Here are James' ideas to keep your Primary School pupils learning in the lead up to Christmas.
Let’s be honest, the last week or so before the Christmas holidays have traditionally been a time for fun. Games are played, cards are exchanged and learning is, at times, the last thing on the minds of children. I love this fun and relaxing environment just before the holidays but I feel it is important to maintain learning and concentration levels during this period. This is especially true in the current climate, where so much has to be fit into the school year.
Over the years I have picked up some great learning activities for the festive season. These activities always seem to go down well and ensure that the children are still learning, while still capturing the spirit of the festive season.
1) Festive Co-ordinates. Have a blank grid with letters across the bottom and numbers up the side. Set children a task whereby they have to draw a Christmas item at a particular co-ordinate location. For example, ‘draw a Santa in C2’ or ‘draw a church in B5’.
2) Drama. This can be especially successful if your school is not already doing a Christmas nativity play. Make sure everyone has a part to play and act out some nativity scenes. Maybe even show your play to the rest of the school if you can. This can be a great way of remembering the real meaning of Christmas, while working on your drama and RE skills!
3) Letters to Santa. Especially effective for Key Stage 1 children this can be a great way of brushing up on your literacy skills while having great fun. Emphasise the need to set your letter out properly with your school address at the top, date, proper ending etc.
I hope some of you might consider using these activities in your classroom and I look forward to hearing how they were received!