You and your students have had a long, (hopefully) restful winter break and now it’s time to go back to school. After 2+ weeks off, coming back can be exhausting, overwhelming, and scary! Below are some tips to help you transition back from winter break smoothly.
What Can You Expect From Your Students?
- loss of retention of recent skills
- expectations not being followed
- conflicts between students
- trouble with routines
- increased emotion
Students have just spent a lot of time out of their school routines and have had to readjust to being home around their family. Some may have had a difficult experience of being at home and could be more emotional. They may struggle to readjust to your classroom procedures and expectations, their friends, and having the work ethic they did before they left.
How Can You Ease the Transition?
- allow students to share (or not share) about what they did over the break, either publicly or privately
- let them create a slideshow and add personal photos
- reflect as a group on the positives and negatives of the school year prior to the break
- create an anchor chart with pros/cons
- set goals for the remainder of the year
- create a class set of goals and individual goals for each student
- review the classroom expectations set at the beginning of the year
- list and post the expectations and have students sign the poster
- review the classroom routines that were put in place and have students practice these routines the first week
- entering the classroom, independent work, asking questions, sharpening pencils, bathroom procedure, Covid protocols, etc.
My experience has always shown that kids thrive when given routines and expectations. Spending the time to instill the information above is a great way to make a smooth transition and have a successful second half of the school year.
If you want to try any of the activities above, check out my FREE Back From Winter Break activity pack.
All of the information above applies with some modifications.
While you may not have classroom procedures to follow, you do have online expectations:
- class schedule (when do they need to be logged on?)
- camera (on/off, mute/unmute)
- turning in work
- where to find assignments, due dates, rubrics, etc.
- office hours/asking for help
Get a FREE download of digital versions of the activities.
I hope you enjoyed your time off and have a fantastic second semester.