ROOM 219

virtual extension of the ESL classroom

Holiday Traditions

Erika says:
Nimitz High School has a tradition – the week before Christmas many teachers volunteer to read to groups of students. They go to classrooms during their conference periods and bring with them stories about Christmas day.
Also many teachers read a lot during the break, like Ms. Terry Dodds , who is the ESL department head. She will also be preparing a “favorite books list”.
All this encourages the students to check out library books to read over their long holiday break.

Mrs. Dodds, a Holiday Reader

Another interesting activity that Nimitz High School does is singing at the library, songs like Silent Night. Last year I enjoyed this fun activity. Foreign Languages and ESL classes sang together in the various languages – English, Spanish, French, and German. Nimitz students did it this year, too. ( and

Jordan says:
A link to Jordan’s story about the Angel Tree project at Nimitz:

Participating classes decorated classroom doors creating festive atmosphere for the whole school.

A Holiday Offering from Nimitz High School:

Our Russian partners say:
“First of all we decorate our classrooms, prepare a holiday party, put on perfomances. Last year pupils of my class were awarded 5 000 roubles (about 200 dollars) for winning in school contest to choose the best class. We spent that money on some presents to the children of the orphanage. They were very happy to get presents.”
New Year's Party in a Russian School
A tradition of sharing:
A Visit to an Orphanage

Party Time

All my classes enjoyed the stories about seasonal traditions from the local public radio station, KERA 90.1, Students decided to share Holiday traditions and the best recipes from their families on this blog.
My own story starts with a question: What traditions do multicultural families follow? In our family clan of mixed religions (Protestant, Muslim, Orthodox Christian, Buddhist, with Jewish and Catholic boyfriends and girlfriends of the kids) we embrace the HOLIDAY SEASON, and we call it Christmas.
As a bicultural Russian-American couple, my husband and I combine family customs.

Evergreen branches with callas

Our holiday display is very simple and includes Saint Nickolas, Russian dolls for ornaments, and evergreen branches with callas. My husband has had this figurine of Santa for many years. Looking at its kind face invariably fills me with joy – a lovely little miracle in itself. Porcelain-faced dolls in traditional costumes exemplify Russian crafts. The white callas are a tribute to my parents. My father always brought a fresh bouquet of calla lilies for my mother for the New Year. Crisp fresh callas were hard to get in the middle of Russian winter. They were a conjunction of hope between compound and complex sentences of winter and spring in the story of seasons.

The Tinnin Family Cranberry Salad
2 small packages of cranberries
2-3 oranges
2 large green apples (Granny Smith)
2-3 celery ribs
2 cups of walnuts
1+ cup of sugar in raw
(in my personal opinion, artificial sweeteners ruin the taste)
Zest of 1 orange
Cut all the ingredients into small pieces in the processor or by hand,
mix, and leave overnight. It will keep for a week, but this energy boost
is so delicious that it is gone in two days.


December 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 37 Comments