I was going to write more about the squishy heart issue (see 2 entries down), when that got me thinking, literally, about the Grinch from Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (Something about a heart that was two sizes too small perhaps?)
I must admit it. I do not enjoy the holidays. I'm not sure if I'm in fact a "Grinch", but I certainly can identify with the saying,"Bah Humbug." Sure, I like being out of school for a couple of weeks, but overall, it's a stressful and unstructured time. I wonder if any of your students could be feeling this way as the holidays draw near?
Things you can do to help as holiday time approaches:
1. Keep routines as "normal" and as structured as possible, with advance notice of changes (when you can).
2. Remember that holidays are not joyful for everyone. Be aware of anxiety and stress that may be happening at home as the holidays grow near.
3. De-emphasize material items, when appropriate. Wish lists can be a great creative writing or math activity. Just realize that for some, who may not be able to afford holiday luxuries- discussing what "could" be can be difficult.
4. Be aware of cultural and religious differences. Be sensitive and share others holiday traditions and celebrations.
These ideas may be helpful to you when you come back from Winter Break too!