The holiday season has come and gone, and winter break is over. After being off from school for the holiday break, students have to reacclimate themselves to a daily school routine. And teachers and parents have to determine which skills and topics might need to be reviewed to make sure students haven’t lost essential skills before the school year picks up again.
One of the best ways to make sure students are ready for school after a long break is to discuss with them the different behaviors that they think make a student responsible and successful. Brainstorm these ideas with children to allow them to be part of the planning and practice. Once you have a collaborative list, you can model the behavior you want students to achieve. For example, have students check the condition and quantity of school supplies and replenish any as needed. Remind students to print out new schedules, pack up their backpacks, charge their computers or Chromebooks, and set out their clothes the night before school restarts. This will get them into a daily routine and enforce self-responsibility.
During a break, students are probably used to staying up late and sleeping in; therefore, getting students back into a bedtime routine is necessary. For instance, you can show students how to set alarms to let them know when it’s time to get ready for bed each night. Remind them to stick to a reasonable bedtime hour to make sure they get enough sleep for school the next day. Also, motivate students to get themselves up and ready for school each morning.
For the first day or two after a break, teachers can set aside time to ease students back into the daily routines without compromising lessons and academic learning. This might include having some questions or a do-now activity on the board for students to complete. When the entire class has arrived, teachers can do some icebreaker activities to find out what students did over the break or things they want to do on a school break.
During class, the first few activities should involve reviewing skills and concepts from the weeks before break. Then lessons can build off this review and continue to introduce new skills. After a day or two, students will be right back into their regular routine, as if winter break never even happened!
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By: Angela Padron
Also read: Empowering SLIFE Students in Your Classroom