It’s December: Teach Yourself

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Not really. But actually…yes. Okay, so maybe that’s a little harsh. But in between the parties, teaching Christmas around the world, parent gifts, tests, assemblies, and extra events, it gets *really* hard to squeeze in some instruction. Pair the constant go-go-go to the impending holiday break and it truly is a recipe for one frazzled teacher. Don’t get me wrong, it really IS the most wonderful time of the year–so I’m here to alleviate a bit of your workload so you can actually enjoy it with your students.

Teaching About Winter Holidays Around the World

Winter holidays around the world are my jam. Anything around the world is, actually. By nature, all human beings are curious, so to get a peek into the way another person does something is always captivating. I remember very vividly the time my 1st grade teacher did a Christmas Around the World unit, where we added a decoration to our paper wreath every time we learned about a new country’s traditions. My mom kept it and it remains a decoration in her home to this day…27 years later [insert monkey covering his eyes emoji].

Naturally, I wanted to share this joy with my students, but realized that [sadly] ain’t nobody got time for wreaths and crafts on top of all the other stuff happening in December. I needed something easy, something relatively quick, but still thorough and enlightening. Here’s what I came up with:

Also, I got to learn to say new words like счастливого Рождества.Yeah. I know. But it’s okay, because I say it in the audio so you don’t have to. You can hear for yourself!

 

I loved it, my kids loved it, and I hope you’ll love it too. Here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve created:

Option 1: Automatic Play

These Christmas around the world slideshows literally play straight through as soon as you press the start button. That means you can sit back and eat candy at your desk enjoy the show without having to get up ONCE. This style of teaching is preferable to me in December. You earned it.

Option 2: Manual Play

This version contains the exact same content, but you navigate through the presentation at your own pace. This is ideal for younger students or if you want to use these presentations a little at a time instead of from beginning to end.

Interactive Slides

THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART! Every few slides, students will see an interactive slide appear:

This encourages student participation and active listening so they are able to correctly answer or discuss the prompt on the screen.

What countries are included in the Winter Holidays Around the World presentations?

There is a PowerPoint presentation for all 12 countries. Each presentation takes 8-10 minutes, depending on your use of automatic or manual. You can purchase them separately or buy them together as a bundle.

I’m giving away the passport and stickers for free for all 12 countries, which you can grab by clicking here or the image above!

What are others saying about this Christmas Around the World product?

customer feedback

December Teaching Part 2: Parent Gift

One of the things I always used to wait to figure out until the last minute was our parent gift, which always stressed me out to no end since it’s really the FIRST thing you should be planning. If it isn’t made in the classroom, a lot of our students won’t have a gift to give their parents and families, so I take it to heart every year to help my kids create something meaningful that they will be proud to bring home. If you are searching for the perfect gift for your students to give their families this year, look no further! This directed drawing calendar is the perfect mixture of whimsical and sweet:

What do I need to prepare for the parent gift?

This calendar was created with fridge space in mind, so not only is it adorable, but it will save you paper and the families will save space. To create this, each student needs 6 pieces of paper, some art supplies, a few “extras” and you are good to go!

Each calendar page comes with a cute, funny pun that is sure to engage your kids and bring a smile to the parents’ faces.

There are step-by-step directions for each monthly picture so students of all drawing abilities can feel like Vincent van Gogh. These directions are meant to be projected onto a whiteboard, but can easily be printed for students to use.

How do you organize the parent gift creation?

My favorite way to do these in a primary classroom with 20-something kids is to have the kids do the drawings together as a group (usually with clipboards in front of the SmartBoard). This usually takes about 3 days. Once the students finish drawing, I set up a couple tracing and painting stations around the room. The kids travel to the tracing station where they will trace each pencil drawing with a black pen or marker. When the students finish tracing, they will head to a painting station (or coloring, if crayons are more your thing). I use these stations in addition to my usual math and reading stations so kids are still adhering to our normal routine, but instead swapping out a “learning” station for a more “fun” station as the calendar is completed.
The product comes with a project introduction for the kids, a how-to implementation guide for the teacher, a set of projectable or printable directions for each month, and more! Check it out here for more photos and information!
Happy holidays!
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