This time of year is magical but hectic in schools. The children (and teachers) are super excited for Christmas and there is a huge amount of different activities thrown into the mix of the normal school day so here’s a couple of tips that work for me.
Hot Chocolate Challenge
The Hot Chocolate Challenge is something I use every year (like the Ice Cream Challenge for Summer). We started late last week and it continues until the end of next week.
Basically the children have to work as a class to earn points;
10 points – Hot Chocolate
20 points – Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows
30 points – Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows and a chocolate sweet
40 points – Hot Chocolate, Marshmallows, chocolate sweet and a chocolate lollipop/candy cane.
The points can be earned by individual children (for working hard, showing kindness, helping others etc.) or for the whole class (great listening, working well, singing, practice for school play etc.)
During the last week the children will get their reward of Hot Chocolate and a movie and already they are super excited!
Try to get the core subjects done in the morning – this ensures that the children are focussed and on task for this section of the day. I find if you start with ‘fun’ subjects like Art or P.E. then the children are off task for the rest of the day.
Have lots of Christmas related busy work ready – mindfulness colouring, christmas word searches and crosswords, project work about Christmas etc.
They love these types of activities but they are also busy so it lessens the chance of ‘madness’.
Extra P.E./Movement Breaks/ Yard Time
If you can, bring the children out for an extra P.E. session to burn off some of their energy – most children love P.E. anyway so it’s a lovely treat at this time of year.
In the classroom, use more and more movement breaks to allow the children time to relax and stretch after completing a task.
I usually have a Christmas theme to all the work we are doing but after lunch we focus on Christmas Art, Drama, Music etc.
Christmas Play Practice
I try to do this for a short time every day to ensure the children know their lines, positions on the stage etc. We practice the songs daily too so the children know them off by heart and will sing them out on the day of their performance. We have our play on the 18th December so we still have a full week left (thankfully)!