The time between Thanksgiving and Winter Break is short, but it’s an opportunity to ensure everyone feels a touch of joy before they take some time apart from one another. Cement the work you’ve done this fall by encouraging creativity throughout your community with a Door Decorating Contest! This fun idea boosts camaraderie, brightens up the hallways and creates school-wide excitement. Right before holiday break hits, utilize Just Checking in Cards to recognize students who nurture relationships with their peers.

See more details about December activities by clicking the title of each idea below.

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Just Checking In Cards: Recognize students who check in on each other by asking them to pay it forward and check in on someone else, and have a drawing for a small prize to give them a little extra incentive

BONUS! 60-Second Brain Breaks: Encourage teachers to do a 60-second brain break at least once per week in their classroom. A bunch of Brain Break ideas are listed on the Jostens Renaissance website. They include things like playing Simon Says, having an air guitar playoff, playing I Spy, and holding a 60-second dance party. Have some fun, develop some relationships, and relax that brain!

This activity has been selected as part of the Culture Challenge. Do it, enter the sweepstakes, and you could win $500 for culture and climate activities at your school


Door Decorating Themes: Reinforce staff camaraderie and student connections by having a classroom door decorating contest. Encourage contestants to decorate based on personal interests, or provide everyone with a school-wide theme.​



Secret Staffulty Dress Up Day: Reinforce a playful, fun vibe by having all Staffulty dress in an unexpected way on a designated day. But remember to keep it hush hush until the day of, so it can be a surprise for students! ​

Social-Emotional Learning – video and discussion: Use this The Green Room professional  learning episode at a staff meeting or PD day to reinforce the value of acknowledging the emotional needs of both students and Staffulty alike.


I Witnessed Something Awesome Postcards: Recognize students when they do something special with these popular postcards. (Pro Tip: Really make someone’s day by mailing the note to parents as a surprise.) Available in the Ren Store.

It’s Supposed to Be Fun – video and discussion: Use this The HarborTM by Jostens episode to reinforce the idea that having a positive attitude is within our control, and that having fun is an important facet of life.


Where Are You Headed Wall: Recognize seniors while reinforcing the ultimate goal of education — a fulfilling life after graduation. Create a wall display where all post-secondary plans are celebrated including college, military, and work.


All schools who do one Monthly Playbook activity for each month of the school year and track their school culture and climate efforts are eligible to be a Jostens Renaissance School of Distinction.

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