December can be a tricky month for our kiddos. The air is filled with excitement and new things are popping up everywhere. I typically see an increase in behaviors and off task behaviors this month. To combat that, we combine the “excitement” with our structure and learning.
Make Instruction Fun
Seriously, this is half the battle! Many of our students make progress very slowly. We have to teach and practice the same skills over and over. Our students get bored just like us! Here are some was to make learning (and teaching) the same skills again more fun.
Present the skills in a different way than you usually do. Here is an example of how we practice reading and listening comprehension, word recall and categories. This book, What Could It Be?, makes practice fun. Students are already excited about presents which this book taps into.
Anything with elves is going to be an attention grabber… just think of all the success of elf on a shelf! Students already know and love using interactive books. Add in elves and they are even better!
They are so excited to see what the elves are doing, that they don’t even notice they are also practicing reading, labeling, matching, answering questions, attending, etc! I like being a sneaky teacher! ?
This elf book is from our set of Christmas interactive books.
Another idea is to practice doing some of the unit vocabulary you have been practicing. We practiced decorating trees…. with a twist! Each student got a baggie of ornaments that peers had to request from them to decorate their tree. Here we were targeting asking questions, peer to peer interactions, responding to questions, etc. The task was so motivating!!
My last tip today is to just say no to worksheets! This is the time of the year when hands on activities are even more crucial. Students will stay engaged in learning and spend less time off task when learning is fun. Here are some of the ways we practice our math skills without worksheets. All of these activities (and more!) are from our Christmas and family unit:
Here are some more blog posts to help you through the month: