The week before break...

Discussion in 'General Education' started by mathmagic, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Dec 12, 2013

    What do you end up doing differently with your class(es)?

    Our schedule is virtually the same, except with a early dismissal day on Friday added in. Since I've slowly been incorporating new aspects to the classroom in my first week and a half, my thoughts are that I don't want to make any wild changes, but perhaps incorporate a couple readings that we do about Christmas/holiday celebrations throughout the world, and how it differs from here? Or perhaps do some form of read-in on Friday that could include reading/researching different cultures' celebrations / different families (from our classroom) celebrations, developing some form of presentation, then sharing at the end of the day. (4th/5th split)

    Sorry, I ended up thinking aloud quite a bit there :whistle:

    (Also, unrelated, but any tips for relieving constant anxiety? I've been fighting massive amounts of anxiety to the point where I've yet to sleep a night without tossing/turning much of the night in the last week...and really the only thing it could be from is that anxiety)
     
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  3. LinguaTutor

    LinguaTutor Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Hello

    Depending on the age of the students. Not sure how old yours are but for my elementary students, I have them write to Santa Claus about what they want, why they want it and how they will use it.

    I'm not sure if this is effective for you but it works for me!

    Not sure if this is a good idea, but if you want to discuss about how different nations celebrate X'mas, you can have your students write a passage about what they would do or how they would celebrate X'mas.

    Hope this helps
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We start trimester exams on Wednesday, so it's full steam ahead for us.
     
  5. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Nothing different. On Friday, I will show a movie since its a half-day; either a History Channel special or a PBS Frontline doc. But I show movies a lot, anyway.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We have a short week; Friday is an unpaid day (thanks to our new contract), so we're off. Monday, we'll be making gingerbread houses, Wednesday afternoon we are decorating gingerbread men with the grade 1 classes, Thursday, we have an school-wide assembly in the morning (complete with carolling) and a party or dance in the afternoon. In between all of the special events, we'll be continuing with all of our subjects.
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Normal week with half-day on Friday for us. My freshmen have a test on Revolutions on Wed, my sophomores have a test on the CIvil War on Thurs and everyone has a paper due on Friday. So, we aren't deviating at all (although the students are getting a bit squirrely :p).

    We try not to emphasize the holidays at my school because it's such a low SES. We had a staff meeting this week and it's estimated that 40-45% of our students won't receive a single thing for the holidays, so we try not to play it up beyond a "Have a safe break."
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Full steam ahead for Mon-Thurs. Friday is a half day. A good half of my students will be out because parents seem to think that nothing goes on during half days. This year I've adopted the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude. My plan is that we will do some fun things that can tie into my curriculum. I'm hoping to find some short little games and rotate in stations.
     
  9. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    I've given up trying to teach much of anything.

    When Santa Claus comes to your school twice in one week the week BEFORE the last week of Christmas, it is impossible to get students to focus on much of anything else.

    I'll still be doing some learning activites linked to Christmas, but they will not be our typical fare.
     
  10. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We have exams Tues. - Fri. During non-exam periods, I'll show a short movie, then give students time to study. For those who don't need/want to study, I have a few holiday brain teasers and coloring sheets available if they want to color and destress.

    In my drama class, we'll be doing holiday related drama games. Things like Christmas Carol charades, special holiday editions of The Wright Family listening game, etc.

    In my film courses, we are watching their student films, then watching some holiday specials and analyzing them.
     
  11. teachart

    teachart Comrade

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Xanax. It helps just knowing that I have it, and if I have a particularly bad night, taking one knocks me out. Which was 3x a week when I got it in September and is now 3x a month.
     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Business as usual for the most part. The kids combined their Dojo points to buy a movie/popcorn event, so I made today a Polar Express day. They wore their pjs, did a sequencing activity witht he book and have themed math problems for homework. We had a Peter and the Wolf orchestra assembly mid-morning, so the day is pretty packed.

    Next week we'll be cramming in writing, reading, math (Fraction test on Thursday) and explorers, but I'll try to make as much of it holiday themed as possible (we did Hanukkah last week so we've balanced the holidays out). Thursday will be an art day, making presents for our parents. Friday is a half day, so we're caroling at the retirement home down the block for our 'party'. The kids are nuts, but I don't want to chalk the whole week up to a loss.

    Watching the kids work on their sequencing posters this morning, though, makes me realize I probably should lighten up a LITTLE-they really do love art and posters and other activities that sometimes I think are 'silly' or aren't rigorous enough.
     
  13. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2013

    I have been doing my best to keep going academically (reviewing for finals) while also incorporating more student-centered activities (games, pairwork) for this last week of classes before exams next week. We also had a huge sports rally today which changed up the routine and amped up the kids, right before my most challenging class (of course). I knew it was going to be a rough period and I tried not to let me anxiety show (deep breaths, keep smiling).

    In terms of what helps, getting exercise and sunshine are helpful, although if you are suffering, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. Otherwise you can get stuck in a cycle of not sleeping, which makes the anxiety worse, and so on...there is no shame in asking for help with this!
     
  14. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2013

    My Admin asks us not to give any tests or have any assignments/papers due on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday before break because it will entice students to come to school. I also work in a low SES city and the kids start dropping like flies on Wed - hopefully, no one shows on Friday.
     
  15. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Whoa-you DON'T want kids to come to school?? What would they be doing otherwise? Watching tv or loitering?
     
