Engaging Middle Schoolers During the Holiday Season

With interrupted classroom schedules, school vacations, and increased disruptive student behaviors, managing the classroom can feel like a daunting task during the winter holiday season. With a little strategizing, you can help students stay engaged and focused on learning during this busy time of year.
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Holiday Celebrations

Winter holiday celebrations! They’re such a big part of American school life. But as our schools grow more diverse, traditional celebrations can leave some children and families feeling excluded or uncomfortable. Also,…
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Keep Learning Going During Holiday & Vacation Times

Suddenly, it seems like the class is falling apart. Classroom routines that were going smoothly just a few weeks ago now seem rough around the edges. More and more children are forgetting…
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Planning for Success: Classroom Celebrations

A reader recently asked about including children with challenging behaviors in year-end celebrations. Should children with persistent behavior issues be allowed to participate in this type of celebration? The short answer is "yes."Still,…
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Reaffirming Community after a Vacation

Students are often a bit out of the routine of the classroom after a vacation, making this a good time to do activities that reaffirm the group’s sense of community. Plan post-vacation…
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Handling the Holidays: Morning Meeting Message

Tips on using Morning Meeting Messages and the last part of Morning Meeting, reading the message together, to set a positive tone during the build-up to winter holidays and vacation. Winter themes.…
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Handling the Holidays: Morning Meeting Group Activity

Tips on using  Morning Meeting group activity to set a positive tone during the build-up to winter holidays and vacation. Consider levels of movement and activity. How does your class respond (especially…
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Handling the Holidays: Morning Meeting Sharing

Tips on using Morning Meeting sharing to set a positive tone during the build-up to winter holidays and vacation. Themed shares. This is a great time of year to have some themed…
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Handling the Holidays: Morning Meeting Greeting

Tips on using the greeting component of Morning Meeting to set a positive tone during the build-up to winter holidays and vacation.
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Handling the Holidays

As the holidays swing into full gear, maintaining a productive and calm atmosphere in the classroom can be challenging. Students can be more fidgety, giggly, testy, and tired at this time of…
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Handling Halloween High Spirits

Even if your school forgoes Halloween celebrations or costumes, I know from my own classroom experience that many children come to school on Halloween (and the days before Halloween) keyed up and…
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Learning Celebrations

As a new teacher years ago, I knew by instinct and training that students would learn more, and with more joy, if adults from their home lives shared in their school lives.…
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Winter Holidays

Question:The children in my classroom come from many different traditions and cultures. I know the winter holidays could be a great opportunity for children to learn about each other’s cultures but I’m…
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Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Question:Holidays can sometimes be a mixed blessing in schools. For example, students love to exchange cards on Valentine’s Day but every year there are problems. Sometimes the exchange seems too competitive and…
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