Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Holiday Help

In order for students to learn the last week of school before break, they have to THINK. Thinking seems to be "too hard" for them this week!

So... to help them this past week, we did a couple of things...

1) We had a shelf of holiday picture books for those who forgot their independent reading book. Here is the list of the books I checked out of the library. Some kids picked them up, and some had no interest. They helped, however, when a student forgot their book at home, or was in between books and didn't want to start a new one just yet. Where YOU can help is by commenting on this post or on the list of books which ones YOU love to use around the holidays with your middle school students!

Clearing off this shelf for these books makes me want to bring in more picture books each week!
2) We invited parents in on the last day before break. Oh, how we all love this! This year we only had two - Grammie (a grandmother I've written about before here) and one other mother. We reserved the rocking chair for them, sat around them in the front of the room, and basically just enjoyed good stories they brought. Since my first class didn't have anyone sign up, I asked one of our assistant principals (who'd been wanting to come), and she gladly came and read as well.

3) My co-teacher Yvette suggested we put on the "fireplace." So... this video was shown through most of the day! You gotta love it.

What do you do to help with the holiday fever in your classes? Please comment below - we could ALL use a little more help engaging kids this time of the year!

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