It’s almost upon us…one of the most dreaded days of the entire school year…the day AFTER Halloween. Most likely your students have stayed up way too late the night before and have eaten more candy in a single night than they usually do in a month. I know that taking a sick day is one great way to deal with November 1st, but if that is not an option (or you have bravely chosen to face it on your own), here are some ideas for not only making it through the day, but making it a good day to boot.
On Halloween (or perhaps a day or two before) send home a note suggesting to parents that they limit the amount of candy they allow their kids to consume and that they try to get their kids to bed at a decent time. If you have any rules about Halloween candy at school, be sure and include them in your note. My rules are that students are only allowed to bring two pieces a day which they can eat at lunch (not during morning snack time).
Plan a Quiet Day
Today is not the day to introduce a new concept, give a test, or host a guest speaker. As much as possible, follow known routines and focus on quiet work. You might consider extending your silent reading time or read-aloud time.
Deal with it Head On
Your students will want to share about their Halloween experiences, so give them some time to do it. Jim Alexander (from my facebook page) sets a timer for ten minutes at the start of class and allows students to use that time to share with each other. Another idea is to allow students to share a few sentences about what they did with the class. Once students have had some time to talk about their Halloweens, they will be more likely to be able to focus on the work at hand.
Make it Part of the Learning
Stormy Daniels (also from Facebook) has her students write about their Halloween nights and then share with the class. For younger students, you could have each student create a page to go into a special Halloween book. Also from Facebook, Michelle Byram James offers these ideas:
If you can’t beat them, join them. My homework is to sort your candy any way you want. During math, we talk about how they sorted their candy. Some kids are surprised that there is more than one way. I also ask them to bring 10 pieces of candy that they don’t mind givinig up. During history, we do some bartering so they can see that some candy is “more valuable” than others. Depending on the grade, you can do a lot with this. We also write about what we did the night before. There are always kids who don’t celebrate Halloween. I bring them my candy leftovers and when we write, I really try to make them feel proud of their family traditions instead of feeling left out. Have a fun candy day! (By the way, if you tell kids what your favorite candy is, you will be sure to find some on your desk the next day.)
Give Yourself a Treat
Emily Williams Kelley (from Facebook) says that her team has all scheduled massages for after school on November 1st. Why not do the same? Or maybe a pedicure or facial. If money is tight, a hot bath and a good book can also do the trick.
Do you have more ideas to add? Please share with a comment.