5 Foolproof Strategies for the First Week of School After Winter Break

Are you getting the winter-break worries? That first week back after winter break can be a tough one! But it doesn’t have to be! Hey there, Education Rockstars! The first week of school after winter break is upon us. We’ve all rested, relaxed, and maybe had one too many cookies. However, it’s time to switch gears. How can you make that transition as smooth? How do you get back into the groove? Well, you use these five simple strategies!


Keep It Comfortable 

When students get back from winter break, you want to make sure you are keeping things the same. This means your routines and rules are all the same as they were before winter break. This is where morning work can be your best friend! Having Review in a Snap for January is a great resource for teachers during the first week back after winter break. These are no-prep printables that are perfect for morning work, spiral review, color by codes, and more! Having these ready-to-use resources keeps things simple and familiar but it also saves you time planning. That means you can focus on reconnecting with your students. 


Routine Refreshers

Winter break can be a long time especially for your younger students. Usually, while students are away from school, they lack some structure especially during the holidays. This is why the first week of school after winter break is the best time to remind everyone of those good habits they had before break. When I say “routine,” I don’t just mean the big things like how to line up for recess or what to do during a fire drill. I am talking about the smaller day-to-day routines that make your classroom vibe. 

For example, you might have a way for students to enter the room such as hanging up coats, putting away backpacks, and sitting down to start morning work. Now is the time to review this with your students. In addition, you won’t want to forget your procedures for transitioning from one activity to the next. 

Finally, you’ll want to practice transitions between subjects. The first week back after winter break, you’ll want to review where they go and when. For example, if your class gets together at the reading rug when it’s time to go to literacy, guide them through that transition as if it’s day one. 

You can go through these routines quickly throughout the first week of school after winter break. This will be a vital part of re-establishing ground rules and will set the tone for months ahead. 

Be Positive The First Week of School After Winter Break 

The excitement to be back at school is easy to see the first week of school after winter break. The best thing you can do with all those positive vibes is keep them going with compliments! We all know the more you acknowledge and reward good behavior, the more of it you will see. If you create a “Positive Vibes” board, students can use sticky notes to compliment each other. You’ll be amazed how much a simple, “Great job sharing!” or “Awesome teamwork!” will do to elevate the mood. 


You can also spread compliments with a shout out jar where students can drop in names of classmates who have done something awesome! At the end of the day or week, draw a few names and celebrate those wins! For more ways to spread positivity, make sure you check out our Podcast or YouTube Channel. 

Regardless of how you spread positivity, remember the power you have with your words. A personal compliment can turn a student’s day around. Plus, you’re infusing your classroom with positivity during the first week of school after winter break which makes this a nurturing environment. And couldn’t we all use a little more of those good vibes? 

Take Time to Share 

If it’s one thing elementary students love to do is tell a story. They have just been home for a whole week or more! So, if you’re looking for a surefire way to get and keep their attention, let them share their winter break adventures. This allows students to relive their fun moments, and it gives you a community-building opportunity. They are super eager to share, so why not use it to do some good in your classroom? Plus, it will help you ease back into your classroom dynamics. 

Don’t Rush the First Week After Winter Break 

I know and you know there’s a lot to learn. However, it’s not a race and you have a classroom environment to think of. While the pressure to do new lesson plans and push new curriculum is there, the first week of school after winter break is not the time to rush. Instead, ease into the academic rigor by reintroducing core concepts and then adding new information. Trust the process and take it one step at a time. 


Don’t forget to check out our Review in a Snap January printables to make coming back to school simple for you while keeping the fun for students. These grab and go printables have color by codes, spiral review, and more! Each of the activities is engaging and will help students move back into their school routines. 

Coming back after winter break shouldn’t be a worry. It should be a time of excitement! We have all had a chance to refresh and relax, and now it’s time to start up with a positive vibe! Using these tips, you can make the first week back to school after winter break a breeze! 

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