Us teachers know: the weeks before a break are nearly impossible to keep students engaged and learning. We are just trying to keep everyone alive and maybe entertained. Am I right?! The week or two after break can be just as challenging. We have to get our students readjusted to classroom procedures and learning. I have four ways that help me get back in the groove after a break (especially Christmas/Winter break), that I want to share with you. These work for all age ranges and subjects.
Start back with a fun week of
STEM Science and Literacy! Who doesn’t love a good STEM activity? This will get students thinking and working together while learning something new! That’s why you will want the literacy component factored in. I love to pair an informational text from a corresponding unit into a STEM challenge. Students will read some background info on the topic to help them plan their design and solve the problem.
You will LOVE my Winter/Christmas Science and Literacy Pack for the weeks around Winter Break. It has everything you need, just print, copy, and add some simple supplies for STEM. PLUS, the digital version is included so you can save some sanity and skip the copy room!! Yes, please!!
If you have followed me long, you know I LOVE turning my teaching into games whenever possible. This can be super simple with just a few supplies. I have 2 really easy games to add into your classroom, for any age and any subject.
Hide and Seek Learning Games
Put vocabulary words, problems, or anything you want students to identify, solve, or define in a pocket chart. Play by hiding a picture or mini eraser behind a card and having students guess/solve cards to find it.
Magic Words or Magic Problems
Write problems, answers, or words in white crayon. Students can color the word with a marker to reveal their word, problem, or answer!! Use this to find answers to math problems, reveal a math problem to solve, a word to define, a word to identify, or anything! Students can make these for each other, too!!
Find a fun or interesting topic that relates to what you want your students to learn or review. That is my absolute FAVORITE part of my Winter/Holiday Science and Literacy Pack. It covers topics such as Santa’s reindeer in Winter are actually females!! What?!? I know, it’s interesting! Other topics are Snowman Weather, Evergreen Tree Adaptions making them perfect for winter decor, and conservation during the holidays. All things relatable to the current season, with real learning attached.
There are lots of other fun topics you could discover by searching the internet!
This is the perfect time of year to start your STAAR Test Prep! Starting with some review stations now will give you time to identify any problem areas to reteach or students that could use some extra tutoring.
I have a variety of resources that I pull from. My 5th grade science review stations are my favorite to start with. Students love the partner/group work and they have fun working through the station. Rotate through one fun review station or activity each Friday. Then, Give students some free time at the end for a super fun Friday! Other resources that I love to use are 5th grade Science Test Prep Escape Challenges, Diagrams for quick draws (and supplemental aids), Informational Text Review Kits, Illustrated Notes Activity Pages, and more!
I hope this gives you some fun ideas to make your teacher life a bit easier after break!! Make sure to sign up for my emails below and get FREE weekly lesson plans PLUS freebies sent straight to you!