Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: December 2018

G Rated Holiday Movies for the Classroom

Are you coming down to the end of your first semester? Do you wrap up your semester with parties or rewards for your class?

Many teachers are searching the Not So Wimpy Teacher Facebook groups for advice on movies that they can show their classes as a reward at the end of the semester. All of the movies suggested below are rated G. The majority of these movies are holiday related. However, I did include a movie that is winter themed in case you have children that do not celebrate the holidays.

(If you click on the title of the movie, it will take you to Amazon where you can read more about it.)

Santa Buddies

You can't go wrong with movies about adorable puppies! In this movie, the Christmas magic is beginning to disappear, and it's up to the puppies to save Christmas. Students will learn lessons of being kind, taking responsibility for their actions, and thinking about and caring for others. You could also show The Search for Santa Paws, which is another movie from the Buddies series. 

Annabelle's Wish

This animated holiday story is about a calf and a young boy who exchange their Christmas wishes. Students will learn about friendship in this movie.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

How about a version of the original Christmas Carol? This would be a great choice to teach children how Scrooge learns how to be generous and caring to others. 

The Polar Express

This instant classic teaches children about believing and the true meaning of friendship. Pair this movie with the picture book, pajamas, and some hot chocolate for the perfect day.

If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie

This Amazon Original movie is inspired by the picture book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you are looking for a quick movie, this one is only 30 minutes. In this story, Mouse and his human friend Oliver, are preparing for Christmas. Mouse gets a little distracted and causes some problems along the way. With some help from his friends, he's able to fix the problems and learns about friendship and forgiveness.  

The Snowy Day

This is another Amazon Original animated movie based off the original picture book. Students are exposed to holiday traditions from different cultures including Hanukkah. They also learn about foods that other cultures share such as tamales and Asian noodles. 


This is a good choice if you are looking for a winter-themed movie that is not based on the holidays. Balto is an animated movie based on the true story of rural Alaskan kids with a serious illness. Students will learn how dogs helped rural Alaskan communities.

I hope that you and your students enjoy your holiday movie day! Merry Christmas!

Student Christmas Gifts for Parents

Crafts that students can make to give to their parents as a holiday gift!

The holidays have arrived and many teachers are busy searching the internet and the Not So Wimpy Teacher Facebook groups for unique and easy presents that their students can make for their parents. 

I thought I'd gather and share a few of my favorite ideas I have seen in the groups. They are all simple and don't cost a lot of money. There is even a freebie at the end!!! 

Plus, none of these ideas require glitter. That's important. #sanitysaver

Canvas Art

I love this idea shown on Pinterest by Ragzz Custom Apparel and Gifts.

Many teachers purchase 5x7 canvas panels from Amazon for this project. Students use a sharpie to write out their message and make fingerprints for the lightbulbs.

You could also do the same project on white ceramic tiles that you purchase from Home Depot (use ceramic paint for the lightbulbs and felt-tip marker for the string).

You could even complete the same project on a plastic ornament as well.

Students could have a choice what to write. They could write love, peace, faith, or even Noel. There are many varieties of words or phrases that would make this gift unique.

Laminated Photo Snow Globe Ornaments

These ornaments by Crafty Morning, would be fun for your students to make! Parents will love seeing their kiddo's picture on the tree year after year. 

I suggest taking pictures of your students as they arrive in the morning, while they are bundled up already in warm clothes. It will make the picture look realistic. 

You will also need laminating pages, card stock, a snow globe template, white acrylic paint, glitter (TOTALLY OPTIONAL), double-sided tape, and twine or ribbon.  

Check out this post for a list of detailed directions. 

Reindeer Ornaments

These reindeer ornaments done by Crystal, at littlebitfunky.com, are super cute and very simple to make. All you need is a little acrylic paint, bulbs (matte-finish bulbs are suggested), and a black sharpie. Check out this blog for a list of easy directions.

Mason Jar Lid Ornaments

I have seen many ornaments made with the lids from Mason jars, such as painted snowmen and fingerprint reindeer. My favorite, however, is this project that was shared in the Not So Wimpy Fourth Grade Teachers' Facebook group by Wanda Roberts.

I love the fine-motor practice students get from making this ornament.

All you need to prep is red and green yarn cut into about 5 inch pieces and pictures of your students. The students get to complete the task of tying the yarn around the ring of the lid in alternating colors. After glueing their picture to the bottom of the seal, push the seal into the ring and your ornament is complete!

Time Capsule Ornaments

I love this idea so much from The Chaos and The Clutter blog, that I plan on doing it with my own children this year!

All you need to complete this project is holiday scrapbook paper, ribbon, clear ornaments, and a permanent paint pen.

Cut the scrapbook paper into strips and have your students write their favorite memories from the year across the strips in pen. They will be so fun to open up and read in future years!

You can find detailed directions here.

Snowman Wood Slice Ornaments

This snowman ornament made by the Easy Peasy and Fun blog, is so easy and very inexpensive.

For this project you will need wood slices, white acrylic paint, permanent markers, and a string to hang it with.

One year, I went to my local tree stand and asked them if they would donate wood slices to my classroom. If you can't get any from a tree stand, you can likely find these at craft stores with the hole already drilled.

You can find detailed directions here.


Student drawing are always a favorite of parents. This calendar can be the perfect keepsake with drawings done by your students.

All you need is the calendar template and some crayons or color pencils. You will need access to some sort of binding machine.

Best news? It's a FREE template from Not So Wimpy Teacher. Click HERE to grab it.

Crafts that students can make to give to their parents as a holiday gift!

I hope these ideas have been helpful for you and saved you time during this busy time of year!

Have a Not So Wimpy day!

Classroom Holiday Party Ideas

Four Christmas party themes for the classroom!

The holiday season is upon us and teachers in my Facebook groups are stating to plan their classroom holiday parties. I thought I would share some of my favorite Christmas classroom party ideas.

I want to start with a warning. I love throwing parties. I love themes. Planning these fun activities was therapeutic to me. So don't look at these ideas and get overwhelemed. Choose the bits and pieces that sound the easiest for you to manage. 

Give yourself some grace. Your students will have fun even if it is not the party of the century! You will be making memories and that will mean the world to them.

Click on the photos below to get tons of food, crafts, activities and book ideas for each theme.

1. Holidays Around the World

I love this theme because it's super educational. Students are able to learn about geography, history and culture. But the food and crafts make it super fun!

Food, books and activities for a Holidays Around the World classroom celebration

2. Reindeer

I love a reindeer themed party because there are tons of adorable crafts and snacks for this theme! Plus, I generally found that very few of my third graders had ever had a reindeer themed party before. It was unique.  

Ideas for a reindeer themed holiday classroom party

3. Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread men is another unique party theme! This theme is super fun because you can include tons of cute books. 

Ideas for a gingerbread themed Christmas party in the classroom

4. Snowmen

I live in Phoenix, so many of my students have never even seen snow. That makes this theme extra exciting for them. The best part for me is that this theme works well for those classrooms or students who cannot celebrate the holidays. It feels like a Christmas party to most of my students, but Christmas is never mentioned! 

Ideas for a snow themed holiday party in the classroom

I hope these ideas get you super pumped to plan your class party and save you some time researching craft and food ideas!

Four Christmas party themes for the classroom!

Have a Not So Wimpy day!