January can feel like September. It is an opportunity to initiate new routines and expectations or inject something new into your current program. For many teachers, the last weeks of school in December before the break is challenging. Students are excited about the anticipated break; programs are interrupted with practices for concerts and special assemblies; and teachers are hanging on as they maintain or try to maintain a normal environment.
With the much needed break, students and teachers return to school refreshed. Many will not admit it, but look forward to the return of a regular routine. Take this opportunity to get your students quickly involved in new learning that may have been hard to tackle in December. There are at least three weeks of school before the cut-off for term one reporting. Assigning projects the first week back will focus the students directly, and provide you with assessments needed at the end of January.
Over the holidays, I have prepared an outline for the Biodiversity Infographic that I will be assigning my Grade 6 students the first week back. It will provide assessment both in Science and Media Literacy. I have also been considering an autobiography or biography project for my class. I am still working on the outline but I am thinking about a booklet that will include entries in writing and art. To differentiate to all levels for both projects, I will provide graphic organizers, allow choice of topics, and encourage students to create their works in print or with technology.
Take something that has inspired you over the holidays, (travel, nature, art, movies) and find a way to bring that interest to the classroom. It is surprising the connections you will make to the curriculum and the enthusiasm that you will share with your students.