Mr. Murphy and I are excited to announce we will be hosting our first Family Holiday Traditions Around the World Maker Day Eventat the Fox Hill Learning Commons the week of December 18th through December 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The purpose of the event is to give students the opportunity to create either a digital or analog artifact which represents the holidays, customs, and traditions of their culture. Once completed, students will share their creations with their teacher, classmates, and families through their Seesaw portfolios.
Students will have four different stations to choose from in the Learning Commons including:
Book Creator- BYOI (Bring Your Own iPad) holiday traditions book or greeting card
Scratch Jr. – BYOC (Bring Your Own Chromebook) coding an interactive greeting card
Handmade greeting card – glitter, glue, yarn, and more!
iMovie- holiday traditions video with the green screen and iMovie
One School, Many Cultures
When designing this event, Mr. Murphy and I considered the strategic initiatives and goals outlined in our district’s Planning for Success document. Specifically, we created this event to target the district’s cultural competence initiative and to provide an enrichment opportunity to supplement the culture diversity lessons already being taught in Fox Hill classrooms. Participating in this event will help students develop awareness and understanding of other cultures’ holidays, customs, and traditions; giving ALL Fox Hill students the chance to learn about and celebrate the diversity of our school in an authentic manner. Students will begin to understand the complex concepts of empathy and tolerance through peer to peer learning. This event also contributes to their social and emotional development through building confidence and self-esteem as students will be able to share their expertise about their family’s holiday customs and traditions.
Beyond teaching cultural competence, this inclusive, cross-curricular learning activity has tremendous benefits. It combines skills across several content areas including writing, speaking, math, computer science, art, and technology. Students will gain practice with Book Creator and iMovie, two of our foundational apps, and uploading their work to Seesaw promotes positive digital citizenship. It also helps us continue our progress towards the district initiative of digital portfolios. We’ve intentionally designed this to be a differentiated learning experience for our students by allowing them to choose an activity based on their interest and skill level. For example, students who excel in the art may decide to pursue creating a handmade card, while those who are passionate about math may choose to code their own card using Scratch Jr. Providing students with choice makes this not only a differentiated but a personalized learning experience. The larger audience (thanks to Seesaw) brings relevance and meaning to the activity and will increase student motivation. Creating a product for a relative or friend makes this a real-world experience and many students become more invested in the production of their work when they know it will be shared or viewed by others.
To show our students just how diverse a family’s holiday traditions can be, Mr. Murphy and I (well, it was really my 10-year-old daughter Carly) created example holiday books using Book Creator. Fifth-grader Madison also created an example. Clearly, we all have different holiday traditions and this underscores the diversity we have here in Burlington Public Schools.
We encourage Fox Hill teachers to show their students these examples, and we hope this will lead to a healthy discussion about the diversity of the holiday season prior to attending our Holiday Maker Event! We look forward to seeing the many different holiday traditions of Fox Hill students the week of December 18th through the 22nd!