Updated: Dec 2, 2020
As Christmas rolls around in a school, everyone seems to be doing ‘all the fun stuff' with their students. We are not ones to shy away from Christmas activities (in fact we both love them and all things Christmas), but at the same time we agree that we still want our students to be engaged in academic activities that require them to think, and problem solve.
One of the first products we created here at Rainbow Sky Creations were these Christmas Packs that are designed to spark your student's creativity and cater for a range of learning styles in the classroom. We have dedicated this post to explaining why this resource is a MUST HAVE in your classroom leading up to Christmas.
Why this Resource?
This Christmas themed Blooms/Gardner's grid (matrix) has been created to encourage creative and critical thinking. It is designed to use in either individual lessons, literacy rotation tasks or as fast finishing activities leading up to or during the festive season! We have included each activity on the grid, on task cards as well as worksheets to assist you in using these activities in various ways. Best of all the templates provide a scaffold so students can all be working on different tasks at the same time (this is a super simple way to implement student voice and choice in the classroom as well).
The activities included cater for a range of learners and learning styles in the classroom. The grid and tasks increase in difficulty which allows you as a teacher to guide students to activities and a level of complexity that will best challenge them. Activities also range from completely individual tasks to activities that students can work in streamed, mixed ability pairs or triads. The matching printables will assist and scaffold students in completing tasks independently and to a high standard.
What about technology?
Technology is an important part of the modern classroom, and this resource can be used with or without technology. Within the pack, however, there is a digital version of each task if you have students who are working with one-to-one devices or students who have a particular passion for working online.
How is this different from all the other 'Christmas fun' out there?
This resource has a festive focus and includes loads of fun Christmas activities, but it is academically focused and encourages students to take responsibility for their learning. Tasks cater to different learning styles and allow students to be working on various tasks that suit them. Christmas is the perfect time to experiment with a resource like this if you are new to this style of teaching. Plus, your students are bound to love it!
Is it easily organised?
Absolutely! We recommend you print a copy of the grid for all students so they can use it as a guide for what tasks they wish to complete. Then have a folder set up with a few copies of each task for students to select. Inevitably, some activities are going to be far more popular than others. You can anticipate this by asking students the day before to nominate the activity they will be working on. From there, the teacher takes on a role of facilitator as the students take over the responsibility for their learning.
How to introduce this resource to your class:
You know your class best, but here are some suggestions on how to get your class started with this resource:
Introduce the same task to the whole class and model how they can go about completing it. This is a good time to set the standard you expect by demonstrating what a sufficiently completed task should look like.
You could present students with one row or column of the grid first. This will reduce your preparation load and allow students to become accustomed to this style of learning.
Dive in! Provide students with the whole grid and watch the magic happen. This type of introduction would work best with older grades.
What is included in this resource?
Blooms Matrix (paper and digital)
Colour coded task cards for every activity
Worksheet scaffold for every grid activity
Digital version of each activity + Teacher instructions and QR code poster for easy student access
Personally, we both love using matrix style activities such as these in our classrooms. We feel it allows students to explore their learning styles and discover the best way they like to learn. It also involves student choice and voice, which is crucial in the 21st-century classroom. Over the years, we have trialled this resource with students of all age groups, and no matter what grade the students are in, we have found activities like these are always highly engaging and have students enthusiastic about their learning.
To have a closer look at this resource, click on the images below. The Junior version is suited for students in Kindergarten - Grade 2 and the Primary version is designed for students in Grade 3- Grade 6.
Perhaps you have read this far and may just want to give this type of resource a go first. Download our Christmas Creative Thinking Tasks for free here!
If this resource is not for you and your students, but you are looking for something else to use in your classroom to celebrate Christmas, you might be interested in our Kindness at Christmas Flipbook:
Before you go, are you a new teacher?
Come over and join us in our New Teacher Facebook Group. It is a community to share and learn together. We have also created printable labels and letters to display in your classroom that match this article that you can grab in the group. Join us here.
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