This year was the first time for me to create an advent calendar for my third graders. I was inspired by many DIY advent calendars which I found on Pinterest. I also like the idea of coming up with activities which shows kindness and sharing with others.
Not all of my students is familiar to the idea of advent calendar. So, we had a quick session to unpack what an advent calendar is (Form) and how it works (Function). Most of my students are familiar with the tradition of having advent calendars. So they are sharing what they know about advent calendar and help those who do not know about it to inquire the facts of it.
A week before December started, I asked the students to write down an activity which could be done as a class. My plan was to use what they wrote for the activities in the advent calendar. I browsed lots of ideas for advent calendars and didn’t find which I would do in the class.
I looked at the ideas which they shared. I didn’t want to share with them as it should be a surprise for them. So, on the first day of December, after unpacking what an advent calendar is, they’re looking forward to finding out what inside number 1 was.
Our class advent calendar was prepared for 12 days as we’re off to Christmas break. Every day is a gift for them. The students were very excited and enthusiastic to find out what it would be. Something that they could share. Something that they could do. Something that ……keeps them going to the break. 🙂
Here are some ‘gifts’ in our class Advent Calendar.
- Pay compliment to others (How do being caring and showing appreciation sound like?)
- Free seats (Sit wherever you want for a day)
- An hour of code (The students applied their coding skills to animate their names on code.org)
- Visit a science lesson in the secondary school and experience a science lesson (This one I should thank to the secondary science teacher who was willing to let us join her lesson AND the lesson was relevant to their body system unit – AWESOME)
- Experience how learning happens in other classes (They got to choose which class they would join for 20 minutes. They got to share their experience and reflect)
- Play their favourite games (The BUZZ, BEEP, BOB game which they learned from the fourth teacher. It’s very simple but these kids LOVE it. It’s a skip counting game)
- Extra reading time (The students have never had enough time to read. Too many facts and stories to read and too many exciting things to share from the books)
- Skyping with other school (The students were skyping with a school in the USA)
- Helping in the library (Reshelving books is one of their favourite activities)
- Play with someone whom you never play with at recess and lunch break (Being caring and showing empathy on the playground)
- Sweet treats (Sweets are good as long as we stay balanced – Another connection to the Who we are unit. Stay balanced, that’s the keyword)
- Watching a movie (Enjoy and relax! Holiday is just around the corner!)
Every morning before the school started, I decide which gift I would put . Each gift would make them be better learners. Each gift would allow them to apply their knowledge/skills which they’ve learned. Each gift would help them reflect on themselves. Each gift is a celebration of the day.