I recently discovered (through Twitter) a unique teacher sharing opportunity to showcase ways to #makedecembermagical for the students in your classroom! Teachers tweeted out ideas with pictures to share ideas for how to integrate the holidays into your instruction. Here are some of those ideas:
1. Cozy Up to Learn
Use a fireplace video through Youtube (free) to display on our big screen. Pair with classical holiday tunes while students are working independently. Nothing makes it feel cozy like a fire and Christmas tunes.
My 5 year old recently came home from school raving about his new favorite center, the "School" center. I asked him what exactly that entailed and he told me it's where he becomes the teacher and teaches other students a concept they have been learning about. He then tells me that he taught a lesson on alliteration and that he got to use a "real" teacher pointer!
A great way to get students thinking at the analysis level is by using a song or poem of the week! Each day students will read and dive into thinking about the text through a different lens than before. Each time they reread, they grab another piece of new thinking and learning to add to their schema.
One of my favorite children's authors is Pat Hutchins. This month I shared two of her books that captivate young children through the rich details in the pictures.
In the spirit of the season, I put together a slide deck of fun books and songs.
As an educator, one of our universal goals is to teach our students to have metacognitive strategies. Here are some ideas to get kids thinking about their thinking.
The art of conversation is a life skill that must be taught to students. This past month, I worked with intervention educators on reading and writing strategies for high school students.
Using metacognitive markers is a low prep, yet effective strategy, that works well when students take notes to intentionally practice processing information. Creating a simple anchor chart, like the one pictured here, and keeping it up all year for students can be a helpful reference guide.
This week I select books that count! Children can learn many math concepts through books, songs, and games. Chica Chica 123 is a great book for engaging children in counting by 1's to 20, counting backwards from 20, counting by 10's to 100, and exploring the concept of 0.
This week I selected books and songs that involved using colors to develop descriptive language.