Returning from winter break can be difficult. Students (and teachers) are accustomed to sleeping in, following their own schedules, and relaxing. It can be tough to return to the routine. Make the adjustment easier by using one of the following strategies.
1.) Make New Year’s Resolutions for School
Returning from winter break is a great time to reflect on opportunities for growth. Model this process by sharing resolutions you have for the new year. This helps students to develop a growth mindset for continuous improvement. Then, give them opportunities to brainstorm ideas. Time for individual reflection and goal setting will result in clear objectives for the new year.
2.) Have a Show and Tell Time
When students return from winter break, they are full of stories about their adventures. Embrace their enthusiasm and give them the opportunity to share. Invite students to bring an item (not a toy) that illustrates something from winter break. Take turns sharing. In the process, they learn valuable speaking and listening skills.
3.) Or invite them to share with writing. Have a free write time using one of the following prompts:
- Describe a person you spent time with over the break. Use detail!
- Write about something that you did with your family over the break.
- Describe a place you visited over the break in detail. It can be as simple as the grocery store!
- How would you fill your winter break if you did not have screens?
- What is the best gift you have ever given? Describe what made it special.
4.) Create a Class Winter Break Memory Book
Another option for capturing student enthusiasm is creating a class memory book. Students can create pages individually, share them, and add them to the class memory book. Or make memory book pages a fun writing center. It will be a favorite way to share!
5.) Play a fun game to remind students of class procedures and rules!
Expect that your students will forget many routines that had been mastered before the break. Make reminders fun by playing a game!
6.) Get students excited about learning with a Mind Missions lesson. Free sample lessons are available on the website here:
Hope these ideas help for a smooth transition back to school!