Managing Behavior in December

We all know that in December our little angels get Christmas on the brain and they get excited.  This excitement is sometimes hard to contain because, well, they are 5 and 6 years old and it's hard to contain your excitement for Christmas when you are 5 or 6.  (Let's be honest it's hard for adults to contain their holiday excitement too!)

How can you manage that behavior in your classroom and promote a positive learning environment for your students throughout December?  Well, let me show you what I do!

Every Friday in the month of December we have "fun friday."  

What is Fun Friday?
Fun Friday is a celebration where we combine learning, crafts, treats, and sometimes a video.  Each Fun Friday in December is a different theme:
  • Grinch Day
  • Rudolph Day
  • Polar Express Day
(You can choose any theme that works for you and your class.)

I ask my students to wear green on Grinch day, red on Rudolph day, and pajamas on Polar Express day.  Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we center all of our literacy, math, science, and social studies work around our theme.  Then at the end of the day we make a craft, read the book, and watch the video. 

How does this help manage behavior?
Now you might be thinking how does this help behavior?  Wouldn’t it make the students more excited and wound up?  Well, it could do that, but my students know that in order to participate in the video and snack at the end of the day they must have an 80% or higher on their Class Dojo for the week.  You can set whatever parameters work best for you and your class. 

If a student doesn’t meet the behavior goal, they still participate in all the learning activities throughout the morning and early afternoon.  They will just miss some or all of the video (and possibly the treat).  I rarely have a student miss more than a portion of time during the first FUN FRIDAY.  Once they see what they are missing then they make sure to do whatever it takes to participate the following week. 

What else do I need to know to implement this into my classroom?
In order to make things a little more interesting and fun, I give my students a ticket to enter FUN FRIDAY.  The tickets create a little more buy in for the students.  They get beyond thrilled to earn that ticket.  You can click here to get some “FUN FRIDAY tickets” for your classroom.

Do you have a great way to manage behavior during the busy month of December?  I would love to hear all about it!