These guides for first-year teachers offer crucial tips for managing the classroom, students, curriculum, parent communication, and, of course, time.
Bookshelf Bests: Holiday and Winter Themes for Middle Schoolers
These books offer opportunities to discuss overarching themes of kindness, compassion, and giving of oneself.
With your classroom abuzz with holiday excitement, you'll have an easier time holding students' attention if you incorporate books involving December celebrations and winter activities into the mix. This month's recommendations include beloved classics that can be read aloud or assigned nightly and discussed in class the next day. There are also some newer titles for students to enjoy on their own. Several books offer opportunities to discuss overarching themes of kindness, compassion, and giving of oneself.
The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Remember the first time you read this short story and discovered what irony really means? Be the first to introduce your students to this selfless tale about a young husband and wife, each of whom unwittingly sells his or her most prized possession to finance the perfect Christmas gift for the other. Use these lesson plans to teach important vocabulary terms and identify irony in the story.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Holiday Princess by Meg Cabot
Fast forward almost 150 years from Little Women to the fictional world of Princess Mia Thermopolis from the Princess Diaries series. In this fun-to-read primer, the princess, her friends, family, and royal stylists give advice on holiday etiquette and customs around the world (including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Lunar New Year). Though this book works best as an independent read, you can turn the list of ways to say "Happy New Year" in 60 languages and the explanation of what "Auld Lang Syne" really means into an entertaining classroom activity. Fans of Princess Mia will enjoy this video interview with author Meg Cabot, whose Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls series is also popular with tween girls.