By Janet Brown and Michele White
In a time where a student’s new normal is in a virtual classroom with a digital image of a teacher reflecting towards them all day, several teachers at El Dorado Middle School decided to brainstorm ways in which to reconnect with their students. Using the upcoming holiday season theme with remote learning experiences, a series of hands-on, functional activities were created. In keeping with the familiar Christmas song, they designed a project they called “On the 12 Days of Christmas Our Teacher
Asked Us To...”
Simplicity was key to ensure students would remain engaged and to make it easy for the activities to be performed by the parents and students working alone at home throughout the day. Hopefully, students would look forward to opening an envelope every day. So, boxes for each student were wrapped with Christmas paper (because who doesn’t love an early Christmas present), then twelve numbered and dated envelopes were placed within those boxes with the activities inside them.
Each envelope contained instructions and materials to complete the activities students needed to work on each day. Examples for the activities of the “Twelve Days Project” were designed to include time with other family members, fun work, and mental design problems. Each day the students would open one (and ONLY ONE) envelope then they might be instructed to create a Christmas ornament, write a Christmas card to mail to someone special, make a yummy holiday treat, or possibly even share a Christmas story with someone of their choosing. Family members are included in several activities in ways the students would not usually think of as educational and fun.
This December, the students and their families will find a way to enjoy remote learning and the Holiday Season through their own unique choices within each inspiring and festive activity, in their “On the 12 Days of Christmas My Teacher Asked Me To...” Holiday project.