It’s no secret that children have short attention spans, and if they aren’t fully absorbed in what’s happening, their minds will wander. This becomes especially apparent as we move closer towards the end of the autumn term and excitement for the Christmas holidays builds to a crescendo. And who can blame them? Kids love Christmas more than any other time of year.
This can be a nightmare for teachers, who now have the concept of Christmas to add to the list of classroom distractions, but it can also have a negative effect on the kids who may ‘check out’ early and not make the most of their learning opportunities. In this article, we’re going to share with you four ways that you can get the kids engaged and make the weeks leading up to Christmas just as educational as any other time of the year.
Use online resources to your advantage
Sitting in a classroom all day can be tiresome for children, and it is easy for them to become unengaged and drift off. Fortunately, there are loads of extra resources you can try implementing within your lesson plans to stop this from happening. As more schools around the country move to a device-based form of teaching, incorporating these elements into your lessons is easier than ever.
Many children are already tech savvy, and this way of teaching can help prevent minds from wandering. Online education platforms like Busy Things use a combination of interactive games and learning tools to gets kids more engaged in the classroom. With a mix of teacher-led and child-initiated learning across a wide range of subjects, this platform is an effective way to engage the whole class.
Get creative for Christmas
Integrating arts and crafts is a fantastic way to increase motivation, engagement, and creativity among your pupils. Kids love to use their imagination and do something more hands on, so their enthusiasm remains high and their learning increases. Christmas is a great time of year for arts and crafts as there are plenty of festive things that can be created, from cards to tree decorations.
Whether you end up painting, drawing, or making collages, Early Years Resources has everything you need to turn their excited energy into something productive. But getting creative doesn’t just mean arts and crafts: you could try incorporating some creative writing into a lesson in the form of festive stories, or consider incorporating music and visuals to mix things up.
Mix things up with games
Children love to play games, and a lot of the time they won’t even realise they are learning. There are loads of options out there that can be used during any lesson in just about every subject. Not only does this get kids engaged and excited to learn, it also gives them a chance to interact with each other and develop their social skills.
A game can be anything, from something as simple as throwing a soft ball around the room as a way to decide who answers the next question, to full-on murder mystery detective games. For some fun ideas that don’t require too much preparation, we recommend these great games on Quizalize.
Put on an end of term performance
Putting on an end of term performance will channel all that Christmas excitement into something constructive. A Nativity play is the obvious choice for this time of year, and it has the added bonus of being able to support a cast of any size, with as many sheep, donkeys, or even trees as you wish.
Not only does this help kids to develop important social skills, it will also build their confidence to perform in front of their classmates, parents, and other adults. You could make the whole process more educational and tie the performance into some of your other classes. Perhaps get the kids to do a research project on the character they will be playing or have them make props and costumes that will be used in the performance.
The run-up to Christmas doesn’t have to be a teacher’s nightmare. Follow the tips above and you’ll have plenty of tricks up your sleeve to make sure the kids don’t run riot.