It is hard to get back into the swing of things after the Christmas break, both for students and teachers. The Christmas break is often a major distraction to a student’s progress: they’ve recently experienced a relaxed schedule, a lie-in, over-eating and doing almost anything they want! The structure of school and its routines is a stark contrast, sometimes making adjusting again tricky.
It is not always possible to dive right into the schoolwork and routine immediately after a break. Our teachers recommend transition activities to make the adjustment easier. It helps with the atmosphere of your class and serves to welcome students back with fun activities that incorporate their experiences during their holidays.
We have gathered some ideas and classroom activities for you to get your students back on track. Here they are.
1. Create a holiday scrapbook
This activity is perfect for kickstarting a literacy lesson, and it is straightforward: have students capture their best holiday moments in a scrapbook. As Christmas is probably the most anticipated holiday for children, your students will have plenty of memories to share. Students can bring in photos, or they could illustrate their favourite Christmas present or memory. Once completed, scrapbooks can be presented to the class.
2. List of New Year’s resolutions
First day back to school is often a great time to teach students how to reflect upon the past year and to think of the positive changes one can make after all a New Year means a clean slate, a fresh start. Ask them to brainstorm resolutions in class together, recreate them artistically; they can then present their best work to classmates!
3. Show and Tell
Show and Tell is probably one of the best classroom activities to practice your student’s speech prowess. Returning to school is the perfect time to do Show and Tell as they naturally talk about what they received from Santa or a memory from their Christmas holiday. For a different spin, try having your students guess who brought what item in.
4. Narrative Writing
Narrative writing works well with older students and can makes a great holiday-to-school transition activity. Give your class writing prompts but make it clear that they should write about their own experiences over the holidays. If writing in a small group, students have the opportunity to discuss their adventures with their classmates and exercise peer teaching and social learning. For example, they can write about their family’s traditions or their favourite present or write about a place they visited. The list is endless.
5. Play Games
If your students crave a little bit of raucousness, welcome them with a few fun games! Avoid piling the schoolwork immediately and ease your students back to school structure and routine. Review games are fun – place children into groups and ask questions about the lessons that they had before the holiday break began.
Hot Seat is a great review game you can do. Have one student face away from the board and let him choose three people to give him clues about what’s written on the board behind him. Another is Ping Pong, divide students into two groups, the team that gets the correct answer shoot a ping pong ball into a cup, to win prizes or rewards.