Spending the month of December in a classroom is magical. Energy level is heightened. Children are excited. They work with an intensity that is wonderful to see. They can also be extra wiggly, off-task, and somewhere in dreamland! But this is my 27th year of spending such Decembers with a large group of young ones, and I love it. It really feels like the HOLIDAY season!
Our classroom December is spent with lots of poetry, art, and music. Everything is centered around our study of Families of the World and their cultural traditions. We read, we research, we share information learned. We watch films of families from every continent (except Antarctica!), we memorize poems about the holidays, we decorate our room with lots of color and light. And then, just before school gets out for Winter Break, we invite our parents to come to the classroom and celebrate it all with a “Heritage Feast” with delicious tastes of family favorites and foods from many different cultures.
So for this year’s Virtual Advent Tour (thanks to Kelly and Marg), I’d like to share with you two heartfelt holiday treasures — The poem my students memorize and recite every December, AND a video of one of the most inspiring groups of children (and their incredibly gifted music teacher) performing “Let Their Be Peace on Earth.”
To each of you, from whichever tradition you celebrate, I wish you a joyous, light-filled December, and a very Happy Holiday Season!
Every year at just this time,
In cold and dark December,
Families around the world,
All gather to remember.
With presents and with parties,
With feasting and with fun.
Customs and traditions,
For people old and young.
So every year around the world,
In all lands and all nations,
People of all ages love,
(by Helen H. Moore)
From the chorus of PS22 in Staten Island, New York: Their version of the beautiful song, “Let Their Be Peace on Earth.”
What an amazing choir!! Thank you so much for sharing this, Robin.
Kids do help bring us back to the pureness of the holidays.
What a delightful post! I can just imagine the energy of your classroom. Beautiful poem and I loved the video!
I love teaching, too, and it is especially joyful at Christmas time (even though now our district has taken to calling vacation “Winter Break”, and Christmas seems to be lost amongst the celebrations for Kwanza and Diwali and other cultures). I’m reading my class the original Nutcracker this year, and listening to the Suite as we go; it’s really fun to teach them, to see their shining eyes, to experience the joy through a child’s point of view. Thanks for sharing your joy with us. Merry Christmas!
Thank you so much for participating in the tour this year, and for sharing the poem and video!
This was lovely, Robin. The mandala is beautiful, and the poetry and video were fun to look at and experience the joy that children have for this season. Have a very merry Christmas, Robin!
What a wonderful way to incorporate all kinds of celebrations into your classroom! Thank you for sharing!
I love the way you talk about your work – always with so much passion. Happy Holidays, Robin!
What a lovely post. Children make Christmas and how wonderful for you to have had 27 years of Christmas with so many pupils. Oddly enough my grandson’s class is doing ‘children of the world’ as their Christmas play this year (he tells me he’s Australia) and I’ll be going along to see that on Wed. I’ll need to take tissues as I *always* cry.
Great post, Robin! Thanks for joining in!!
Wow. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Thanks for sharing that beautiful song.
Here’s my Virtual Advent: Uff da! Norwegian Fattigmands! I hope you will stop by!
Merry Christmas to you too:) We so need passionate teachers like you – thankyou. Thankyou also for charing the choir link – those kids are just amazing, energetic and compassionate. Lovely to see and hear.
A very Happy New Year to you, Robin!
Thanks to each of you for stopping by and reading my Advent Calendar post! I wish you all a very Happy New Year. My best wishes to you for a year filled with books and well-being, and joy.