvenir or something to go with the stories. My husband, for example, reads "The Clown of God" by Tomie dePaola, and juggles colored golf balls! A mother who read a legend about candy canes brought a small one for each child. Afterward, we each write thank you notes. It's wonderful practice in handwriting and letter format, and the authentic audience is very motivating!

From Michele Rankin, Pleasant Elementary, Marion, OH

One thing I do with my 2nd graders which is successful year after year is to have them apply for a job as one of Santa's elves.  I make up a "Help Wanted" ad, print it out on Christmas paper and then they respond by writing a letter to Santa answering the ad. (Letter writing is in our curriculum.)  They always get so excited. 
 
This year the ad read as follows:
 
Santa needs elves! Elves must be cute, under five feet tall, and look good in green.  They must love kids, toys, reindeer, and most of all...Christmas! Elves want to work hard. They always do their best, and help each other to succeed.
 
Positions are available in the following departments:  assembly (toy-making), toy testing, wrapping, sleigh-packing, and reindeer barn.
 
Please respond with your qualifications (why would you be a good elf?), and the department you would like to work in. Send your letters to:
 
S. Claus
2001 Kringle Lane
The North Pole
 
I always answer their letters with one letter to the class explaining that I (Santa) have just filled the last job opening, but I hope they will try again next year. I tell them how good their letters were and that I have sent an elf to leave them some presents..then they find a new pencil or little trinket on their desk each day until we break for Christmas. We always have fun with this, and their letters go up in the hall so parents and visitors can enjoy them.

From Jeanne Robbins, NorthStonington, CT

We have 3 first grades in our school and this year we decided to each come up with a craft.  We plan to have each class rotate through the three classrooms the last week before our December break. This way each child will bring home three different holiday crafts. (All of the children celebrate Christmas in their homes, if this was not the case the crafts would reflect less of a holiday theme.)

This year I plan to do a reindeer made with three painted tongue depressors, goggly eyes, one small pompom for the nose and two large pompoms for ear muffs to go on the top of the antlers and a ribbon glues from one antler to the other (the band for the ear muffs). This can be used as a tree ornament or a wall hanging. I used a glitter pen for the child to write his/her name.

From Ida Cabral, Grade 5 Teacher, Guiteras School, Bristol, RI 02809

I have the students make miniature "book covers" of their favorite holiday stories and use them to decorate a small artificial tree in the classroom. I also have them make a larger "book cover" to hang on the wall. Inside the large"bookcover" they write a paragraph telling why this is their favorite holiday story.

Funny Stuff

Yesterday, we were busy making ornaments with our entire K-2 [program, an annual event at school. I was helping a group to make a Santa out of a star shape, and one Kiddy said "Santa's neat, you know?" The child across the table stopped working on her ornament, looked up very seriously and said in a loud voice for all to hear, "Santas not neat. Santa's GREAT!" All the adult helpers just looked at each other and laughed as many other children voiced their agreement with her. So cute.

This & That

New Comprehension Strategy Posters

Just in time for Christmas we have produced a new set of Comprehension Strategy Posters just for you.

These posters are meant to be used to supplement your teaching of the strategies outlined in the books, Mosaic of Thought and Strategies that Work. They are intended to be used to provide a visual reference for your students and will serve as a quick reminder for them as they  read independently. Many students are visual learners, and as they say - a picture says a thousand words. Feel free to download and print these for use in  your classroom. They are available for use free of charge, but please be sure to mention that they came from this site. They can be printed on 8 1/2 by 11 paper, but can also be enlarged to create posters.

A Serious Question

We are seriously considering adding a Live Auction to our website.  It will be very similar to what you experience on E-Bay. The auction area would be dedicated to the auction of all school and teaching oriented things. You the user, would be the buyers and sellers.

The Question

Do you think an online auction section is a good idea for readinglady.com?

Would you look forward to participating?

Comments

Yes

No

Seasons Greetings

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for joining us at Readinglady.com and wish you the very best for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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