The holiday season is a time for celebration, family, friends, and some well-deserved time off. However, students and teachers can struggle to get back into the swing of class after an extended break. Here’s a few tips to ease the transition back to school and kick off a fantastic new year!
Provide students with something to look forward to after break. Many classes have celebrations beforehand, but why not save the party for when students return to the classroom? This time might include an opportunity to catch up with classmates and share stories about the holidays or time spent with friends and family.
Reinforce and review
Re-introduce concepts and skills that were the focus before break. This is also a great opportunity to reinforce expectations. Students quickly forget the difference between expectations at home and at school, so this is a perfect time to provide a refresher. Find a fun way to review this information with the class such as a game of Password or Jeopardy.
Get up and moving
Students and teachers have probably spent a portion of their break sleeping in or relaxing on the couch. Why not get up and moving? Younger students might enjoy dancing along to a GoNoodle video and middle schoolers would appreciate planned brain breaks during a class period to help refocus.
- Popcorn: Ask various yes/no questions and have students stand up if their answer is yes.
- Human bingo: Create a board that includes various activities students might have participated in during break. If a statement is true for a student, they must share specifics about the activity before initialing the other person’s bingo board.
Reflect and share
This is the perfect time to have students reflect and share accomplishments from the previous year and new goals they have set for the upcoming year. You may want to begin by sharing some of your own New Year’s resolutions with the class. Ask students to choose two or three resolutions and write a letter to their future self. You can collect these letters and return them to students a few months later. Students will love reading their letters because they will serve as a reminder to get back on track or provide positive reinforcement for those still going strong.