For many of the Central NY schools district, the Christmas Recess will be over two weeks long. I have been encouraging teachers to think about how they will proactively reinforce, re-teach, re-visit and remind children of the skills and routines they have been taught and practiced prior to the long holiday vacation. Teachers will need to help children as they transition back to the classroom and re-learn how to “do school” again. It is so important for teachers to think proactively prior to returning to school as to what the needs will be for the children they teach.
As you reflect upon all the hard work you did to set the stage for a positive community and engaging academics during the first half of the school year, what areas might your children need to revisit on January 5th to be successful? Arrival time? Buses? Lunch? Recess? Specials? Classroom Rules? Morning Meeting? Hallways? Quiet Signals? Time Out? Quiet Time? Collaboration? Interactive Learning Structures? Social-Emotional Skills?
What Responsive Classroom practices will you use to do this? Morning Meeting Components? Interactive Modeling? Guided Discovery? Reflection? Open-Ended Questioning? Closing Circles? Reinforcing Language? Proactive use of Reminding Language? Class Meeting? Revisiting or Rewriting Hopes & Dreams? Classroom Rules Reflecting?
Steven Covey’s, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first habit is to “Be Proactive”. It’s important to think proactively and remember that for many children, the two weeks away from school will feel like a brand new school year, especially for the children of younger developmental ages. With that said, even older children will need to revisit and reflect on how to follow the classroom rules so that rules are followed to show care for self, others and their learning environments. Using many of the ideas from the book The First Six Weeks of School can also be used at the halfway point of the school year. After a long vacation, children will need an effective manager (pilot) to proactively set the stage for success and to foster children’s social-emotional needs for a gentle landing back to school.