I want to send home a literacy bag that will stay one night with each of my children. I want the parents to read The Polar Express to my students and maybe have 1 writing activity and 1 or 2 other activities (not worksheets) to do. I will have to send it out next week if I want to get it completed by Christmas! Thanks for any and all ideas!
I don't do a Polar Express bag, but we have a Polar Express Day. The kids wear their jammies to school, we eat hot cocoa and cookies, I set the classroom up like a train (they get a ticket to get on the train), and we read the book and watch the movie (compare and contrast the two), I also have a few literacy centers that we do along with the other activities. At the end of the day I give them a bell. You might want to put a bell in with it.
I also do a Polar Express activity the last day before Christmas break. When the kids are at recess, I set the chairs up "train" fashion, turn out the lights except the many strands of holiday lights I have up, and I put on my conductor hat. I have meanwhile been heating hot chocolate in a pot in the classroom, and as the kids come in, I give them a ticket and have them take a seat in the "train." I blow my train whistle, yell "All Aboard the Polar Express" and start punching their tickets. Then I serve everyone hot chocolate and read the story book with a flashlight (it helps to have an older student or an adult helper to point the flashlight so the kids can see the pictures). Kids that I had YEARS ago still talk about it, and as other classes walk by my room that day, they're all complaining that they wish they could still do the Polar Express!
Wow! I've never done The Polar Express Take Home Bag (I do do Holidays Around the World) but I LOVE the idea of each child taking home the book everyday and doing an activity with his or her parent. Do you think it's too much to send home a "care package" and directions to make the reindeer with the book?
I was hoping I could send home something more for the parents like a question guide of some sort. Does anyone have anything like that by any chance?
Our kindergarten classes are doing a Polar Express day this year...but in the bag you could include a hot chocolate packet. You could create a Christmas memory game using clipart with either tickets or cocoa mug shapes for the cards. You could give a set amount of bells or tickets and have the students create addition or subtraction sentences with them. You could have a journal and have the students write about their favorite Christmas present.
Love the hot chocolate packet idea! (and it's cheaper and more cozy!) Also love the idea of making addition and/or subtraction problems with clip art. A reply above has a graph activity with Polar Express Clip art that could easily be used to do this! THANKS!!!!
I think it would make for a very special experience if they got to read it at home with their parents and THEN you did the polar express day once everyone has had a chance to get the bag. Repeated interactions with books always allow for a deeper understanding and it is also a way to pull the parents in.
Have to agree with BookMuncher. If I had the opportunity to invite parents in, I would send home the story with each of the students and then, have a gathering afterwards - like a celebration kind of thing.
I wish I had that kind of environment I could do that with. I have very little parent involvement this year. I know it sounds horrible but I don't want to take any more time away from my family if I don't think I will get a decent showing from the parents in my class. I have 4 year old twins and I live 1 hour from where I work so it is incredibly difficult to do anything at night or before school.
I still would like to send Polar Express home with the kids and send home a project with them to do with their parents (for those who do it). If I get a good response, maybe I'll be persuaded to change my mind.
Out of 20 students I only had 8 parents show up for meet the teacher night, so imagine how they are about other things! No supplies, no helping with homework, no book orders. It has been a tough year. I think that is why I would like to give them something to do with their children!