Torn Paper Santas

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April over at Chalk Talk asked about the torn paper Santa”Ho Ho Ho” bulletin board seen here.  They are super cute…and the kids have a great time making them.  I do have to admit, I have made them enough times in the past to know what parts are easier for me to do ahead of time and what parts the kids are really good at doing (depending on the class…etc)  My directions in the freebie are what I do…in First Grade…with the class I have this year.  You can follow these directions, or have your kids do everything from start to finish…  
 Click on the picture above or here to get your freebie!
I know I may sound a little cuckoo, but I have had it pointed out to me that maybe I am not being clear enough when I give directions for my crafts….or that maybe it is cheating to do some of it ahead of time.  I disagree.  I give my students TONS (literally…well, maybe not literally…but you know what I mean) of opportunities to express their creativity.  I am NOT the teacher in
(great book by Tomie DePaola) who won’t let kids make a pilgrim how they want to.   I provide both.  They do their own thing, create freely all the time.  And then there are times when I have a specific pattern I want to use, and I will cut out parts of it or assemble a section of it beforehand…whether it is to save time or to lessen frustration levels.  I may have a parent volunteer to help also.  Once the item is created, I give my students an example of what they can do…but they are free to create a face or details as they wish.  You can look at the items my students create and see some things that are somewhat consistent…and then lots of details that aren’t.  For example, the pilgrim and elf patterns that I sell on TPT and Teachers Notebook, give a pattern that is relatively easy for kids to handle, except for the hair (specifically the girl’s long hair) … with that particular part, I assemble the hair with the head ahead of time…it saves time and the kids do everything else.  If I taught a higher grade level or depending on the ability level of my kids, I may not do that.  I hope you all understand what I am trying to say.  No matter what pattern or craft I may do, I always adapt it or make it what it needs to be in order to fit the needs of my kids. (not sure if you can tell, but I received some feedback on my patterns saying they are too hard…it really got me in the “downy dumps”…but I am feeling better now and hope everyone can use this fun freebie!
If you download it, please consider leaving some feedback or a comment below =) 


  1. I agree that it depends on the group with first graders. Some years I have a super creative class who can do it all on their own and some years I have to walk them step by step through each direction with lots of modeling. I love looking at all the crafts you do with your kids…it certainly is inspiring to me!

  2. You do such a great job. I love that you create fun, meaningful projects for your kiddos. People that decide to be critics are often the ones that are feeling insecure about their own work.

    Keep rockin' your classroom! <333

  3. GRRRRRR!!!! I don't like it when people criticize other people's efforts. Your stuff is amazing and I totally GET what you are saying. I do the same thing in my classroom. 🙂
    You are fabulous and you need to keep doing what you're doing.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. Jennifer,
    I know how ya feel. Sometimes people are very critical or quick to point out mistakes I have made. It always makes me feel so bad. Sometimes it is hard to express in a post how we modify and adapt materials in the classroom with our students. I love your ideas and all that you share. Thanks so much for all you do!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I found your blog through Chalk Talk's picture of the Torn Paper Santa. So glad I did. Can't wait to try it with my kids. I'll modify, if needed, but I'm just so glad to have your cute ideas! Won't hear me complaining! =)

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