The week before break is always so busy…there's just so much to do!! Parties, concerts, excitement, and don't forget to try to squeeze in some learning too! It's enough to make any teacher feel overwhelmed, to say the least. While it is a week full of survival mode, it can also be a week where you prepare for winter break…and the return from break. Doing a few small tasks before you leave for break will make for a fresh start in the new year.
A little bit of prep before you leave for winter break is so helpful because winter break always seems to fly by; the time goes so quickly because there's always something going on. And no matter how much work you may bring home and hope to accomplish, the break seems to be over before you know it, and there sits your teacher bag…untouched! As it should be! You deserve the break too!
I have a few “to-do's” for you to squeeze in before the break, so you can keep your teacher bag at school while also feeling prepared for your return in January. Your future self will thank you!
1. Make Copies
Before you leave, take some time and make copies for the first few days in January. When you have a few activities prepped and ready to go, it will be a huge relief when you return. It always feels like you've been gone a long time when you return in January, so prep and make copies and make a quick note to yourself so you remember what you have planned. (You know there will be a line at the copier that first morning back!)
Don't feel stressed, just a few extra minutes to copy before you leave will help ease your mind!
2. Clean Up
The days before winter break are not only busy, but they are messy. Your room will surely show traces of the fun that was had before break. (I won't mention the glitter…)
The last day is always extra exhausting, and I'm sure you're ready for a break just as much as your kids are…but, before you go, clean all. the. things! It's always nice to start fresh in January, so leave no evidence of the December fun that you've been having. A few extra minutes before you leave to take down decorations, clean up all the glitter (I'm sorry, I know I said I wouldn't mention the glitter…but, oh the glitter), and getting things back in order will be a huge relief for both you and your students when you return.
3. Keep It Simple
As you start to think ahead and are making copies, try to keep it simple for the first day after your break. Your students will be excited to be back, and they're sure to be talkative. While you may be eager to pick up right where you left off, keep things simple and choose an activity that allows them to talk about their holidays and break. Ease back into the swing of things and don't expect too much on your first day back!
To help stay organized before your break, you can grab this FREE to-do list! I like to print it on bright paper, laminate it, and then use sticky notes to place over each “to do”: to copy, to plan, to prep, and don't forget! You can use it over and over again!
You can find plans for the week AFTER break in this blog post. It's filled with tips and lesson plans to help you feel prepared for when you return from break.
If you are looking for some great activities for the first days back from break, you can find a whole pack of New Years Activities full of goal setting and resolutions here. There are so many activities to choose from that make a great display to start the New Year right.
I love low prep activities…especially when prepping before a break! This foldable book allows students to write all about their break, it's the perfect first day back activity to have ready as a bell ringer for students when they come in. It allows them to make a fun book while sharing about their break. It's low prep, fun, and a simple first-day back activity that your students will be proud to share!
I hope you have a great time with your students leading up to your break and also find some time to relax and take time for yourself during your break. I hope you found a few tips that will help to take something off of your plate in during these busy days.