Monday, December 3, 2012

Daily Assignment #124: Holidays/Semester Closure

It's that busy time year for all of us, shopping, partying, teaching, de-lousing, etc...  I recently attended a party and the topic of conversation for the young mothers was...  you guessed it, headlice.  Naturally, I referred them to my blog #123 and silently gave thanks that I don't have to worry about it.

On another note, a question was asked of me as to how many and how much of the different religious holidays should be taught in the classroom?  And, how are teachers expected to include these topics with everything else they need to cover before the December break?  Good questions.

I have selected information from Daily Assignments #27 and #96 to share with you:

Daily Assignment #27:

Some teachers select several different holidays to teach about religious/ethnic traditions.  Other teachers just share holiday traditions for one or two religions/ethnic groups.  Another approach would to be to ask for parent volunteers to teach their religious/ethnic holiday traditions.  An another approach might be to do nothing at all.

I've done it all.  For me, I found the best approach was to ask for parent volunteers to come in and do a 30-40 minute presentation.  If I didn't know the parent well, I would ask them to share with me their lesson plan in advance.  In this way, I could help them with appropriateness for the age group and timing. The parents were always well prepared.  It would be an amazing lesson and better than what I would have done.

There would be years when only one parent would come in and I would need to teach 1-2 more holidays. Then other years there might be 3 different parents who would come in to share 3 different holidays.  If no one volunteered then I would teach Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa, or a holiday that reflected the population in my class.

Daily Assignment #96:

This is also a time to bring closure to a semester and to units of study.  Knowing that this is a chaotic time, begin planning how you would like the last few days to look and feel like.  Some teachers plan class parties, a class breakfast with student exhibits/presentations, a special field trip, e.g. concert, play, movie.  Then there are other teachers that press on with learning and try to keep a low key tone because the students are already worked into a tizzy.  Having said all that, I recognize that some schools/districts have policies in regard to what should occur on those last few days.

Because this month is such a busy time my next blog will be posted on Sunday, January 6, 2013. 
Have a wonderful, joyful, holiday, whatever it may be and see you in January.

In the meantime, please refer to previous blogs for suggestions of effective strategies.  
If you haven't yet, please check-out my book on ----Daily Assignment: Effective Teaching Strategies.                                  
Best Effort,