Back from break management tips and book recommendations

House is cleaned, tree is down, grocery shopping is done (almost - just sent hubby with the list), menu is planned, lessons are written, papers are checked, backpacks are packed - we are ready for the first day back from break!  Well at least physically, definitely not mentally. But it feels good to be organized!  Now, its time to make sure my students' first day back from break is just as well managed.  So, here are my top 3 favorite back from break classroom management tips.

The first day back from break is the PERFECT time to review your classroom procedures and expectations. Kids love to act out the wrong and right way to follow the rules.  Choose a few students to model specific procedures (entering the classroom, starting work, getting teacher's attention, handing in work, what to do when you're finished, pencil policy, working with a partner, etc.)  First, have a student or two show the wrong way (kids LOVE this) and then have other students share what they noticed.  Next, have a student or two show the right way and again have other students share what they noticed.  Comment all day when you notice students following procedures correctly.  This exercise will only take 10-15 minutes but it's valuable time that will pay off in the long run.  I promise.

 Give your students time to share their break experiences.  Otherwise you will be fighting these conversations all day long.  Here's how I do it quickly.  Have your students write down 3 words to explain their break (can be gifts they received, places they visited, things they did, etc.).  We call this our 3 word week.  Next, set a timer for 5 minutes.  Have your students walk around and share their 3 words with as many friends as possible.  When the timer goes off, share your own 3 words and then move on to your necessary curriculum.  Again, you will be thankful you allowed this time.  Your students will be ready to learn once they've let everyone know about that Xbox One they received from Santa.  LOL

Talk about all of the great books you read over break.  Before break I start a stack of books from our classroom library that I plan to read.  My students love to see my stack grow and it inspires them to start their own break stacks. When we return, one of the first things we do is talk about the books we read. I also take time to recommend a bunch of new books that I found out about over break.  The nerdy book club blog is a great place to go if you need grade level book recommendations.  Here's the stack I'm sharing with my 5th graders on Monday.  I can't wait to add each of these titles to my 40 book challenge door. (Most are new reads, but the Harry Potter books are rereads to prepare for my visit to Universal Studios later this year).

What are your great back from break management tips?  Or how about books you read over break?  I need to add some new titles now that my break stack is finished.


  1. What is the Fourteenth Goldfish about? That looks interesting!

    Teaching in Room 6

    1. It definitely caught me by surprise. I picked it up because it was a Global Read aloud choice for 2014. I had no background knowledge and no idea that it would turn out to be a science fiction story about discovering how to become young again. It was funny, strange, and had a great message about family and growing up. Perfect for middle grade readers!

  2. Yeah even I read this book out of curiosity. I remember one of our professors Aloke Ghosh did caught me reading his book in his lecture. I know it’s not a great idea and one should concentrate on academic career but I couldn’t stop myself that day from reading this book.


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