Student Christmas Gifts

The conversation has increased lately both online and at my school from teachers who are discussing, ‘What should I get the students in my class for Christmas?’

Now most teachers want to get their student something nice for Christmas but with 26, even 31 students per class sometimes that’s just too expensive.

So I wanted to share with you what I’ve done this year. It takes a little bit of preparation and you need to be super SUPER organised. By that, I mean getting organised in February. What?? February??? Yep February! This is how I do it.

Three words – Scholastic. Book. Club. As a child, I LOVED getting the Scholastic Book Club delivered to our classroom. I would pore over the pages for hours, circling the ones I wanted, then coming back to it a few hours later just to make sure I’d made the right choices. My Mum would let me pick 2 things and I would wait patiently for the delivery to arrive. Oh Happy Days!!! Now as a Teacher, there’s a special Teacher only catalogue! Seriously, I’m not joking – I still get really excited about the catalogues and their super specials. Any, I digress (Sorry I get so excited about books and the Scholastic Catalogues!)

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In February, the Scholastic Book Club has these amazing deals in the Teacher Bookstore catalogues. At the beginning of the year, they have these amazing packs – 20 books for $20. Now you might think that for a student to receive a book isn’t overly exciting but all my students love books as much as I do. I guess my enthusiasm rubs off! Some of my students aren’t lucky enough to have many books at home, so for me to give them a book at the end of the year that tailored perfectly for their reading wants is perfect. How do I know in February what my students reading preferences / levels are? You know what, I don’t. That’s the beauty of the Book Club pack – the variety is so huge there is always one to suit every student! To get 20 books for $20, that’s only a dollar a book, how ridiculously cheap is that? Quite often I get the books and they still have the price tag on the back of $15.99 or $18.99. You can’t beat that! And at the bargain price of 20 brand-new books, for $20, I often buy multiple packs and then the ones that I don’t designate for students for gifts go straight into my classroom library.

Once I have the books and make sure that for each student I write a personalised message on the inside first page of the book before I wrapped. That way whenever the student opens it, they know it’s from me and they know that I cared enough to go above and beyond to get them a book that I knew that they would like enjoy and read.

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When I was in Primary School, my parents always encouraged reading, and that’s probably where my increased love of books came from. However, not all kids are that lucky these days to have a steady supply of their own reading materials.  For only $1 per student, you could even add a little something extra to it if you wish.


Just something to put in the back of your mind ready for the new school year.




Wrapped, boxed and ready to be given out!



Merry Christmas!




Lest We Forget

It was interesting (and a bit sad!) to me this last week as I talked with numerous classes about the upcoming Remembrance Day this Friday (November 11th), that many students confused Remembrance Day with ANZAC Day. It then occurred to me – if students get confused, how many teachers truly understand the difference? We all know that both days are special days of reverence and importance – but do YOU know the difference? After I’d explained it to multiple classes, I had one teacher tell me that they were previously confused too. Here’s a quick explanation to help clarify any misconceptions for you and your students….

ANZAC Day – Celebrated on April 25th, it is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations (including those currently serving).

Remembrance Day – is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth Nations to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Originally called Armistice Day to commemorate when the armistice (truce) was signed at the end of World War 1 in 1918 “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, it was renamed Remembrance Day after World War 2 to acknowledge those who lost their lives in all wars, not just World War 1. It is not a public holiday in Australia and is often overshadowed by ANZAC Day.

In the United States, Veterans Day is observed on 11 November, and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states.

Other countries around the world celebrate their special day of memory at various times throughout the year, not necessarily on November 11th.

I have created a few free resources to compliment your studies of Remembrance Day. I hope you and your students find them useful.

free-animals-in-war-timefree-diy-display-series-remembrance-day    free-red-poppies-papers