Here’s a little secret I’m going to share with all of you: I’m not a fan of parties. I am all about having fun in class, but I’m a fan of routine, and I know that my students like routine as much as I do. Over the years, I’ve been called a “humbug” or other such terms, and I’m okay with that. I cannot deal with an afternoon of chaos, nor can many of my students.
Since I knew that I would not be celebrating Halloween with a typical party, I needed to come up with another fun way to celebrate. That’s when I decided to create six activity centres: some were Language ones and some were Math ones, and I even integrated the Arts too (click here to view an Animoto slideshow of these centres in action). Every centre met Grade 1 and Grade 2 curriculum expectations, all of the centres were differentiated, and every one of themwas fun! Over the course of the day, the students rotated to all six centres. They were focused and engaged all day long, and yet, when they left at 3:20 today, they told me that they’ve never had a better Halloween!
Based on this feedback, I’m okay with being a “humbug.” What are your thoughts on this? How do you add order to chaos? I’d love to hear about some of the different ways that you balance learning and fun!
What a wonderful day! From what I know about your classroom, learning is fun each and every day. I love how you carried that message through a day that sometime gets lost in the party excitement. Go ahead and keep being a “humbug.”
When I taught, I tried to do similar things. Field trips were built around learning objectives and party games had educational spins on them.
We need an element of order or structure to our days. Thanks for providing your students a meaningful day of fun. Sounds (and looks) like it was a hit!!
Thanks Kathy! I really appreciate your thoughts. I think that order or structure is important too, and today really was a hit, event though students were learning as well!
I totally agree, my teaching partner and I, have for the last four years performed “Poems and Pies” for our parents on Halloween. We get to cover many curriculum outcomes, and at the same time enjoy a bag lunch with our parents, and have yummy pie for dessert! Students get to dress up for the performance, but after , we go back to our regular routine, which in my opinion, primary students gravitate to. Lots of time to party and celebrate at home! : )
Rob, this Poems and Pies idea sounds great! I may have to borrow this one for another year.:) What a great way to involve the parents in a fun, but academic, celebration.
Thanks for your comment!