Our two week break allows time for a much needed and deserved rest. However, it is also a good time to look back on the first 3 months of school and think about what worked well and what might benefit with some tweaking. I always find the return to class in January and the return after March Break, an opportunity to change things up a little. This might be as simple as moving the desks around to give the students a new perspective of their environment, or creating new centres such as a science inquiry corner or a recycled materials corner for exploration and expression.
When I look back at the photos I have taken in the past months, I can see before me the images that show the children engaged in their learning. These images resulted from opportunities to learn together in collaboration and to explore a variety of materials and forms of expressions. It required planning that integrated language, math, science, social studies, and visual art. It confirms for me that I want to continue to provide these opportunities when we return in January. On the other hand, I see a corner of the room that is not utilized, a listening centre that is rarely used, and a need for another table to build or create collaboratively at. So, when I return in January, I would like to make a few physical tweaks to the layout and add something to the listening centre as an invitation (maybe plain tapes to record the child’s retell of the story or paper and coloured pencils for the children to draw their mental images of the story they are listening to).
Whatever the changes are, the children will notice. See the classroom as their invitation to learn. Continue with what works, and edit or make changes to things that need it! Enjoy the start of the New Year!