My name is Nadine and I run the Instagram platform ‘Múinteoir N’ to help teachers, particularly student teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) as they embark on their teaching career.
I am here to give you some of my hindsight in terms of challenges I have faced and how I have overcome them, and of course, some tips I have picked up along the way to make life in the classroom a little easier for you! 😉
With Christmas fast approaching you may feel the pressure to make your classrooms festive and full of the joys of Christmas. This can be expensive and if you are like me, you will stand in the aisles of shops and debate whether to buy the decorations for your classroom or home! There is nothing more exciting than seeing the Christmas decorations go up, and especially this year, I think we all need them!
With that said, there are plenty of ways to make your classroom festive on a budget!
Here are my top 5 ways of doing just that!
Put on a virtual fire and sit around reading Christmas stories!
Last year my class wrote narrative Christmas stories and published them into big books to read to younger classes in our school. We all sat around our virtual fire in the classroom as a student read to everyone. They used a flashlight to see the book. All our fairy lights (see below) that we had around displays, and our Christmas tree lights lit up the darkness. It really felt like Christmas and was so cosy!
You could choose to read any Christmas book over the next couple of weeks like this. It’s quick and free, but so effective.
Decorate the border of your display boards and whiteboard with fairy lights or tinsil!
Create a kindness advent calendar for the class or the whole school.
As you can see from the date, we were a few days into December when we started this last year but we had such an amazing time every day undertaking the random acts of kindness in school and then at home too.
The acts of kindness were completely devised by the pupils as we brainstormed them together on the whiteboard/ interactive whiteboard and then each pupil took one of the acts of kindness each to write on their date. Any random acts of kindness that were left over we added them into the calendar too for extra ideas!
Decorate your door with the help of your class.
We went for something simple but effective in our candy cane house, but if you are really in the Christmas spirit, you could take a leaf out of Fiona from spedadulting, and embrace your inner buddy!
How amazing is this?
Treat yourselves to some hot chocolate!
My favourite thing to do on the lead up to Christmas or on your last day before the holidays.
I buy the hot chocolate you can make with water as hot milk would take a long time in school! I would set up your hot chocolate station and have enough kettles (I use 2) to rotate boiling while you fill cups. I also have some marshmallows in each cup already and the pupils can choose to cool them down with some cold water or milk.
It is such a lovely treat and definitely gets everyone into the Christmas spirit!
I hope you all have a wonderful month of magical Christmas storytelling, games and fun!
Enjoy decorating your classrooms and getting into the festive spirit!