Sunday, January 1, 2017

A New Year really IS a New Year!

Boy THAT was the world's shortest holiday break!  And now it's time to go back.  Can I share a tip? Going back to school after a long holiday break really is like starting a new school year and you should treat it like one.

In my work as an instructional coach with struggling teachers I've seen what happens if you don't take some time to review with kids your expectations for behavior.  Things go downhill in a hurry. It might sound ridiculous, but you really do need to re-teach your basic classroom routines, especially those that kids have been too relaxed with.  Try framing it with kids as a chance to "start over".

Not only can they use that chance, but so can you.  If there are changes in your organizational structure that you've been contemplating, such as introducing interactive notebooks, or getting serious about exit activities or warm-ups or making changes to your homework requirements, this is a PERFECT time to do that.  You don't have to wait until next school year.  Treat this coming week as if it IS a new school year.

If you're really not going to start new routines or new procedures, that's fine too. But you still need to revisit your existing management routines.  If you take the time to do that, it will be worth it!

And about those lesson plans.  I know.  You just want ONE more day of holiday.  You are SO not up for spending the day planning lessons.  You might be desperately trying to figure out if you can make a curriculum connection to a popular movie.  Or maybe you just want to haul out that giant review packet of worksheets... But no.  That would not be the best idea you ever had.

You need to go back with something that is engaging for kids and delivers serious content in an effective way.  That's not a description of your textbook, right?  So here's an idea.  I've put everything in my store on sale for one day only - today Jan. 1, 2017.  Everything is 20% off - which really matters after blowing the budget for the holidays!  Come take a look at engaging well-designed resources that will ease you back into the routine with NO PREP!

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