Returning to school after the Christmas break can be hard. After weeks off filled with routine changes, festivities and fun, children can find it hard to get back into the flow of set lessons, early bed times and designated snack times.

Here are some of our favourite ways to help re-establish a classroom routine gently so that your
pupils are ready and raring to go:

1. Set clear expectations: Revisit the established classroom rules and routines. Get students to verbally ‘agree’ to abide by the guidelines and frame this agreement in an inviting and positive way.

2. Allow for transition time: As students come back from the break and may be tired, restless and impatient remember to allow for transition time at the start of each day. For example, start each day with a brain break, to shake off the cobwebs and get their creative juices flowing.

3. Replay classroom successes: Spend some time reviewing successes and highlights from the previous year. Celebrate the successes and share in the successes of each student.

4. Further encouragements: Start the new year off with a student-centred activity. For example, have students collaborate and think of ways to make the new year better than the last. This will help re-establish the feeling of community within the classroom.

5. Finally, have fun! You can incorporate activities that make students feel excited about the upcoming year. Perhaps have students guess what projects you will be working on, or have a vote on which activity to use on the first day back. Incorporate small rewards throughout the beginning of the year and have lots of laughter.

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