2014 Holiday Blog Hop


blog hop button 2014 (1)

In the spirit of “Faulkner’s Fast Five,” here are five thoughts for this holiday season…

1. On my holiday bucket list: Read a good book! When I went to the NCTE Annual Conference recently, several people recommended “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. I’m not sure I can even wait for our winter break to start reading!

2. Here’s a special tradition: We always join our friends and family in a Shuvunda (a gift you “shove under” the bed because you can’t take it back) gift exchange! Much like a White Elephant gift exchange, we always enjoy laughing at the gifts. One of my favorites was A Christmas Story Leg Lamp!

3. Need a gift idea? I love giving presents that keep giving back. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital sells beautiful ornaments that make great stocking stuffers or unique gifts for colleagues. I always get one for our tree, too, and each year when we decorate, I’m reminded of the patients who inspired the artwork on the ornaments.


4.My students love: Every year I create a holiday “gift book exchange.” I tell my students to find a gently used book or inexpensive new novel, and they bring in beautifully wrapped presents to share. It also helps me ensure that they read when they’re on vacation!


5. Finally, a gift for you: Recently I used these Free Analyzing an Argument Task Cards with my American Literature students. I numbered each card and distributed them to my students with their different abilities in mind. Each student completed his or task individually, but then the students met in groups (based on numbers) to discuss their analysis of Patrick Henry’s argument in “The Speech to the Second Virginia Convention.” Enjoy!

Thanks for “hopping” over to Cross Curricular Corner and celebrating the holidays with us!

OC_BEACH_TEACHER_revised_finalKim, the OCBeach Teacher,  is a National Board Certified English teacher who is currently teaching American Literature and AP English Literature and Composition.  She shares classroom ideas and tips on her OCBeachTeacher Facebook Page.
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7 thoughts on “2014 Holiday Blog Hop

  1. You will love The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It provides so great discussion points. I wish I taught a novels class, or an open-book class of some sort. I think seniors could handle it. The book really made me think about medical science in a way I never knew existed.

    Thanks for being in the blog hop! You are a great contributor to secondary teachers!!

  2. I heart the idea of doing a holiday gift book swap in the classroom. Curious…how do you handle students who can’t afford to bring a book? or just forget to bring a book?

    Merry Christmas!
    Jonathan from Created for Learning

    • Great question, Johnathan! I always have a few extra books that I have purchased from the local library book sale and offer them to any student who needs one. I also wrap a few ahead of time for any student who wants to participate but didn’t feel comfortable asking for a book before the gift exchange.

  3. The book swap is such a wonderful idea for the students. I did something similar at my bridal shower. Everyone brought as many books as they wanted and then any that didn’t get picked by someone else were donated.

    Brynn Allison
    The Literary Maven

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