A Treat For Teachers--Using Holidays For Learning Fun

Halloween tends to be a crazy day in most schools, and many teachers shy away from the craziness. But, why not embrace it? Your students will enjoy having fun, and you can still do content-based activities that have a Halloween theme! In this post I share more of my reasoning behind why I embrace the festivity and a recipe for pumpkin spice lattes that you can make for your class.
This week, I'm linking up with the teachers at Secondary Smorgasbord to offer treats for teachers.Thanks to ELA Buffet and Desktop Learning Adventures for hosting!

When I was a grad student, I remember saying, "I don't think it's right to give the students candy. Knowledge should be the reward, and sugar's bad. Motivation should be intrinsic."

I know--at 22, I had ideals.

So what changed? I feel like I do still have ideals, but the classroom trenches give me a new perspective, and I realize something extraordinarily important--students LOVE candy.

Case in point. I have an exchange student from Kazakhstan who does not approve of the American diet. Everything is unhealthy. But she LOVES the jolly ranchers that I keep in a jar on my desk. As a matter of fact, she asks for one (or five) everyday.

Who doesn't love a treat?

Not a soul in my most difficult class is failing so far this semester, and because of it, they are getting a "Colombian Exchange" party this Friday. We're having pizza, cookies, and chips, oh my! (My 22 year-old self is shaking her head in indignation--at least it's connected to our current unit.)

But the students are happy, and their hard work is rewarded. And my life is made easier (small [k, HUGE] bonus).

Little treats add fun to life, and why should that be a bad thing? Everything in moderation--both sugar and hard work. But life needs some of each. So why not embrace the holidays instead of ignoring them? The students are excited, anyway. Why not channel that excitement into learning opportunities?

So for Halloween, instead of keeping calm, I'm embracing the festivity. I'm making pumpkin lattes, crock pot-style. We're going to play Halloween games (content-based, of course--learning Mary Poppins-style with "a spoonful of sugar"). I have some content-based Halloween activities for world history and sociology, and I'm working on one for psychology that should be a lot of fun (check them out here).

But here is a treat for you this Halloween--a free game that can be used with content for any subject:
Halloween tends to be a crazy day in most schools, and many teachers shy away from the craziness. But, why not embrace it? Your students will enjoy having fun, and you can still do content-based activities that have a Halloween theme! In this post I share more of my reasoning behind why I embrace the festivity and a recipe for pumpkin spice lattes that you can make for your class.
Grab it HERE!
And here's that pumpkin latte recipe--it's vital that you top it with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Halloween tends to be a crazy day in most schools, and many teachers shy away from the craziness. But, why not embrace it? Your students will enjoy having fun, and you can still do content-based activities that have a Halloween theme! In this post I share more of my reasoning behind why I embrace the festivity and a recipe for pumpkin spice lattes that you can make for your class.
Picture this in fine paper cups....
-9 cups milk (I use 2%)
-7 cups coffee (brewed double-strength)
-1 cup sugar
-1 & 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
-2 tablespoons vanilla
-1 cup canned pumpkin

Mix it all together in a large crock pot, cook on high for 2 hours, and then set to "keep warm."





Looking for more teacher-treats this Halloween? Check out these great posts from the Secondary Smorgasbord teachers. Be sure to let me know how you'll handle Halloween in the comments below!

Halloween tends to be a crazy day in most schools, and many teachers shy away from the craziness. But, why not embrace it? Your students will enjoy having fun, and you can still do content-based activities that have a Halloween theme! In this post I share more of my reasoning behind why I embrace the festivity and a recipe for pumpkin spice lattes that you can make for your class.



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10 comments

  1. Nice reminder to enjoy our time with our kids! I get that we shouldn't use candy as an incentive, but I think that there is also something to be said for just being nice to our kids. I like to just give out candy randomly, and I think that's a little how the pizza party feels, it's just an expression of your appreciation of the time you get to spend with them. And of course that gets you all sorts of goodwill that helps you get the best out of them. Nice! And thanks for the fun freebie!

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  2. Love the ideas and the recipe! Thanks so much!

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  3. Leah, I wish I was in your class! Thank you for the great freebie!

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  4. I really enjoyed your sweet treats and freebie, I hope your students enjoy their party!

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  5. I love the pumpkin spice latte idea, and that will be right after a test. Do you have any suggestions if I don't have a crockpot? (Although, I did just get paid and maybe this is the right moment!)

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  6. No candy for kids is like no cookies for Santa...it's just not going to work. (I always had dumdums on hand, calling them dumdums for smart kids. :) ) But this! This could be a very yummy treat they'd love to have. Great idea, Leah!

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  7. That pumpkin latte looks yummy, and your activity to keep students engaged through the holidays is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  8. Who doesn't love a pumpkin latte! Thanks so much for the recipe and the activity.

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  9. I wish I could make this for my kids but we're only allowed to give our pre-packaged foods with all the ingredients listed on the label. I guess that way if someone gets sick, they can blame the manufacturer and not the school district. :( But I can use the game! Thanks! :)

    -Lisa
    Mrs. Spangler in the Middle

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