Now that everyone has had a MUCH needed break, it is time to get back into the grind again. A HUGE part of that relates to the procedures you established at the beginning of the school year. No matter whether you have first graders or seniors, students need a little reinforcement after two weeks off. They just do. Here are our tips for getting your students back into the school day grind.
Age and Maturity Level:
Consider the age and maturity of your students when deciding how much time to spend going back over procedures and rules. If you have very young students, you may need to spend as much as a day or two. If you have older students, a few quick refreshers over the course of the week might be enough.
Make it Fun:
Make reviewing the procedures fun. No one wants to listen to rules read to them. You could create a review game around your rules or even have students act out the do’s and don’ts of your classroom in groups. Groups could make a funny skit about what not to do. A scavenger hunt of where to put and find materials is always fun too. If you have older students you could make a quick Kahoot review. The more fun you make it, the more memorable it will be.
Model, Model, Model:
Model your rules and procedures every chance you get, especially that first week back. This is important with any age level of student and often times can be worked into your explanation of an activity. I.E. “When you get done you will turn your papers in here and grab your vocab sheet from here…”. Look at #2 on our Handling A Noisy Class article to read more about modeling for your students.
Use questioning to help remind students of classroom procedures. This is a great way to put the responsibility back on them and give a gentle reminder. This works really well with older students. Once you have set up the activity, just ask a few procedural questions to help remind them how you like things done in your classroom. For example: “What should you be doing if you finish early? What noise level should you be at for this activity?”.
Don’t jump right back in with material: Instead consider a review of previous material, or an introduction to the new material that is coming. Even just starting off with an activity of the upcoming unit’s vocabulary can help to ease the students back in. Our Pre-Break Brain Breaks article has some great ideas that can translate to that first week back and an awesome site for actual brain breaks (don’t forget to fit those in that first week back).
Remember, as you ease your students back in, to ease yourself back in as well. Keep your “to do” list a little shorter this week and try not to volunteer for too many things this first week back. Everyone deserves a slow re-entry to that work day grind after time off.