May Your Students Be Merry and Bright {Kim from For a Love of Teaching}

Hello again!  It's Kim from For a Love of Teaching, and I'm so excited to share with you today one of my favorite ways to keep students MERRY and BRIGHT during the holiday season!

During the month of December I encourage my students to practice random acts of kindness not only in the classroom, but also outside of school.  I give them a 25 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Calendar.

I have students keep the calendar in their 3-ring binder that goes back and forth with them from home to school each day.  Most acts of kindness on my calendar can be accomplished without an adult, so I don't allow any excuses for not trying! :)  I have students place a red X over each day they performed that particular act of kindness. During the month of December we have a contest to see who can get the most red X's on their calendar.  When we come back to school in January, we share our calendars. Those students with the most red X's win a prize (usually a trip to the treasure box or their choice of 2 classroom coupons).  Most students really get excited about this project!  They compete against each other to win - while at the same time learning a valuable character lesson in "kindness" and "Paying it Forward."  I also teach a kindness lesson from my Character Education in the Classroom unit which ties in nicely with this project.  It can be found here

Along with this challenge, I provide my students with "You've Been Racked" gift tags.  I encourage my students to put them on any gift, letter or special treat they give someone during the month of December.  I usually give students 2-3 tags to start with, then I leave a bunch of these in a basket for students to pick up when they need one.  I also love to make Christmas crafts with my students.  We typically make ornaments, door hangers, picture keepsakes, etc.  I use these tags to place on our finished products, because they are usually going to be given to a family member, a.k.a Mom or Dad. :)  

After I introduce the 25 Random Acts of Kindness calendar and ways to use the "You've Been Racked" gift tags, I have my students make a Stocking Stuffer craft.  They each color 2 stockings, place their name at the top, and cut them out.  We place the stockings back-to-back and staple closely around the edge - leaving the top open. Then, we place them on a bulletin board or our classroom door.  I made compliment cards for students to use as they write a kind compliment to each student in our classroom. I distribute the compliment cards to students (each student gets as many compliment cards as there are students in the classroom - not including themselves).  After they have written a compliment to each student, they secretly stuff each other's stockings!
  

Afterwards, they can place a red X over Day 1 on their calendar!

I leave the compliment cards in a basket in the room, so students can stuff stockings throughout the whole month of December.  No one is allowed to read their compliments until right before we leave for Christmas break.  During the last week of school before break, we have a little party and read our notes of kindness!  


Students LOVE this and can't wait to read what their friends have written to them!  It's also fun to make a stocking for yourself and add to the mix.  Students love stuffing their teacher's stocking with compliments!  (They are fun to read, too!) :)


One more thing before I go!  This activity ties in perfectly with the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud.  An activity for it is included in my Character Education in the Classroom Unit on Kindness.


I hope you enjoyed my ideas for keeping students MERRY & BRIGHT during the holidays!  If you would like to challenge your students with the 24 Random Acts of Christmas Kindness, grab my free calendar here!  You can find the complete product with my calendar and stocking stuffer craft AND my Character Education the Classroom: Kindness printables in my store!  Click on the images below for a direct link.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. This is so sweet! I love how you combined Bucket Fillers with the Holiday season. And thanks for the 25 Days of Christmas Kindness Calendar, I will be saving this for the future for sure!

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