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Hotchalk Global

[LPP] Holidays with

The Most Magical Time Of  The Year

With colder weather, shorter days and a big break coming up, December often marks the time when some teachers, parents and children start to lose their momentum.

But, don’t despair! That December school break is a great time to reflect on the year that’s almost over, and to take a moment to assess. What challenges are you facing in the cold months ahead? What do you and your students need to revitalize and invigorate the energy in your classroom? What do you need just for yourself? And, what can we do to help?

As you’ll see below, we’re asking the community for feedback on what changes and support would best fit the needs of today’s teachers. We invite you to share your ideas!

Also below, you’ll find lesson plans to fill your calender for all of December, plus some controversial news on the education front, and a look at the new state science standards coming your way. There’s a lot to talk about.

Barbara Atkinson
Senior Editor

Share Your Voice! wants to hear from YOU! Tell us what changes you’d like to see at and you’ll automatically be entered to win one of 10 Amazon Kindles. Just click below:


Polls change regularly, so please check back for additional chances to enter and share your ideas!

December Holidays Lesson Plans

Our December resources include Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas, as well as New Year’s Eve. Highlights from the Christmas-themed plans:

  • Art: making gifts and holiday decorations, and many ornament craft ideas
  • Language Arts: a Christmas Around the World play; holiday writing activities (letters to the Grinch or the Three Wise Men); seasonal song parodies, and thank you notes for ‘ugly’ gifts
  • Math: The Twelve Days of Math; Christmas Shopping at Harrod’s, and The Longest and Weirdest Candy Cane
  • Multidisciplinary: Night Before Christmas and Cowboys at Christmas units
  •  Music: The Ebenezer Scrooge Music Experience; a Nutcracker dance; and Jin-GLE-Bells Hot Potato game
  • PE: Jingle Bell Basketball; Get the Candy Cane, and Santa’s Workshop strategy games
  • Social Studies:  the history of Santa Claus; the origin of the candy cane; Christmas around the World; planning a celebration, and drawing a community map of Santa’s North Pole
  • Science: snowflakes and crystals
  • Technology: using KidPix to create mouse pad presents
  • Other: lessons on the joys of giving and more!

We have a rather small collection of Hanukkah lesson plans — and wish we had more to share! Do you have any Hanukkah-based lesson plans? Please share them!

Great Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Resources

The award-winning site HanuKat provides teachers with original, secular Hanukkah stories, and a cool interactive way for Jewish children to share Hanukkah and Passover concepts with non-Jewish friends.

Also, check out Kwanzaaland — it’s a great resource, especially the activities on the children’s page.

In The News

Teachers Who Bully
Over at Concordia University’s blog, they are talking about several disturbing “students being bullied” stories thhat have made national headlines. The most shocking part?  Teachers are the ones doing the bullying.

On The Sidelines
Some critics call it radical, while others say it’s the future of education: ‘Flip the Classroom’ is based on the simple concept that kids can watch educational videos of lecture material — on their own time, in class or at home.

Hot Topics Right Now On Our Blogs 

Putting Students In The Driver’s Seat
I have always been a fan of giving students owner rights in the classroom. I think if they share responsibility, they behave better and learn better. This week I am trying to give them more responsibility in generating driving questions for our topic of study.

New Standards Are Coming
There is a lot you can learn from reading state science standards. Mostly, you learn that there is little difference between the standards of the 1980’s and those of the new decade. There are some changes coming. They cannot come soon enough.

Tinkering As A Teaching Tool
A few days ago, I walked into a science class and was instantly reminded of my grandfather’s garage. There on a table in the corner was a dissected toaster and next to that was a dissected computer printer. Two generations of technology all parted out, so the inner genius of their design could be seen by all the students. This teacher was on to something important.

Check out the latest on the blogs!

Submit Plans and Socialize

Have you been submitting your lesson plans directly through Facebook? Visit our Facebook page and click “Submit a lesson plan” on the left. It’s that easy!

Join more than 7,000 parents, teachers and students engaged in thought-provoking discussions about education.

Coming Attractions

Stay tuned for more lesson plans and new resources to start you off right for the New Year!

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