Recently I had the pleasure of being the “special visitor” for both my boys’ classrooms.
Sam’s preschool teacher invited all the parents to come share their professions or talents if it ties in with the class activities. Last month the classroom centers included farms and arts and crafts, so I volunteered to teach the children about sheep, wool, and knitting.
It was so much fun to be a part of their class! I brought in Amanda’s giant sheep to talk about the animals. I brought lots of roving to pass out and talk about colors, and showed them how it is carded and spun on my wheel. Then I showed them some projects I have made and talked about how sheep give us warm clothes.
I didn’t personally take any photos, but the next week I found myself on the bulletin board outside the classroom! Here’s a close-up of those (with overly-intense-face from me):
Today I came to speak to the whole first grade at Jack’s school about Christmas in Germany. They are doing a “holidays around the world” unit and the teachers solicited parents to come share if they had experiences. With my collection bolstered by my mom and sister’s Christkindlmarkt hoards, I had quite a lot to show! I talked about Germany in general, where and why I lived there, all the familiar traditions we get from Germany, and the ways they do things a little differently. At the end I had time to read the Brothers Grimm tale about the Shoemaker and the Elves. The teacher took some pictures and shared them on ClassDojo for me:
I brought in homemade Stollen and Bratapfel for the kids to try. I took a poll at the end and it was about 50-50, half thought it was yummy and half thought it was a little too weird. Personally, I’m loving the baked apples, which I made with this recipe. Sam got super brave and tried the vanilla custard (made from scratch because they don’t sell that kind of thing at King Soopers). He declared it delicious in a shocked voice. It’s sugar and eggs, boy – what did you expect? 🙂 Jack’s favorite is the stollen. He had two extra pieces as an after-school snack.
A special part of the project was collaborating with my long-time pen pal, Stefanie! We have been writing since the third grade, first on paper and then by email, writing a few times a year to tell each other about school, marriage, and now kids! She was very helpful in describing an authentic German Christmas. She also sent me pictures of her family to share.
The last thing, that I’m so pleased worked out, is we exchanged carols! I asked her to send me a video of her kids singing a German Christmas song for me to show the class. I received it last minute this morning!
I played these videos for the class while they snacked on baked treats. Then we recorded this message to send all the way around the world to Germany! I sent it to Steffi this afternoon. I hope her kids like seeing it!