November is a short month.
In the United States, in November, we have Veterans’ Day, which sometimes turns into a 4-5 weekend. Then, we have the Thanksgiving Day holiday, which is increasingly turning into a whole week vacation. In addition to these days, there are staff development days, maybe furlough days, or perhaps you already have a 4-day work/school week.
So, in November, while we have 30 days in the month, we have very few actual instructional days. Therefore, my greatest advice is review. Before the semester ends, this is probably the best time for review and extension. Instead of trying to cram a new concept, especially a complex standard or new set of standards, insert review lessons and extensions.
As we know things are forgotten over a weekend, let alone a long weekend or a week-long vacation. So it makes sense, in a month filled with multiple gaps, to insert lots of review (and a little less new).
- Bring back a center–their favorite one.
- Bring back a center–one that was “too hard,” and give it another chance.
- Add another layer to learning–modify a previously completed experiment, add another component to an existing center, etc.
- Create a make-up hour/day for students that have missed assignments or want to redo assignments.
- Have students re-imagine, or reapply, an existing assignment to another text.
- example: if a student was required to research the time period of a text that you assigned, this month have the student pick a different text/time period to practice those same research skills
This month: review and extend. Your students will benefit, and you will be providing them a much deserved opportunity for added success.