While I may still be relatively new at teaching, one thing I have learned with the week leading up to Winter Break is you can't really do your usual routine. It more than likely won't work. This is an ideal time to be a little more laid back and have fun with your lessons. Continue to make them rigorous, but make them fun as well. Your students will be forever grateful that you did!
Here are some suggestions to do with your class:
- Projects (Have the project due on Friday - all they do is present :))
- Have group work for each day - do jigsaw, gallery crawl, presentations,
- Watch a movie of a text you just finished and have students compare text to the movie (Many school districts do not approve of movies, but if assignments that go along with it are rigorous and involve students comparing media to text and discussing differences, it is CC aligned!)
- Choice board - great for introducing a new unit in a fun way or or use a Choice board as a test and give students projects in the choice board that they can complete in the course of one or two days.
Keep in mind that it's not that students don't want to learn the week before a break, they just have other things occupying their minds that they are not as likely to be invested in their academics. We just need to step up our lesson plans and make it interesting, fun, and engaging.