A big part of a teacher's job is keeping his or her students engaged. If you're finding this particularly difficult after the holiday season, check out this blog post.
Have you noticed that your students often feel a little blasé after winter break? It just might be the winter blues. Temperatures are dropping, the weather is dismal, and the holiday excitement has worn off. So what can you do to bring some life back into your classroom? Here are our best suggestions for keeping learning fun throughout the winter.
Cozy Classrooms and Reading Nooks
Winter doesn't have to be all dreary and gloomy. In fact, it's some people's favorite season. Why? Because there's something cozy about being nice and warm inside while the weather outside is frightful.
To help battle your students' winter blues, consider refreshing your classroom set-up to focus on comfort and warmth. For example, you could:
- Bring in bean bag chairs, blankets, and pillows.
- Create a reading nook by hanging a paper fireplace on the wall, by which your students can cuddle up with a book.
- ''Frost'' your windows with spray paint to create the winter wonderland look if you're in a warmer climate.
Also, consider allowing your students to use your classroom as a safe haven during recess if they don't want to be outside. Just throw on a YouTube video of a crackling fire and your students will never want to leave.
Games, Activities, and Projects - Oh, My!
Dropping temperatures can make people a little lethargic during the winter, but the last thing you want is for your students to fall asleep in class. To keep their energy levels up, try swapping lectures and busy work for activities, games, and hands-on projects as often as you can. Even just having more discussions will help. Energy-boosting ideas include creating paper snowflakes, discussing different winter traditions observed at home, and doing a group oral report about winter sports from around the world.
For some more ideas for winter-themed activities, check out the following:
- New Year's Resolution Activities
- President's Day Crafts for Kids
- Severe Weather Lesson Plan
- Snow Lesson Plan
- Winter Science Experiments for Kids
- Winter Solstice Lesson Plan
Academic Gift Exchange
One of the most exciting parts of the winter season is the gift-giving and receiving associated with many holidays. To extend that excitement after the holidays have passed, consider hosting an academic gift exchange. There are many formats that a gift exchange can take, including a White Elephant and Secret Santa. No matter which you choose, we highly recommend enforcing a rule that gifts should be handmade or under five dollars in order to discourage any issues related to family income.
Of course the gifts should relate to the classroom. Whether that means a cute pencil or something relevant to a topic you've been covering in class, all presents should be classroom-appropriate.
No matter what holidays you celebrate, we wish you and your students a relaxing and enlightening winter term!
If you're looking for an online education resource for your classroom, check out Study.com's Teacher Edition.