Thursday, December 29, 2016

3 Things To Do NOW to Prep for Next December

I'm the first person to breathe a sigh of relief on December 26th.  The thought of 364 days before the madness strikes again is my idea of holiday cheer.  With that said, there are a few things you have to do NOW in order to make next December in your classroom a little less mad.  Today, I'm sharing my 3 must-dos NOW so that 11.5 months from now can be a little more merry and bright...


1.  Don't throw away your Christmas cards.  I'm sure we all keep a few special cards, including all those photo cards, but if you're like me and you still receive a pile of regular, old-fashioned cards from relatives and people at church, save them.  And ask a few other people to save theirs for you too. You'll easily have a whole box of cards that could have gone in the trash and instead will buy you some sanity next year on the last couple of days before Christmas break.  Put the cards out with some white construction paper and let your students create cards for their families and friends by cutting them apart and using any of the graphics or words that they want.  My students LOVE doing this and I love watching them get excited about which ones they're going to use and hearing them read the inside messages to each other.


2.  Buy some thank you notes on clearance.  Whether you're lucky enough to find some like the oh-so-easy-to-use ones above that I ordered from Current last year or it's more classy, grown-up cards...  this is the time to stock up!  Being able to go straight to my desk drawer as soon as I receive that first gift instead of having to remember to pick up thank you notes after school or to bring them from home the next day is one of the best gifts I give myself in advance each year.


3.  Whether you teach novels year round or just at select times, having a good novel to rely on during December is a must.  There's something about digging into a good book together that helps students focus even during the craziest of times.  Don't wait until next Thanksgiving to prepare for teaching a novel during December.  If you wait, you might not be able to get a good deal on the book you choose.  Right now, The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements is only $1 on Scholastic's website!  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is $3.00 or only 80 bonus points, os if you order a few each month, you'll have a class set by next December.  Both novel units are on sale 20% off now through Dec. 31st.