2020, creativity, home schooling, imagination, learning, pre-school classroom, re-mote learning, re-mote teaching, teaching, week before holiday break, winter holidays

Holiday Break Countdown

It’s the week before break and students in school, at home and remote, are counting down days while parents and teachers are adding up bills and carefully stacking the packages that were left on their porches.

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Concentrating on work, no matter the kind, is hard this time of year as we’re all looking forward to holiday cheer. It happens like clockwork year after year, but this last month of 2020, considering all we’ve been through, the ante’s been upped. It’s in our own best interest to do all that we can do to sleigh ride into break while working toward achieving our children’s/students’ educational goals and objectives that still need to be met.

In school, I saw the transformation begin last week. Suddenly the activities that used to hold my students’ attention just couldn’t compete.

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This week I’m going to haul out the holly, deck the halls, turn on the brightest strings of lights, hang some tinsel as Jerry Herman’s lyrics to the song We Need a Little Christmas, so aptly recommend. In other words, if I can’t beat ’em I’ll join ’em. It’ll be much more fun in the end.

So, if you’re homeschooling, or teaching whether remote or in person during this holiday season, I’d definitely suggest working in some holiday fun to whatever you’re trying to convey. I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to fold it in once you give into it. The pay off in your children’s/students’ attention to task may be at least five if not ten-fold, of course nothing is fool proof. There will still be good days and not so good days. But by giving into the magic of the holidays you might just reduce some holiday stress while helping your child/student learn, and that’s what I’d consider a win-win.

Wishing you tidings of good cheer, happy holidays, and a way better new year,

Jan

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children's books, fun activities, prek activities, week before holiday break

The Week Before The Holiday Break

The week before the winter holidays is busy for everyone, teachers, parents, and children. It’s full of excitement (that would be all the kids), some lingering colds (everyone in general), stress (all the grown-ups).

The big question for everyone is how to get through the last four days left before break.

Other people might disagree, but I vote for going heavy on the fun. Encouraging as much fun out of a lesson, activity, or chore that you and the children you interact with have to get done. Whether they be the children you teach, or parent, or both. Why? That’s easy. It makes the days go faster, and you wind up having more fun too.

I don’t know whether Pippin is interested in the book or the red birds on the cover.

This week I have a student who has been working on matching images and objects and through the book, No Two Alike, we’ll look for things that are almost alike, but not quite.

To add some crafty fun I’ll bring some paper snowflakes and together we’ll try our best to make some paper snowflakes together (scissor skills are tough to master) to see if what the book says is true.

With another student and his class I shared the book All You Need For A Snowman, by Alice Schertle. And then with a few boxes I gathered and wrapped and some construction paper accessories I had cut out in advance, we were ready to build a classroom snowman. After they promised to hide their eyes, I hid the accessories throughout the classroom. My student and his peers worked together to first build their snowman and then two by two, they used left to right scanning as they moved through the classroom in order to locate his accessories and dress him (with the help of fun-tak)If getting dressed were only that easy.

Afterward each student hugged their classroom snowman. That was something I didn’t anticipate, but I so wish I could have taken a picture of their happy faces.

He needs a name . . . maybe George?
What do you think?