12.28.2011

classroom christmas party: gingerbread style

Merry {late} Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends!
I hope you are enjoying your winter break as much as I am.... isn't it wonderful?!

I know Christmas has come and gone, but I really wanted to tell you all about our classroom Christmas party.  It was so fun and I am definitely doing it next year. I also have amazing parent volunteers, so I didn't have to do a lot to get everything ready. My parent volunteers are the best!

For the party, each student invited a grandparent or special guest {we got neighbors, brothers, dads, moms... etc} to come to our classroom and decorate a gingerbread house. We sent out personal invitations and we had a great turn-out. 

Since I have to be organized and I need to be in control {I can't help it, I have to} I put up a little agenda on the white board. This schedule helped my students know what options they had when they finished an activity. I didn't want them saying... Ummmm I am not sure what to do next... You know what I mean? 
The party lasted just a little over an hour, and everyone kept busy the whole time.


This is my adorable niece with her daddy:


The best part about everyone having their own special guest, was the one-on-one attention each student got. This is especially helpful when decorating gingerbread houses. I couldn't have done it without all the adults. 
I didn't have to worry about the mess or anything!

A wonderful parent volunteer put all the houses together with a glue gun and graham crackers {my room mom}. She also divided up the candy ahead of time {that the students donated} and put them in baggies for the kids. Another mom made royal icing and put it in baggies, too. On the day of the party, everything was ready to go. It was totally stress FREE--which I love. I only had to worry about taking pictures! ;)


Most of my students used ALL of their candy. Seriously. 
On some of them, I couldn't see any sign of graham crackers!
They were so proud of their creations and I heard my students saying, "This is the BEST party ever!"


When they were done with their gingerbread house, they cleaned up {another bonus of having one-on-one attention from an adult} and played a few Christmas games. I could tell that my students felt important when they taught their special guest the rules and how to play each game. 


After the games, they got to read a Christmas story. This was probably my favorite part, which is saying a lot, because this whole party was fun. I just loved seeing them snuggle with their guests and read a book!


Another wonderful parent volunteer made *delicious* cookies and my sister donated punch. This whole party wouldn't have been possible without the parent volunteers-- like I already said, I am a lucky teacher!


I also had my gingerbread Sensty going... It smelled like we baked the gingerbread! Yum!


With the help of the special guests, my classroom went from super messy and crowded to clean and empty. 
The adults loved coming to school with their special student and they were more than happy to help out with everything. The only thing I love more than a clean house, is a clean classroom!


Since this party, I have had so much positive feedback about how fun this party was. Many grandparents didn't even want to leave when the party was over... they were enjoying themselves too much! 
I think the adults actually had more fun than the kids. 

This is definitely going to become a tradition in my classroom from now on!

To tie this party into the curriculum, we wrote the invitations and thank you cards {I took pictures of them at the party and they sent those with the thank you cards}. They also tracked who won the Christmas games on a data worksheet {math} and I snuck in reading time at the end when my students read to their special guest.
So... not only was this party super fun, but it was educational, too!

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On Another Side Note:
Santa brought me this Ipad 2 for Christmas! I can't wait to use it in my classroom next week. For those of you who use one in your classroom, I would love to hear how you use it and which apps you like. I have seen a lot of things on Pinterest and online, but I am not sure what is actually appropriate/useful for the classroom.


Have a good week, friends! :)

{BTW, I am working on a few units: Fractions & Valentine's Day Fun. I will try to get them out to you soon!}
 
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