Do you have a love-hate relationship with holidays? Maybe you have favorite activities you love to do before Halloween or Christmas, or maybe you just look forward to the time off at spring break. But that period before the holidays or break? Your usually smoothly running classroom becomes chaotic. Let’s talk classroom management tips for the holidays.
3 tips for classroom management in the holiday season
Behavior management techniques are essential all through the school year, but they get put to the test during the holiday season. Ideally, at this point in the year, you’ve already set expectations and students know the rules and consequences. Consider reviewing classroom rules and consequences before kids start getting worked up about the holidays. A great way to do this is to “catch” kids doing positive behaviors and praise that. Then consider these ideas:
1. Keep routines
Special events may throw off your usual schedule. Special events may be fun things like assemblies, music concerts, or parties, but they could also be end of term testing or other wrap up. Keep to your daily routines as much as possible, especially morning meetings or other morning routines to set the tone for the day. This is a good time to set expectations for each day, if there are things that are different than usual.
2. Be consistent
Kids are excited. There are special events going on outside of school and possibly inside school. They are anticipating the big day — time off from school, special foods, maybe costumes or candy or gifts. Some kids may also be dreading the day — it may not be the special event other kids seem to get or there may be issues at home that make it a hard time. Either way, your students are likely to show different energy or behavior in the classroom. Be consistent with expectations. “We’re going to the gym for our parade, but we still need walking feet and quiet voices in the hallway.”
3. Keep the learning focus with different activities
Keeping the learning focus can be challenging during the holidays. This classroom management tip might seem to contradict the previous tip, but when typical learning tasks aren’t working, you need to mix it up. To be clear, I suggest being consistent with expectations and how you enforce rules, but you can shift things around in what you do.
Try more brain breaks to help kids burn off extra energy and refocus. Brain breaks are often quick. Try a stretch or a one song dance party (a holiday related song makes it extra fun) between activities. Or use brain break cards for quick ideas students can do anywhere!
Brain breaks help kids focus, and you can also incorporate more games, puzzles, and other activities that feel less like school and more like fun.
Here are some classroom tested activities to try:
This classic game is a great way to keep the learning focus, but add some fun too. Try phonics bingo for CVC, CVCC, CCVC this holiday season. Looking for some fun for more advanced students? Try phonics bingo advanced code. Bingo is a great game to blend focused learning and fun because it is a whole class activity.
If you bring bingo in for literacy, what are you going to do for math? Puzzles help keep learning fun but focused. Skip counting puzzles are a great option.
Christmas Skip Counting Puzzles FREE Sample
So keep routines and be consistent with expectations, but keep it fun and focused around the holidays.