Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tis the Season: How to add a little holiday spice to your seonday classroom


Thank you for stopping by! I've teamed up with some awesome secondary teachers for a holiday blog hop. Read my responses to the topics below then be sure to go check out the rest of the bloggers as well! May your holiday season be filled with well-behaved students and lots of mulled wine. ;) 


1.  One way you bring meaning to the season for your students:
I love thinking of clever ways to bring a little of the holiday season into my classroom. Since I teach high school, I can't go too over-the-top, but I bring in a few lessons that can be used with any text so that I can make our lessons festive without sacrificing my normal curriculum schedule. Here is a favorite: Ugly Christmas Sweater Symbolism to use with ANY text


Here's another newly added lesson to bring in some root word practice during the holiday season: 


As far as bringing the meaning of the season into my classroom, I focus on giving. Since there are always so many donation drives going on for kids, I choose to do a classroom drive for our local humane society. I'm a huge animal lover and adopted my precious Hank 8 years ago after finding him from a rescue group on PetFinder.com. Each year I put up a cat and dog tree in my room and students bring in gifts for the animals. Students really love doing this type of charity and learn a lot about compassion. 

Our "baby" :) 


2.  One way you bring meaning to the season for your family:
 Since we are both teachers, we always sponsor a few of our students who won't be getting anything for Christmas otherwise. Our schools round up the names and wish lists, and we get to shop for them. Even though the students will never know who the gifts are from, this tradition brings me so much joy. I always pick out a student in need that I have taught and love the challenge of finding the perfect gifts to match their personality and style. 

3. One thing you have on your TpT wishlist
 I'm teaching a brand new class next semester that is more of an "English for the real world" type of class, so I'm hoping to get Serial approved to teach just in time for Adnan's new hearing. To teach this unit,  I plan to use this lesson pack.  I think that this type of Common Core learning will be perfect for the seniors in my new class! 

4) One thing you have on your own wishlist:

I pretty much have every new Harry Potter product on my Amazon wishlist. These include the newly illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the new adult coloring book.  Check out my Harry Potter classroom if you are a fan yourself! 

One thing you are looking forward to this season: 
I could go with something mushy here, but I will go with the truth--SNOW DAYS  #hollerifyouhearme


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Click below to hear more from other secondary teachers!



11 comments:

  1. Students would absolutely love your ideas here Ashley! Thanks for these innovations! Think one of my favorites is the ugly Christmas sweater symbolism. In reading your post - I thought of so many writing applications here for the giver and the receiver! Yes - I agree that it would also be a fun way to engage students in the text in surprising new ways ... Thanks for the insights! Ellen

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    1. Oh man, you are right. What if I had them write thoughtful discriptions of the animals at the shelter for their "about me" listings!?

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  2. That Christmas sweater activity is a riot! What engagement.

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  3. I love your Christmas sweater activity--looks like fun! I'm heading to the book store this afternoon to buy that colouring book for my twenty year old daughter who read the whole series 28 times! She kinda likes Harry ;)

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  4. Ditto on the Christmas sweater activity!! I love the picture of you and your family - baby looks very happy in your arms!! :-)

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  5. I love the tree in your classroom idea! I wish I'd seen that earlier but alas I only have 8 days left with my students before break! (and really I only see them every other day of those 8... crap I have work to do.)

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  6. Very cute idea with the ugly Christmas sweater activity! I will pass this along to my colleagues.

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  7. *Gasp* I hadn't seen the coloring book yet! Great post - thanks for sharing!

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  8. I second the snow days.... please let it snow, let it snow in TN this year!! Thanks for joining us on the hop!
    ~Julie

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  9. I think it is wonderful that your staff buy presents for students who won't be getting anything this season.

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