Hello dear readers! Happy 2016! I hope you've all been enjoying a lovely winter break. Once New Year's Day hits, signaling the rapid approaching end of break, thoughts begin to turn to lesson planning, assessments, relationships with students, and goals for the remaining months of the year. Returning to school after break can be a challenge. The time with family and friends is often rejuvenating, but all the holiday bustle can be tiring too. While the transition back to work is difficult for teachers, it can be equally difficult or even more so for students.
I recently read an interesting article with some great ideas for the first day back after break. In the article, the author, a neuroscientist, argues for planning the first day back around what the brain needs. For example, students are naturally curious about what their classmates have been up to over break. To ignore this and launch right into a lesson will likely set up the class for management issues. Give students a chance to talk and share with one another before beginning any lessons planned. Other suggestions include: active lessons, changing the room arrangement, and trying a new instructional activity. Find a great funny book or poem to read to get students engaged. Start the new year with an exciting new experiment.
Easing back into the (almost) second half of the year might take some time and planning. But do spend some time planning how you will help your students get back into it. They will appreciate the planning (and so will you)!