The December Blues
This time of year is tough for everyone I think. I love the lights and the sounds of Christmas, the anticipation of the season…the food. I love everything about Christmas. But I think that makes it an even tougher time of year for Students and their teachers, because every kid in the world is ready for Christmas to start NOW.
The younger kids aren’t even sure when it is. They think it may just be tomorrow. In their heads there might be presents under their tree as I speak to them about the Scientific Process and how the Frog life cycle works. “Stop talking to me about Tadpoles Mr. Edie! I’ve got presents to unwrap!”
So there is a particularly arduous business about teaching in this, the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a lot like the last month before school lets out. The sharks smell blood in the water, and they want to pounce!
So what do I do? Give up? Throw in the towel? Let the sharks get worked up into a feeding frenzy? (yes, in this scenario the kids are sharks, but they are sweet and wonderful sharks. Sharks in need of education).
NO! I will fight back! Those State Standard Test Scores WILL come up!
I don’t know how I’ll do it, but I’ll do it. One idea – Use a Christmas Tree to teach the three branches of Government. Bring in a little evergreen, the Charlie Brown style that is small and dinky and will fit in your crowded classroom, and give a little lesson on the three branches (grade level appropriate – for little guys you probably just say “president” instead of “executive branch”). Then to drive it home, separate the kids into the three branches, and have them make an ornament for their particular branch. Each “branch” of government has their special “branch” on the tree that their oranment hangs. Throughout the season they’ll be reminded of the branches, and you can finish with some lights and a popcorn string!
Now you’ve decorated your class, and taught them something at the same time! Now only about 12 more school days to go! Good luck!