1. They are excited. Can you blame them? This is seriously one of the coolest times of year. Take a few minutes to just sit back and enjoy it with them. They are just little kids, after all! Maybe we could take a little lesson from them and enjoy the magic of the season instead of worrying if we collected enough data in those final weeks before break.
2. Keep it fun! This week might not be the only week to use games in your instruction…but it sure is a good one! Just assume it will get a little louder than normal…and roll with it! Here are a few winter freebies if you want…and a link to a holiday “Dollar Deal” as well!
3. Read aloud more. And more. The one thing that has remained relatively constant over my 22 years of teaching is that students of all ages love to be read to. Whether it’s a chapter book, poetry, a picture book…build in a little extra time to read some great stuff to your class this week. Funny books…seasonal books…beautiful book…anything.
4. Plan for engaging instruction. Try readers theater. Do a science lab. Do a cool math challenge. I know you need to get through your content…but I bet you can find a way to reach it through active learning. I challenge you! I’ve put a few winter/holiday resources on sale to help you if you want! My kids are SO pumped about the cookie challenge!
5. Recognize effort and focus. It is very easy to get caught up in the mode of “correcting” behavior to try to keep the students in line; try meaningful, genuine praise when students (individual or the entire class) are doing well. Spread it even more–compliment other classes of students you pass in the hall that are doing great stuff!
6. Finally–if all else fails . . . keep THIS in your desk drawer. I mean . . . I haven’t TRIED it–but I’ve heard . . .