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I'm only kind of joking. I titled this episode this way because many of my students have come back to tell me, years later, that they remember doing this in our classroom and how much they loved it. I think it made an impression on them because it was not the typical holiday gift that they were used to receiving from their teachers.
I loved doing this for my students because it felt so much more meaningful to demonstrate how much I cared about them over the course of 12 days instead of the quick gift-opening that typically took place the last afternoon before they left for their winter or Christmas break.
Here's what we talk about inside this episode and how it works.
Whether you are teaching in-person or online:
1. Brainstorm 12 surprises you want to give to your students. For example, you might want to schedule a holiday dance party for your students (in-person or virtual), or plan for a surprise guest to read to your class! If you purchase my 12 Days of Holiday Gifts product on TpT (see below), I give you more than a dozen ideas to get you started. 😊
2. Schedule these 12 surprises into your calendar & planner. Be sure to number each one in your planner so you remember what you have planned for each day!
3. Decide how you would like to display these daily gifts. You might want to write each one on a piece of paper and place them in envelopes on a decorated tree, or strung across the front of your whiteboard using colorful ribbon and/or mini lights. Or, you might choose to use 12 small gift bags or gift boxes to place each of your 12 gifts in.
4. Create a "Surprise Gift" card for your daily schedule. This way, your students know when they can look forward to this special surprise from you each day.
5. Enjoy these 12 Days of Holiday Gifts with your students and make some memories they will never forget!
To make this easy-peasy for you, you might want to check out my two products inside my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I've included creative ideas for you to use with your students both for in-person teaching and for distance learning.
I hope you have a fabulous week, and remember: just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one!
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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