The holidays begin today for me. I'll be hosting many family members and friends on Thursday for a Thanksgiving celebration. Then the month ahead will be filled with festive events and more celebration as we approach Christmas and the New Year.
My students will experience the same flurry of festivity in the next month so at school I'll focus on the "giving" aspect of the season. Rather than ramping up the excitement and flare in the classroom, I'll focus more on daily nurturing and consistency. Instead of a specific focus on any one holiday, we'll celebrate by sharing our poetry unit with friends and family members, and spending the final days before the December holiday invested in our "Creativity Days" project. If students or families want to share the stories of their specific holidays, I'll invite them to do so, but as a class we won't focus on any one holiday or celebration. Later in the year we have an immigration/family history focus that allows every child to share his/her family story and celebrations.
Individual project and writing edits, shared stories, targeted math and writing lessons, and weekly assessments will bring a calm pattern to the classroom while life outside of the classroom is filled with celebration and cheer.
My teaching focus will be one of giving--giving time, care and attention to individual students and the class as a whole. I'll put the big projects, new ideas and research aside for a few weeks as we all take time to enjoy the friendship and learning the classroom environment invites.