  16. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Business as usual on Mon - Wed. We are doing a Jan Brett author study, so we'll be using "Who's Knocking on Christmas Eve" as a jumping point for some research on Northern Lights. All of our math centers are Christmas themed, as are our science lessons on the 5 senses. Thursday is our class Christmas party in the afternoon and then Friday is a caroling assembly and a school-wide movie.
     
  17. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We have a full week and I generally do nothing differently as my students have a hard time with holidays and CHANGE.
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Two chapters a week of To Kill a Mockingbird is going to keep us on our toes. If my team decides to have a holiday party, they'll have to cut time out of their own classes so I can have my full 45 minutes with my kids.
     
  19. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Many students are very problematic for those last few days before break or the end of the school year. All they want to do is run the halls/cut class, they often come out of uniform and refuse to change, and they like to fight because they don't fear suspension before a break. At the end of the year its worse; sometimes they will destroy things/property and basically just act a fool. It's better some of them stay home.
     
  20. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 13, 2013

    The only official "lost time" is Friday. Between pajama day, the 3rd grade party, and a "read-in" day, Friday will accomplish exactly nothing academically. The rest of the week, officially, is a normal week.

    In reality though... I teach 8 year olds. The whole week is more or less a lost cause.
     
  21. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We were out Friday, Monday, and Tuesday because we got 9 inches of snow (which is a LOT for our area--and it didn't immediately melt, so these kiddos were in heaven!). Wednesday and Thursday we had late starts because of frigid temperatures and the fact that the rural roads were still iced over. We are supposed to get more snow this weekend. So we had one full day this week. Next week, we have Christmas program practice on 3 days, Wednesday is pajama/Polar Express day, and Friday is totally filled with special things. As much as I'd like to try to keep things normal, the kiddos are totally gone. Rather than drive myself crazy in a futile attempt to cram units in, we're doing some Christmas review of those things that they can always use extra work on and some 'fun' enrichment activities.
     
  22. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Dec 13, 2013

    We are business as usual. Middle school kids are squirrelly most days anyway, and getting them out of the routine his close to the holidays would be the kiss of death.

    I'm reading "A Christmas Carol" with my classes and letting them read it as a play. If they get finished in time, we will watch a version or two of the movie and do some comparisons and discussions of drama. That's as much fun as they get from me.

    I am giving them a big present this year. I am having surgery the week school starts back after Christmas, so they get an extra three to six weeks vacation from me.
     
  23. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Dec 13, 2013

    Monday-Wednesday---Normal teaching. Thursday-Review. Friday-Quiz. If they are going to be out Friday, they can take the quiz Thursday. I do give them little treats though.
     
  24. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 13, 2013

    I was just at Michael's and they had all their plaster ornaments 70% off, which ended up being $0.50 per ornament... so I guess we are painting ornaments next week :).
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Dec 14, 2013

    I keep all routines and do everything exactly the same except the last day. On the last day we rotate classes between our entire grade-level, just doing fun activities in the morning. I tend to keep things as normal as possible because I can´t stand the chaos otherwise.
     
  26. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Dec 14, 2013

    Our week will pretty normal until Friday. I'm getting formally observed this week and the kids have two days of state test simulations (that's how my school says Merry Christmas!) Friday there is a holiday assembly and we will have a small holiday party in the afternoon.
     
  27. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Dec 14, 2013

    We go to school Monday-Thursday next week, and we literally have an assembly of some sort every day next week in the morning. We have been asked to have our parties on Wednesday afternoon, as Thursday is an early dismissal. Besides all the events, I'll be doing my best to stick to our usual schedule routine and structure. We're finishing up a science unit on matter this week.
     
  28. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Dec 14, 2013

    Monday is normal, and it all goes down hill from there. We have a field trip on Tuesday, an assembly on Wednesday, assembly on Thursday, and buddy reading with the little ones on Friday. Oh, and PTA decided to make Tuesday AND Friday dress down days, cause why not make them more insane?!

    I'm going to do my best to keep as normal of a routine as I can!
     
  29. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Dec 15, 2013

    Funny - our week this week is almost 100% normal (the early dismissal Friday throws it off only slightly), whereas last week there was an assembly, and two hour (or so) blocks of time during the week that a specialist (scientist and artist) came in to do a special project with the kids.
     
  30. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Dec 15, 2013

    I personally to give a Christmas activity, such as a Christmas word search or other theme activity since I don't work with my students more than 2x/wk. I work w/ high schoolers this time. I plan to give them a little Christmas trinket too.

    Back when I was a long-term substitute, there was a Christmas or two when I went as far as to bring doughnuts & some Christmas music to enjoy.
     
  31. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Dec 15, 2013

    We just wrapped up our government and solar system units, so I won't be starting anything new. We're watching the IMAX movie Magnificent Desolation and then some follow up activities on it. We'll end the week growing crystal Christmas ornaments. In social studies we're studying Christmas celebrations around the world, which fits some of my GLEs.
     
  32. Shanoo

    Shanoo Habitué

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    Dec 15, 2013

    I'm teaching right up until Thursday. I'm even giving them a quiz on Thursday.

    Friday is a school-wide activity day. It's pretty fun.
     
  33. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Dec 15, 2013

    A quiz, a quick quiz, or a penguin quick quiz?
     
  34. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2013

    Not a lot. With movie day, the field trip, two day pajama day and early dismissal, there isn't a lot of time and I am certainly not going to start a new lesson.

    There will be a few learning activities here and there but that's it.
     
  35. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Dec 15, 2013

    Normal as possible Mon-Thurs. Friday is holiday movies, class party and early release
     

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