Tradition #2- Holiday Cards

One of my favorite Christmas time traditions is preparing, addressing and mailing out Christmas cards to family and friends. It is also great to anticipate and receive the daily delivery of cards everyday when the postman arrives.  Sending someone a card to wish them well on the religious holiday they celebrate is meant as a happy greeting.

  • Christmas cards. Sending and receiving Christmas cards is a  way to communicate with our  friends and loved ones who live near and far letting them know that you are thinking of them and hoping for their best during the Christmas holiday season.        Within the United States of America, there are more than two billion Christmas cards  exchanged annually. Christmas is the number one card-selling holiday of the year. The phenomenon began around 1822 in America.  Cards are also being sent electronically in today’s world.  Nothing compares of a handwritten signature and note wishing happiness for the season and next year.
    • The first American to print and sell Christmas cards was Louis Prang of Roxbury, Massachusetts, who began publishing cards in 1875.
    • President Dwight D. Eisenhower is given credit for sending the first “official” Christmas card from the White House.                   
  • Hanukkah, Las  Posadas ,  and Kwanzaa Cards are also sent to friends and family as they celebrate in our classes.  Cards can be bought at many stores.  Hallmark Card Stores, e-cards, Shutterfly cards made on line, cards from Target, Wal-Mart, CVS and even grocery stores are places to purchase greeting cards throughout the year.

Being part of another’s celebration can only enhance your own.   People of any faith can marvel at the beauty of a Christmas service or midnight mass. The wisdom and customs of Kwanzaa can be uplifting to all.  An unfamiliar Hanukkah party can be a chance to bask in candlelight, eat delicious latkes and learn how to play dreidel.  If you’re invited to new celebrations, by all means go! Your presence will be a great show of respect to friends and/or extended family.

Our big, beautiful world is filled with variation in thought and customs. Embracing those differences doesn’t mean diluting your own treasured beliefs and traditions.  Celebrate and let celebrate! It’s all good—and we’re good, too, when we offer acceptance and tolerance.  Families and countries are a blend of many cultures and traditions.

We started receiving our Holiday Cards this week  from other schools with our Projects by Jen.  So far we’ve gotten one from New York, Missouri and Ontario, Canada.  The students get excited each time we open one.   Ours will be mailed out tomorrow when we finishing putting them together.  We have 60 cards heading out in the postal mail.   Who will be the first one to get one from us?   Where will the farthest one travel?


Celebrations Around the Globe



Students in Pre-K through 5th grade at Rocky River in Monroe, North Carolina learned about Holidays Around the World recently.  Take a walk through our hallways to see our learning and work.  Around the Globe from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa we found some similarities and many differences.    We compared them to our own celebrations.   Kindergartens learned about celebrations in the United States.  First graders learned about celebrations in Countries throughout Africa.  Second graders learned about celebrations in Australia and even had a chance to Skype with Upper Plenty in Australia to compare their celebrations with ours.  Third graders learned about celebrations in Europe, fourth graders studied Asian countries and fifth graders explored South American countries and celebrations in our annual Holidays Around the World focus.

Do you think it’s important to accept others values and beliefs even if they are different from yours?

What is your favorite celebration?


Connecting with 73 countries

This year we worked on being a part of a global world in our 2nd grade class room at Rocky River Elementary in Monroe, North Carolina.  We are 7 and 8 year olds that loved to explore and be curious about the world.

    • We blogged and Skyped with others around the world.
    • We made connections.
    • We had fun.
    • We learned about other people and places.
    • We collaborated.
    •  We communicated.
    • We were creative thinkers, problem solvers and users of web 2.0 tools.
    • We created Global notebooks to track our learning about the world.
    • We became more aware of maps and locations of countries around the globe.
    • We tracked visitors to our blog site.

We loved doing this each day and seeing how far away we were from goals we set.
 Our average this month is 30 with 23 in the past 24 hours.
We decided to try and draw the flags from the 73 countries that visited.
 With a piece of paper, ruler , pencil and crayons we created these flags to honor our visitors and to say THANK YOU for visiting.  We learned a lot from many of you about your country.