Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Winter Break is Over.

Well my friends, it is time. Whether you are ready or not. THEY ARE COMING! Some will be sleepy-eyed, some will be jolly, some will be pouting, some will still be the indifferent kiddos they left as. The students are coming, and you are going to be one of the first people they see in the New Year that will make an impact on them. Are you ready? 
Image result for winter break is over meme

Is this how you look getting ready to go back? Don't be! Here is an activity we did at our in-service today. While I thought it was pretty cheesy... it stuck with me ALL day long. Ready? Ok...get out some scrap paper and a pencil. Follow these directions:
Ours turned out be around around 90 days left. That's it. Two nine weeks, a spring break, and some snow days to go, but also smiles, laughter, and lots of ah-ha moments.

Are you ready for back to school? Here are some ideas to get you started for the new year.

1. Leave your kiddos a welcome back note. I've seen this done, and have wanted to do it forever. However, I was always worried about what to say. Today, I bit the bullet and just did it. I enjoyed coming up with something for each one of my Stockdalians (What they named themselves.)  I forgot to take a photo of this! Maybe I will remember tomorrow and I'll post it on Instagram!

I added colorful backing to the accountable talk stems from A Rocky Top Teacher
2. Change something up in your room. It doesn't have to be a huge make-over. Clean off a shelf. Move anchor charts around. Maybe add some of the clearance holiday lights you bought too many of for the electricity unit coming up in a few weeks. Whatever! Make it interesting for you and your kiddos.

3. Come up with goals for you and your kids...with your kids! I have the same goal I model nearly every year, but I haven't achieved it yet. It's to have a clean table throughout the day. ;) The kids love when they can ask me, "Mrs. Stockdale, are you working towards your goal today?"

Here is our anchor chart to post our nine week goals for academic and behavior:
The section for successes will be for groups. If a row of kids all meet one goal from their nine week goal, their "team" will have a celebration during recess. When one person from each row meet a goal, then the whole class will celebrate with their choice: GoNoodle Time, Lunch in the Classroom, or Campfire Reading (where we turn the lights out, I bring in a "campfire," and we read using the natural lights.)

4. Do a get to know you activity. Break is a time where we all focus on ourselves. Even our kids focus on their interests. Help rebuild community in your classroom before you dive straight into the rigorous activities you spent your break planning. (Oh come on, you know you worked some!!)
Check out this activity I posted for free!

Take these four tips into your room. Remember to smile. It makes you feel better, the kids are watching, and your smile is contagious!

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