Each year I try to give the students a holiday gift that is unique, fun, and low cost. One of my favorites is to make each student a CD of songs we sing in the classroom.
Several weeks before Christmas break during large group, I ask students what their favorite songs are. We then sing each child's selection using our interactive song book as I record the class singing on my computer. I put all the songs together on a CD and design a CD cover for it.
This is a great gift because often my students will hum or sing parts of songs we sing in the classroom at home. Parents will say "My child is singing part of a song but I can’t make out all the words to sing along". This classroom CD is a great way to build a bridge between home and school.
This year's CD is also going to have our "Getting Ready Song" on it. It is a song we use to help the students, get quiet and get their bodies ready to leave the classroom. Hopefully when the parents learn the words, they can use the same song for leaving the house or getting their children's attention for a specific activity at home. The song is sung to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song and it goes like this.
My hands are locked behind my back,
I am standing nice and tall,
My eyes are looking straight ahead,
I am ready (for the hall).
* We change 'for the hall' to a variety of things, to go home, to go out, etc. Although the end does not always rhyme, the rest of the song is so catchy. It really grabs the students' attention and tells them what they need to be doing.
This year I plan to redo the CD gift with an extra little twist. I found Christmas Song Board Books for a dollar last season that I plan on giving with the CDs, along with these red and green megaphones from Oriental Trading.