Need some help for Christmas and New Years? | Mentoring in the Middle

Need some help for Christmas and New Years?

We were working on a poetry unit in ELA class and I had my plans mapped out until Winter break including some fun winter activities.  One less thing to stress about.

And then our guidance counselor emailed with an apology.  She had to meet with the students one time in December and she'd been so busy with other things that she'd forgotten to schedule a time with my class.  Could she come during ELA next week?

Does this sound familiar?  Whatever the interruption, it's important to be a team player and accommodate your colleagues, since they pitch in and help you when you need it.

But it can also lead to a little "how-are-we-going-to-get-it-all-in" stress, can't it?  

What's a teacher to do?  

cover of Winter/Christmas story starters writing activity
Are you looking to give your students more exposure to writing?  Every one of the cards starts with "I knew it wasn't going to be an ordinary day when...."  Let your students use their imaginations as they come up with a setting, a plot, dialogue, and resolution.  

cover of Winter coloring pages review activity
One of the things I love about these coloring pages is that sixth-graders get so excited to color, and they don't realize they're reviewing in the process.  Two of the pages are for figurative language, two are for parts of speech, and two are for plurals and possessives.

Similar to "Blackout poetry," students roll dice to pick from six Christmas songs, then the specific line of the song, and finally, the word.  Taking all the words they select, they write a poem.  You have the freedom to choose a poetry style or let their creative juices fly!

The Phys Ed teachers emailed a few days later to say they'd come up with a great idea for the whole sixth grade.  How about a bunch of "Minute to Win it" activities one morning in the gym during our last week?  We'd need to be there to help out, of course, but wouldn't it be fun?

Yes! And Argghh!

Deep breath.  It's all good. 

a cover of "Roll a Story" activity
Again with the dice! :)  Students roll to choose from six characters, settings, plots, and themes.  A fun way to keep them writing!
Cover of two Christmas trees passages, real or artificial
Two points of view and some writing make up this activity.  Students read about the pros and cons of buying a real or an artificial tree in this set of researched passages.  Having read them, they need to decide which they would buy.  This is a great introduction to informational or persuasive writing.

cover of new year's 2021 goa- setting activity
When you come back to school on that cold day in January, and you need to rev yourself and your students up, here's a good activity for you.  It gets students thinking about their strengths and how to use them in 2021.  A great jumping-off point for discussion about social-emotional needs in the new year.

More than anything, my friends, I hope you have the stamina for next week.  Remember: It's all good and your students are excited!  I wish you all the best over this winter break.  Stay healthy and take some time to recharge your batteries!

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