Monday, December 2, 2013

Lesson Up Express: Dancing Through December

Dancing Through December cover
With Winter Vacation looming on the horizon, teachers probably need a few activities to keep students on task and having fun deepening their comprehension and writing skills. One fact is for sure: most students and teachers are dreaming about Snow Days to jumpstart their breaks.

In this post,I want to give my colleague teachers the gift of time. Whether they are six or sixteen, students' nerves are twanging with anticipatory energy, ergo, all too often the teacher's focus is spent on the frequent use of classroom management techniques, leaving each one sapped for the time and energy to create lessons.  Here, I offer three Free handouts to keep students engaged so teachers can teach. Two activities, Letters...We Get Letters and Dance to the Music are individual work and the third one, Pairing Up calls for student duos. Teachers may choose an activity for each full week in December that comes before the break.

In each Common Core and Bloom's Taxonomy aligned handout, the students' explanations will show how the characters dance to the tune of their own drummers. Students will flesh out characters and plots from their reading by focusing on the details the authors present in the stories. This will show their understanding of the elements of literature as well as their analytic and critical-thinking skills.

The whole objective of these three activities is for students to have fun showing their depth of understanding in their reading while teachers retain their sanity during this month of emotional highs and lows. Although I offer time-frame suggestions with each activity, I keep them general. Teachers should adapt this project to meet their needs and to address the needs and skill levels of their students. 

Happy Teaching,

Pairing Up

Letters... We get Letters

Dance to the Music