Christmas! December! Yep, it is a magical time of year, but unfortunately it also tends to be a stressful month and our sweet little kiddos are so excited about things like Santa Claus and Christmas parties that they tend to have a difficult time focusing and following directions.
December has always been a struggle for me with behavior in the classroom. Two years ago I decided that I would try an elf that would be watching them to report to Santa. It worked for a little bit, but not really. I still plan on having an elf this year because it is just so much fun!
This year I decided I needed something different that would really help my little ones stay focused on good behavior. The idea just came to this morning (while I was in the shower because my best ideas always hit me as I am shampooing my hair).
Previously the other kindergarten teacher in my building and I would make the last week before winter break filled with tons of fun activities. Each day had a theme. We would wear certain things. We would watch some movies. We would have special snacks. You get the idea right?
I liked that and all, but it was stressful on me. It was a lot crammed into one week. My students really couldn't focus that week because we were so out of our normal routine.
I decided this year to do FUN FRIDAYS. We have 3 Fridays in December that we are in school. Each Friday will have a special Christmas theme (the green guy who hates Christmas, a special reindeer, etc.). We will still have a special snack, craft, and short video. This way though it is not as stressful because it is more spread out.
To be able to participate, students can not move more than a certain amount of sticks throughout the week. You could really set the guide to be anything you want.....moving sticks, homework turned in, etc.
Our district has folders that go home on Thursday with all our important notes so I wanted to send home the information today because my next chance would be the day before our first FUN FRIDAY. Since I was sending home info, I wanted to tell the students about it. As I was explaining it, I started asking them, "What can you do to earn a ticket to a Fun Friday?" When I got home from work today I thought, "Why not make actual tickets that they need to present in order to participate?" Lo and behold came this freebie below. I plan on printing them on red or green paper and giving them right before our fun activities start. Just click on the picture to download the tickets. I included two versions. One that is Christmas themed and one that is just plain. I might use this idea on a smaller scale at the end of the year as well.
I will post about our actual FUN FRIDAY activities as the time gets closer. I am so excited to have a great stress-free December in my classroom!