Have you ever noticed around this time of year that your classroom supplies dip low? Well, last year I came up with an idea that I thought probably would not work, but it actually worked out beautifully! I sat down and constructed a list of items that my classroom needed to run for the remainder of the year (i.e. glue sticks, crayons, construction paper, labels, printer cartridges, markers and such). I then cut up the wish list into strips and put them into a bowl so that the kids can draw an item from the bowl. After they have drawn an item, I send a note home explaining the process to the parents along with the item that their child had drawn earlier that day. I usually have them bring in their gifts as soon as possible and bring in extras just in case someone forgets theirs (you do not want any child to go without). I then ask that no matter how many items they bring they need to wrap them up in one box. Otherwise, children will want to know why they have more to open. On the day of the party, I call each child by name to sit in the share chair and open their gift. Once they open their gift, all the children give a round of applause and say thank you for contributing to our classroom. THEY LOVE THIS! The kids feel like they are doing something and they really ARE! Last year a little girl brought in wiggle eyes and every time I got them out to use them they would say "Oh these are from Emily! Thank you Emily!" That kind of thing went on for the remainder of the year and it relieved me of having to go out and purchase things with my own money. I realize that this may not be a "FUN" gift, but the kids have fun. I feel that children get SO MUCH for Christmas and a $5-$10 gift does not seem to go far these days and most of the time ends up in the back seat of the car before you even get into the garage. So, this benefits everyone. Trust me- it's been fabulous the past two years! I'll upload pictures from my party on Monday! Click here for the note home to parents explaining the process (as this can be the most difficult to explain). MERRY CHRISTMAS!