Starting Back Strong in the New YearHey y'all. We made it through the first semester and the next one is right around the corner. So how can you start off the new semester strong?
1. Invest in a new planner
I personally love Happy Planners, but use what works for you. Setting up a planner and getting organized is the first step in having a strong start for the new year.
2. Make a plan
Maybe you spent time thinking about changes you'd like to make in the new semester. Now's the time to make a plan. There are a few changes I'm implementing, like seating arrangements and new groups for students. Before you go back to the classroom, think about you you're going to make these changes. Small changes might not need much planning, but bigger changes will.
3. Review expectations
Several of your students will have forgotten every rule, procedure, and expectation that you ever taught this year. Brace yourself and get ready to review them with this classroom expectations book. The first day back, we fill in these books as a class and discuss which big ideas we need to remember for each setting. We go back and reread them as needed throughout January (and sometimes even in February) so we keep ourselves on the right track.
4. Go slow to go fast
Don't expect to just jump right back into curriculum. I like to start the first day back with a team meeting and share out how our break went. We spend most of the first day back easing into things and reviewing expectations. Give students time to adjust back to the regular routine.
5. Set some goals
Adults set goals in the new year and your students can, too. It doesn't have to be a big deal, any goal setting method will do. In my classroom, we use our data binders to self-reflect and plan for our learning in the new year.
It'll take some time to get your students to where they were before the holiday craziness. Follow the steps above, stay consistent, and breathe. You and your students will need some grace coming back to school, so breathe, relax, and enjoy their smiling faces.