Comfort and Joy in the Secondary Math Classroom

I am excited to be a part of the 12 Days of December Blog Hop and Giveaway! I have teamed up with some incredible secondary teachers to write about "comfort and joy" during the holiday season in our classrooms. 

Christmas Time!! I love seeing Christmas decorations all around town and views into people's homes on Instagram. I know that many of our students do not get to experience holiday decorations in their our home for various reasons. Our family is spread out in different states so during the holidays we are on the go and traveling for a lot of our break. How can we be sure to spread "Comfort and Joy" to our students through our classroom? I know that having a decorated classroom brings me some comfort when I am at school.
I know that in a secondary classroom we might not want to have a "cutesy" theme for holidays. I am going to share some ways that I *hope* to bring comfort and joy into my middle school math classroom.

1. Music
Y'all! I love Christmas music! Mariah Carey Christmas CD anyone? Take me back to 5th grade! I feel like music always brings the level of noise down in my classroom. I can say, "If I can't hear the music, it is too loud..!" I like that my students can talk with each other but with 30 kids in one classroom it can get really loud sometimes. I put on Pandora! My favorite station for Christmas music is Michael Buble and Mariah Carey mixed.

2. Christmas Lights
This is one of the easiest ways to bring some joy into the classroom. I have asked neighbors and parents to donate their old strings of lights and you would be surprised at the donations! I will accept any colors of lights(even if there are some parts with broken lights!). I love hanging lights from my ceiling and have left them up from year to year. You could also hang the lights around your front whiteboard or even your classroom door. Here is an example of a gorgeous Christmas Wreath, made with deco mesh(which is super cheap!), from my coworker Kristina! Click here to check out her TpT Store for more math ideas!

3. Christmas Trees
I love putting my tree up at home and I love the idea of having a tree in the classroom. We are at school for at least 8 hours a day...
Here is a great small tree idea from my coworker Kim! Click here to check out Kim's blog for secondary ELA ideas!

You could also get a small 3 ft. tree that you decorate. Give students the responsibility of watering each day.

*If the fire code does not allow you to have Christmas lights check out Hobby Lobby or Big Lots for those cute colored fake trees. These would last from year to year and require no maintenance.

4. Math Themed Decorations
I feel like sometimes it can get a little hectic around the end of the semester. I love my coordinate graphing mystery pictures for this reason. When I need something for my students that is still tied into the curriculum, I pull out my Christmas Mystery Picture. These are fabulous for decorations!

5. Christmas Movies
If you feel like you may need a break from the routine, then bust out some classic Christmas movies. I have Math Movie questions to go along with Elf  and How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Frozen so your students will never know they are working on math while watching a movie!

6. Create Christmas Cards 
I am an artsy person (maybe should have been an art teacher), and I love doing my String Art project! It is very student-led and students can go crazy with their ideas. Here are some past examples that are amazing! 

You can create "snowflakes" for the front of a card. Hang these in your classroom as well for more decorations! Click here to get this project for your students

I hope you, your family, and students all have a wonderful December and enjoy your break! 
Don't forget to check out all the amazing secondary bloggers sharing their ideas to help you bring "Comfort and Joy" into your classroom and be SURE to enter our GIVEAWAY! There will be gift cards raffled off on December 1st, 4th, 8th and 12th. Enter early and often for your chance to win some crazy prizes! Merry Christmas!

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