Thanks so much for visiting my blog for Day 12 of the 12 Days of December Holiday Blog Hop!
Incorporating comfort and joy into your classroom during the holiday season can be as easy as a lesson relating to the holidays or announcing a contest or challenge to your fellow staff members.
REGIFTING: YAY OR NAY?
Regifting: most of us are guilty of regifting something at least once in our lives. What do your students think about regifting? You can have some engaging arguments in your classroom on the topic.
My nonfiction argument lesson on regifting contains "pro" and "con" articles on regifting. Students read both sides, analyze both arguments, then decide which side of the debate they fall. It also includes a role-play activity, an infographic assignment where students collect their own data and create an infographic based on their findings, and a writing component in which students form their own arguments on regifting using the data and research they collected.
HOLIDAY COLORING PAGES
Coloring and doodling aren't just for children. CNN reported last year that coloring can "...reduce anxiety, create focus or bring about mindfulness." We all know students (and teachers) who can benefit from less tension and improved concentration and mindset.
My Christmas and Holiday coloring pages are geared toward teens and are perfect for decorating your classroom for the holidays. The winter-themed pages can be used for the entire season.
|Students who like to doodle will love the doodle pages included.|
DOOR DECORATING CONTEST
Last year when some teachers at my high school decided to have a holiday door decorating contest, little did we know how much joy it would bring to not only the students but the entire staff.
The guidelines were very simple: decorate your door for the holidays and complete it within a week. You could do it yourself or have your students help you during our common 8th period study hall.
Since there weren't any stipulations, pretty much anything holiday-related was acceptable. Some teachers used their content area for inspiration, like my fellow English teacher's "Winter PoeTree," complete with poems written by students:
Or by our P.E. teachers on the locker room doors:
And by one of our math teachers:
|Our computers/business teacher's door.|
|One of our science teacher's door. Names on the stockings are students from Physics class.|
While others used iconic holiday characters like the Grinch, Snoopy, and Olaf:
|A math teacher's door.|
|The special education room.|
|Another math teacher's door.|
Even our principal and office staff got in on the fun:
|Our principal's office door.|
The student office workers and secretaries made the "Nice" list;
our principal and athletic director made the "Naughty" list.
|The door to the main office.|
For my door, I decided to go with one of my favorite holiday movies as inspiration: A Christmas Story. I debated on whether the leg lamp would be appropriate but thought I would take my chances. I decided I wanted the outside of the box on the outside of my door and the lamp on the inside of my door:
I used large rolls of printed paper in woodgrain patterns for the box and the window frame and stars for the sky. (Most of the supplies I used were leftover from Homecoming float-building and Prom decorating supplies or Christmas decorations I happened to have.)
Our school has an excellent color photocopier with an enlargement feature that will print a giant image on several pieces of 11x14 in. paper (you just need to piece them together). I used this feature to print the leg lamp and the larger images of the characters. I made two copies of the lampshade so I could tape battery-operated fairy lights under the top layer of the lampshade. To add another three-dimensional feature, I taped real black fringe to the bottom of the top layer lamp shade.
Then things got a little out of control...
Once I started decorating around the door, I just couldn't stop. And there were so many parts of the movie I wanted to include! So I added the Bumpus dogs, Scut Farkus, the famous "You'll shoot your eye out" quote, Ralphie in his cowboy outfit, his C+ essay, the Little Orphan Annie Decoder and Ovaltine message, Ralphie in his pink bunny gift, Randy's zeppelin, the Old Man's bowling ball, the Red Ryder BB gun, the Old Man's "Fra-Gee-Lay" quote, Ralphie's mom correcting him, Ralphie dropping the lugnuts and saying "Oh Fudge," LifeBuoy soap, Randy in his snow suit "I can't move my arms," the triple-dog dare, Flick's tongue on the pole, and Scut and Grover Dill. (The "retweets" comment was because a student had recently said he would tackle a Christmas tree if his tweet got 150 retweets.)
The total cost of this door was less than $3 (the black fringe was the only thing I purchased) because I was able to repurpose leftover decorating supplies and use holiday decorations I already had on hand. Of course, being able to use our school's photocopier helped keep costs down.
I'll post pictures from this year's door decorating contest in a separate blog, so make sure to follow me to get updates. This year's theme is any holiday song; I'll be helping my husband with his social-studies classroom door.
Bringing comfort and joy into your classroom doesn't have to be complicated, of course. A simple string of lights, playing of a holiday song as students walk in the classroom, or wearing an "ugly" holiday sweater can be enough to bring a smile to your students' faces.
Make sure you check out Hello Teacher Lady and Write On with Miss G's blog posts, as well!
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I hope you obtained many great ideas from my fellow bloggers for bringing comfort and joy into your classroom!