Fifteen school days until Thanksgiving Break. Thirty (give or take a few) school days until Winter Break. Extended breaks provide us all with the opportunity to give our minds and bodies a chance to reboot, but it’s also critical that our students' learning doesn't stop! Without opportunities for learning during extended breaks, knowledge loss is inevitable. We’ve all heard of the “summer slide”; well, it also happens during breaks throughout the school year!
There are those traditional strategies to keep your students engaged through Thanksgiving or Winter Break: book reports or homework packets. But wouldn’t it be nice if students engaged in learning that didn’t feel like learning at all? Or if parents didn’t see this classwork as another thing to check off the list during a busy holiday break?
One solution is allowing students to blog using platforms like Kidblog or Google Drive, where skill-building and staying connected is the priority. Give students an opportunity to answer prompts detailing highlights of their break, write a review of a movie or book or even talk about a recipe they made with a family member. These strategies use open-ended student prompts, which allow them to work on their writing and literacy skills in a fun way. Also, it’s a great way for teachers to stay connected with students and build transitions based on content when students return from break.
Other ideas to keep students and teachers connected and to eliminate the “extended break slide” are:
- Assign articles or websites for students to research/explore over break
- Engage in STEM activities using everyday household items
- Ask high school or middle school students to volunteer and chronicle their efforts through “selfies” and captions they share when they return
- Assign early childhood STEM activities to your littlest learners
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out for any professional development needs. We are busy scheduling PD for winter months and would love to visit your school. You can request PD online using THIS FORM. Also, we hope you join us for one of our upcoming Collaborative Days in Mangum and Calvin. Click on the city closest to you to register!
Thank you for all the opportunities you give our team to Teach & Learn along with you!