“I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.”
Holiday celebrations are such a big part of first grade. It seems there is at least one celebration each month.
At the beginning of February, we predict whether or not the groundhog will see his or her shadow.
February also brings Valentine’s Day. I can still remember preparing for Valentine’s Day when I was in elementary school. I remember creating the little box to hold the cards, lovingly addressing the cards to each of my classmates, and the excitement of opening cards on Valentine’s Day.
Not much has changed with the preparations or the
excitement associated with Valentine’s Day since I was a first grader.
In my classroom, instead of decorating shoeboxes to keep our cards, my students sew together two posterboard hearts to create a holder for their Valentine cards and goodies.
Many of our instructional activities are based upon the theme of Valentine’s Day.
Another big “holiday” event recognized at our school is the 100th Day of School. Students celebrate by creating projects that represent 100 in some way, dress up as 100 year old people, assemble 100 piece puzzles, wear 100th Day Hats and count many objects to form sets of 100.
In March, first graders are excited about St. Patrick’s Day. Many classrooms are visited by leprechauns causing mischief. In my classroom, we have a green tasting which allows us to try many different green foods. We then create a graph of our favorite green foods. Children enjoy looking for four-leaf clovers while outside on the playground. It is amazing how many of my of them students actually found one last year.
We always have an egg hunt in the spring. Students make their bunny baskets in preparation for the hunt.
Parents send in colorful eggs filled with treats for the students to find.
It takes parent helpers about a half an hour to hide the eggs. It seems to take a fraction of a second for energetic first graders to find them.
I am savoring my last few years of celebrating these holidays in this manner. Being with my six and seven-year-olds during these holiday celebrations has certainly allowed me to stay young in my anticipation, preparation, participation, and expectation of the next holiday event.
Wishing all a Happy Valentine’s Day!