Friday, January 06, 2017

Is Vacation Over Already?

I don’t know about you, but at one time, it was a real downer for me to return to school after vacation. Stress was my middle name, I'd spend time worrying what I was going to teach, wondering about the lessons I'd have to reteach and thinking about that parent meeting scheduled after vacation. I'd get really bummed out the day before until I learned a few tricks I'd like to share. 

*Organize, Organize, Organize! Before you go off to vacation land, finish writing those lesson plans so you can ease on in the first day back and you don't have to concern yourself with what you're going to do once you return.

*Most importantly, come up with a fun lesson that both you and the kids will enjoy. One year I brought in some soap suds and bubble blowers. The kids blew bubbles and wrote a story about them. Some wrote about floating away, while others talked about blowing the largest bubble in the world. Brainstorm for other ideas to use. 


*Plan on watching a film and have the kids take notes so that they can write a paper about it. In my case it was either for English or Ancient History.There are  many great historical fiction flicks or documentaries that enhance the subjects that are taught. One that I used was "Cry Freedom," an excellent film that brings to light the plight of African Americans during Apartheid in South Africa. My class was very moved by this film and had many things to say about it.  This is a tough film to watch so I wouldn't recommend it for elementary grades.

*Don’t try to get too much done, just take things at an easy pace till you get back into   the groove.

*Oh and don’t forget to have your morning meeting, this helps everyone get ready for the rest of the day. I read somewhere that when you talk about vacations, a great way to go about it is to ask them who they spent their vacation with rather than what they did. That way you'll learn more about their feelings and attitudes.

*Play a SCOOT game, it may get a little loud, but the kids will be able to get up and move around a bit and have fun while learning.

*Give yourself a break, papers will get corrected when they corrected.
Honestly, they don't have to be returned right away. I learned this 
from my teaching partner, you just need to let them know that they'll get 
them back soon enough. Some of their work can even be corrected by the
kids themselves.You can appoint a child to read the answers aloud. 
Kids love being the teacher.

*Another thing that I promised myself, was to take a day off once in a while,
 just to re-group and take a breath. If you know that on such and such a day,
 you’re going to take a break, it really helps. 

Unfortunately, there’s no magical answer for beating the end of vacation
blues, we’ve all been there and it’s normal to feel this way. Remember that 
you really do love your job and your students, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be in the classroom. Anyway, the next season is spring, and it isn’t thaaaaaat far away.

I hope these ideas will help you  have a wonderful rest of the year with your students.
Deann
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Here's a resource that will help you get through the winter. There are all sorts of writing activities for January and February. New Year Resolutions, Martin Luther King, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, President's Day and miscellaneous winter writing task cards. You can purchase the bundle which will save you money or by these items separately.
Snow Wonderful Literacy & History Writing Prompts

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I'd like to thank Gramma Elliott for this amazing font that she created and shared with me.
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This is part of our January Blog Link-up. Be sure to see what these Teachers are doing this month







6 comments:

Kathie @Tried and True Teaching Tools said...

Your blog title caught me eye because I'm on the 2 day countdown now; sigh. . . Great reminders, especially about morning meeting (always my favorite way to start the day!) but I love your idea of asking WHO they spent their vacation with, especially since I'm at a school with a huge range of socio-economics (from going abroad to going to Target). And I was also planning a scoot or gallery walk for math! They'll be wiggly, plus it's supposed to rain on Monday! Thanks for all your spot-on reminders!

Teaching Ideas For Those Who Love Teaching said...

Great ideas Deann, thanks for sharing. Today was our first day back at work, and some of your ideas worked like a charm!

Deann Marin said...

I'm so glad they worked. Thanks so much for letting me know

Deann Marin said...

Thanks for your kind words, Kathie

Wild Child said...

Great tips Deann! Love the one about asking kids about who they spent their break with.

Kerry said...

These are great ideas. My favorite is asking students who they spent vacation with rather than what they did. I never thought of asking it that way! Thanks for sharing!