Saturday, December 8, 2012

Schedule Disruption Survival Plan

Before I begin this post, I must make a disclaimer:  I really do love the holiday season.  I love the traditions that surround Christmas, the concerts, the crafts, the Santa's Shops.  I really do.  BUT. . .

Oh my, how they disrupt a daily schedule, and if you teach young children, you know...know...KNOW what a disrupted schedule means...hyper-vigilence on your part and ENGAGING and EXCITING activites to keep them focused.

This week we have -- Monday, dress rehersal for Christmas play.  Monday night, Christmas play, Tuesday afternoon  (all afternoon) Santa's Helper's Craft  Day,  Wednesday morning, mass, Wednesday afternoon, Santa's Secret Shop, and Friday, regulary scheduled superstar student guest reader.  That's a lot of schedule disruption.

So what's a teacher to do?  Pull out the big guns!  Pull out those extra special fun learning games to keep everyone involved.  I've got two I've been saving... one I created just yesterday, and one I created about a month ago.  In math, we've been learning addition strategies, so I created this game.
Race to Bethlehem finishedjpg_Page1

I'm using one paper dice with numbers on it and one dotted dice.  The idea is the children will practice counting on from the numbered die  instead of counting each dot on both dice.  Most of my kids are getting this concept, but I still notice some putting up fingers for both numbers when adding.  Hopefully, playing this game will help that concept sink in for a few more.  Ive also differentiated the resource by including number dice from 1-6 and 7-12.  This will give you sums to 12 or sums to 18, depending on which die you use with your dotted dice.  This resource can also be used to reinforce subtracting from the bigger number.  Don't you just love a versatile resource?
You can claim this FREEBIE from my TPT store by clicking on the picture above.  For our public school friends who may not be able to race to Bethlehem, I created an alternate version:
Race to North POle coverjpg_Page1

Same concept as above, but you're racing to the North Pole.  Click on the picture above to grab this FREEBIE from my TPT store.

The other game I've been saving for math class is Elf Toss.

Current JPEGs1

This is a fun and fast-paced game that is similar to bump, but I've added my own unique twist to it.  It also includes worksheets that I can use as homework this work.  So math is taken care of for this week!

In language arts, I will be ditching the reading series for this week -- but not the reading series skills!  This is the week I will pull out my stories of celebrating the holidays around the world.  I have a wonderful SMARTBoard presentation that I found on SMART Exchange.  If you've never looked there, you should check it out.  I use various literature resources and crafts and interactive learning activities to illustrate how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

Bearly Orderlyjpg_Page1

In addition, I will be using my Bearly Orderly resource with the whole group and with small groups.  In addition to alphabetical order, we will be practicing phonics and writing skills.

Because of our crazy schedule this week, we probably won't have time to do more than focus on math and Language Arts until at least Thursday.  I think I've got the first three days of the week covered pretty well with my "Schedule Disruption Surivival Plan."  How do you get through weeks like this?

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