white scrabble tiles on the wooden table
K-12, Teaching Tools

November Celebrations!

Once teachers make it through Halloween, notable dates in November quickly dominate the calendar. Though many of the ones I’ve curated are United States-centered, there are a couple of global celebrations sprinkled in the eleventh month of the year as well. We kick it off with Dia de Los Muertos on November 1st and how can you not deck your halls for Fibonacci Day on 11/23? The entire month is Native American Heritage Month in the States. Then we’ve got Election Day and Veteran’s Day in quick succession, followed by Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November.

Of course I’ve curated as many free resources as I can in this November/Thanksgiving Wakelet. The Election Day and Native American Heritage Month Wakelets are brand new collections I’ve curated this week (you can find links to these above as well as in the November Wakelet), and I’ve begun to add a new “feature” by giving approximate grade levels in the titles of each resource. Note that these are super flexible, but at least you can guess that if you teach Pre-K, it’s probably going to be a waste of time to click on a resource that says, “Grades 9-12.”

Happy Last Day of October! I hope you’ve had a good month and you are looking forward to a fabulous November!

Click here to access the November/Thanksgiving Wakelet!
Games, K-12

13 Little to No Prep Halloween Activities

I know that not everyone who reads this blog celebrates Halloween. But I have seen an uptick in people visiting my Halloween posts in the last week, so I thought I could put this out there to help out any teachers looking for some quick Halloween Brain Breaks.

My Halloween Wakelet has over 70 bookmarks, but some lessons require a bit more prep than others. So I combed through it in order to highlight a few for you that could be last-minute time-fillers. You know, for those moments your class gets called to take school pictures and you end up waiting in line for twenty minutes, or when you need to conference with a student and want the rest of the class to be engaged, etc…

Happy Diwali
Anti-Racism, K-12, Teaching Tools

Diwali Toolkit

Though many calendars have Diwali’s official date as October 24, 2022, this “festival of lights” is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs in many regions for 5 or even 6 days. Depending on the region, Diwali traditions may differ, as the purpose for celebrating may also vary. However, according to the Hindu American Foundation, the common themes are the “symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.”

I have collected some Diwali resources to share with your students in this Wakelet, including a free downloadable toolkit of lessons from the Hindu American Foundation. Along with the toolkit there are some other lessons that are new to the collection this year, as well as some I bookmarked last year.

While I think it’s important for all students to have their cultures understood and for students to learn about the traditions of others, it can be difficult to avoid cultural appropriation. Here is a post I published last year that has some good resources we can all use to help us reflect on how we can encourage learning without reinforcing harmful stereotypes.

selective focus photography of piled pumpkins

October and Halloween Wakelets

I’ve been working on my Wakelet collections so that I’ll eventually have one for every month. To be consistent, I split my Halloween/October collection into two different collections. So, there is now a Halloween one and an October one (which contains a link to the Halloween one as well.)

Some upcoming October holidays/celebrations that you can really have fun with in the classroom are Powers of 10 Day (10/10 of course!) and Global Maker Day on 10/18. I’m still adding resources as they show up on social media, so keep on the lookout for more ideas for those.

In the meantime, the Halloween Wakelet is loaded with lots of math, literature, and science ideas. Many of them can be modified easily to use for a fall theme if you are in a school where Halloween lessons are discouraged. There are free digital breakouts in the collection, a slow reveal graph about candy sales, and tons of puzzles. One of my favorite lessons that I used to do with my primary students was Monster Box, and you will find an updated link to that with a free link to a Google Slides presentation from SlidesMania with cute monsters. It uses the Visible Thinking Routine, “Step Inside,” and I am sure you can find other ways to adapt it.

Of course, don’t forget that September still has a few more fun days left, including International Podcasting Day. If you want to get a head start on October and celebrate International Podcasting Day at the same time, here is a wonderful list from @GladeJeff of Halloween Podcasts for grades PK-12.

light landscape nature sky
K-12, Teaching Tools

April Holidays and Celebrations

April begins next Friday, and I’ve gathered together as many resources as I can to help you with upcoming holidays and celebrations. Two exciting ones to note are that April is both National Poetry Month and School Library Month (TCEA just published an excellent post on this!). I have links to honor both of those in my April Wakelet. April 1st happens to be April Fool’s Day and the beginning of Ramadan, which are also included in the collection. Moving forward, there are: International Children’s Book Day (April 2), Passover (Begins April 15), Easter (April 17), and Earth Day (April 22).

(I want to note that these monthly Wakelet collections are in columns with headings for the holidays. It may appear differently according to your device. On my phone, for example, I can can just swipe to see all of the columns, whereas on my laptop I may need to scroll to or mouse over the bottom in order to access the horizontal bar that allows me to scroll to the right. As holidays come and go, I try to put the next celebration near the “front of the line” so you don’t have to scroll as much to find it.)

I’ll be adding new links as I find them to the April Wakelet, as I do with all of my collections. Follow me on my main page if you want to keep updated!

white graphing notebook
Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Anti-Racism, K-12

Make Valentine’s Day Inclusive and Culturally Responsive

No matter your own feelings about Valentine’s Day, if you are an educator you know that it is a HUGE day for students of any age. It’s tricky to navigate through this holiday that is ostensibly predicated on love and kindness without someone feeling left out. So I’ve collected a few resources with great suggestions for preparing the best that you can to make this a happy day for your students.

Celebrate Love and Kindness!” by Lindie Johnson recommends several different activities you can do to help students share their own traditions

“Culturally Responsive Teaching: Valentine’s Day in the Classroom” by Jalissa on Lee and Low Books has literature suggestions

“Celebrating Valentine’s Day” from Responsive Classroom suggests emphasizing charity and appreciation to steer away from commercialism and popularity contests

I’ll be adding these to my Valentine’s Day Wakelet as well as my Anti-Racism Wakelet.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com