At the end of October in many parts of the world, teachers, students and parents begin to tumble headlong into the holiday season…
…like brightly colored leaves falling from autumnal trees.
This year, fall into the holidays with a few new tricks up your sleeve…
…tricks and tools to catch and keep kids’ attention when distractions multiply.
Create a Fall Into the Holidays Good Work – Good Fun Bulletin Board – Help kids turn over a new leaf this holiday season by inviting them to help you create a special bulletin board.
Announce that the bulletin board theme is: Fall Into the Holidays Good Work – Good Fun. The bulletin board is covered with leaves “on a mission.”
All you need to craft this bulletin board is wall space, magic markers, construction paper for a header, and leaf cut-outs that you can buy or make from construction paper.
Kids will enjoy making this eye-catching paper collage as a class project with a purpose.
Explain to the class that each student will choose two or more leaf cut-outs to add to the falling leaves collage.
As you distribute the leaf cut-outs instruct students to write the following:
– on one leaf, an example of good work they plan to get done between now and the upcoming holiday vacation.
– on the other leaf, an example of fun they look forward to in preparation for the upcoming holidays.
Be prepared to offer examples of good work and good fun to help prompt kids’ thinking.
As time allows, extend the teachable moments with your Fall Into the Holidays Good Work – Good Fun bulletin board by using ideas students write on their the leaves as discussion-starters or lead-ins to lessons.
Good Work example: A child may write, “I will remember to report any bullying I see in school to an adult.”
Discussion opportunity: Begin a discussion about the importance of preventing bullying, even during busy times of the year when we may get so wrapped up in ourselves that we forget to watch out for others.
Good Work example: A student may write, “I want to get more math answers correct during math time and on tests.”
Lead-in to Lesson opportunity: Point to the Fall Into the Holidays Good Work – Good Fun bulletin board and express appreciation for the student who set a math goal as you begin the lesson.
Good Fun examples are easy to imagine! Girls (and some boys) may write, “Can’t wait to bake cookies for the holidays!” …and so on.
How else can you help kids fall into the holidays staying focused and on task in class?
Fall Into the Holidays Decorating an Attentionology Tree – Make this a class project also, one that reminds kids in another engaging way to pay attention in school as they count
the days until vacation.
Announce your plan ahead of the day you begin decorating your Attentionology Tree.
Bring in a tree – artificial or real or turn a bulletin board into a giant tree using colored construction paper for the trunk and leaves.
Begin this project by asking students if they feel more distracted than usual during the holiday season.
Discuss the importance of staying focused and on task in class, especially during exciting times of the year when distractions increase.
Talk about the impact of distractions, how they can get in the way of getting basic, good work done.
Ask for students’ ideas about how to make ourselves pay attention when we need to do so. Tell the class that they
will help decorate your Attentionology Tree with ornaments that feature their ideas.
Call students’ attention-related ideas, “Attentionology Tips.”
Distribute pre-cut paper shapes or invite students to cut and color paper shapes from colored construction paper to make ornaments and numbers to hang on the tree.
Instruct kids to write one “Attentionology Tip” on each ornament.
Help students punch holes at the top of the ornaments and numbers. Tie ribbons to make loops for hanging the ornaments and numbers.
To help maintain interest in your Attentionology Tree, invite a different student each day to hang one ornament at a time to fall into the holidays.
Review the Attentionology Tips on the ornaments with the class when the tree becomes fully decorated.
Optional: Give students small Attentionology Gifts, such as plastic star ornaments, to reward them for their work and help them remember the tips.
Leave the Attentionology Tree up over the holiday season to serve as a reminder to focus in class.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Please send comments about how you help students stay focused and on task as holidays approach.
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet