Week 17: Peer to Peer Chat

Collaborating. Growing. Reflecting

Keeping the Student Engagement Going While Sprinkling In Some Holiday Cheer

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Main Idea: Who defends us?

Scene Setup: In this scene we see how the Grinch came to hate Christmas. It started when he was just a boy and the other Who kids at school laughed at him during a gift exchange.

Application: “Stupid presents, I hate Christmas.” As a child, the Grinch reacted to the hurt he felt when the kids laughed at him by yelling that he hated Christmas. What he really hated was how hurt he felt in that moment, and no one stood up for him. The pain of the event grew over time, and turned a happy boy into a bitter, angry Grinch.

We’ve all had bad experiences in life, some stay with us for a long time. We can have things happen that are so hurtful, we seem to never get over them. This is especially true when we feel someone who should have protected us, failed to stand on our behalf. The results of our trauma can be deep emotional scars that remain tender when provoked.

Imagine how differently the Grinch’s life might have turned out if the teacher came to his defense. Instead of giggling along with the children in class, she took the Grinch’s side. She could have changed the course of his life by protecting the Grinch.

Suggested Task: Have your students work in collaborative groups to discuss various elements of the story. If focusing on the main idea (who defends us) have your student groups work on various ways the Grinch's life might have turned out differently had different approaches had been taken by the teacher or other students.

Tips for Starting off Your Winter Break on the Right Foot

As we wrap up this half of the school year, reflect on what you and your students have accomplished so far. It's time for a much needed brain break for all, and everyone certainly deserves it. But, before you rush out the door on Friday, you might want to wrap up a few things, so when you return you are truly rested and refreshed.


Prepare for January Before Leaving for Winter Break

  1. Take down any seasonal decorations you have up.
  2. Change your December calendar, so that January is ready to go upon your return.
  3. If you know what materials you will be using the first day back, go ahead and prepare copies and anchors you'll need. (You'll be so thankful you did this when you return)
  4. Try to finalize your January week 1 lesson plans, so that you can truly relax and enjoy some holiday cheer.
  5. Now, lock your classroom door and head out on your merry way to enjoy time to yourself.


When you return in January, this is a great time to set new goals, create new routines and establish new habits for yourself and your students. Have a safe and happy holiday!


P.S. Please remember, if there is ever a time you would like someone else to collaborate with or provide objective feedback that ties back to the PPfT rubric, reach out at any time danielle.rivera@austinisd.org. As a Peer Observer, my goal is focused on what the teacher would like to focus on and the duration of support time depends on what the teacher requests (ex: working together all year or simply meeting during key times during the year).