Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Time Capsule Family Activity

Are you having people over for the holidays or for a New Year's Eve celebration?  Or are you going somewhere to celebrate either of those occasions?  If so, this Time Capsule activity is for you!  Bring a bit of "Awwwww, cute!" to the party along with an appetizer or dessert and you'll be the hit of the night!!

Each year we have everyone over to our house for Christmas Eve.  We do a silly Dollar Store gift exchange, have a goofy ornament making contest, and order pizza.  Nothing fancy, just fun!  We also make a Family Time Capsule.  The best part is reading the sheets from the previous year and seeing how much we've changed!!  Fun, fun, fun!

Even though we create this on Christmas Eve, this activity could really be done at any time of the year (first day of school, 4th of July, birthday, etc.).  Just keep the envelops in a secret place and remember to open it on the same date the following year.  You could also save it for a certain day of the school year-invite family members in, serve light snacks and have them complete the time capsule together.

To get started...
Setting Up the Time Capsule Area

Gather some winter or holiday themed items and designate a table in your house for families to go to and complete their time capsule sheets.  Provide the sheets, fancy pencils, envelopes, glue sticks, a scale, and measuring tape and let the memory making go from there!   

Includes a directions page and:

Happy Memory Making!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Holiday Compliment Box

One year I was thinking about how much my students always *LOVE* passing out their Valentine's Day cards to their friends.  The excitement on their faces as they sit there and go through each and every sweet little note is priceless.  This got me thinking of a way to bring that joy to them at another time of the year.  That's when I started the Holiday Compliment Box activity in my class.

Here's how it goes...
Give each student a class list, a collection of compliment sheets (1 for every student besides themselves), and a take home letter explaining the project.  First, students are to decorate a small box (a shoe box, Kleenex box, etc.) at home.  Most students wrap it in wrapping paper.  Be sure they wrap it so it can be opened (be sure they don't wrap it shut).
Then, have them write why each classroom is a special gift to their class on the blank compliment sheets.  I usually do a couple in class first {secretly so the other students don't see who they're writing to!!}.  Then, the rest should be done at home.  I encourage students to do a few each night so they are not overwhelmed with cards to do the night before.  I tell the students that each compliment has to be specific, not just, "You are nice."  Going with the nice theme, one compliment could be, "It was so nice of you to help me when I fell and scraped my knee on the playground."

Next, it's time to pass them out!  This is by far the best part!!  The students place their decorated box on their desk and pass the notes out "Valentine's Day style".
Finally, it's time to sit down and read them.!  The looks on their faces are priceless.  They feel SOOOO special and feel really good about themselves!  It is so beautiful to see.  I hear comments such as, "I didn't know Johnny thought I was great at solving math problems!!"  Or, "I'm so happy that Emma thinks I'm a good friend to everyone around."
If you're interested in this file, you can find it on Teachers Pay Teachers by clicking here.  The file includes a parent letter, 2 options for the compliment cards, directions with pictures, and a reflection sheet for $2.

     Who would you compliment this holiday season?  What would you say to them?  The first 2 people    
           who comment will receive the file for free.  Be sure to leave your email in your comment!!