I may have mentioned to you once or twice that I have 30 kids and that I can have up to 32.
This happened 3 years ago. Or 4 years ago. It depends on how you look at it. Currently, I am in my 4th year of experiencing the wonderful added bonus of up to 12 more kids in my classroom than I am accustomed to.
Prior to that big change happening, we lived in this blissful little world of just 20 kids and sometimes only 17 or 18, and we worked year round in which the longest I ever had to work was three months and then I got a month off, a whole month, as in four whole weeks of school off . . . well, prior to all of that, my team and I used to do Holidays Around the World.
Yes. Used to.
As in, past tense.
Each of us would pick one holiday and we would rotate our kids throughout the whole day. So I taught one holiday six times.
Well. We gave it up when our class sizes increased. I mean, I could barely teach my own 32 without wanting to cry, take a nap, or bang my head against the wall, so how could I do it with someone else’s kids?
Turns out, none of us could. The thought was overwhelming.
No way, we said. We aren’t stupid, we said.
AND THEN. This year came.
And we decided it was time. We decided we had to try.
Or, quite possibly, we realized we had a day we needed to fill before break and this would fit the bill quite nicely.
I taught Hanukkah all day and my teammates each taught holidays from these countries: Mexico, Germany, Australia, and Sweden.
I am happy to report that it was the best day! When you teach up to 32 kids on a daily basis for three whole years and a good part of another, you realize it’s all the same. We know what we are doing now. We have worked out all the kinks and we know what to expect and we know what to shut down and we know when to lock it up. We are GIGANTIC CLASS SIZE EXPERTS now.
Although, that is nothing to brag about or be proud of. I am actually a little sickened.
Here’s what I did today.
I talked about Hanukkah.
I read a book called “The Chanukkah Guest” by Eric A. Kimmel.
It is hilarious. I got to growl like a bear all day, basically, and each class clapped for me when I was finished. They clapped spontaneously. I didn’t even need to use my “Applause, please!” sign!
And then we did a little spin and graph activity that I can’t share because I don’t own it and I cut and pasted a bunch of things together to get what I wanted. Suffice it to say the kids used a pencil and a paperclip and it was perfect for my 30 minute block of time. I basically talked and growled and read for 25 minutes and the kids did the spinning activity for five.
It’s all about me, don’t ya know.
In the past, when I had 20 kids, we would make a dreidel out of food which is my absolute favorite way to make a craft ever.
Crafts? Yes. Food? Yes. Crafts AND Food? Genius. Not priceless, though. It actually costs money. Lots of it if you have that many kids so I opted out this year.
For our food dreidels, we used a giant marshmallow as the base, stuck a pretzel stick in it as a handle, and then used frosting to “glue” a hershey kiss as the spinning top part. Brilliant.
I am happy to say today was an awesome day and our kids could not stop talking about it. We had five rotations and did our usual recess and lunch in the middle of it all . . . I basically had about an hour left of school in which to deal with my own little rascals which is the perfect amount of time to deal with little rascals if you ask me.
I am also now quite famous amongst all of the first grade children.
At least six or five waved to me at dismissal.
I think there are some absolutely AMAZING Holidays Around the World packs on Teachers Pay Teachers. And if I’d had more time, I would have taught one holiday per day. I didn’t have the time.
But this little rotation day worked out perfectly and we got the same result.
And that, my friends, is priceless.
Although I’m not trying to get sappy on you. I’m just saying it’s probably time to make a cup of coffee and pour a little Bailey’s in. You know — since my throat hurts from growling like a bear all day.