Secondary ELA Blog Hop: Saving Teacher Sanity AFTER The Break!

For many years, I tended to focus on "just getting through" the last few weeks until the break.  It was a busy, hectic time and I was tired.   So when that last day came and the students were gone for the break, so was I!

But then, when I came back from the break in January, I realized I had forgotten a few things - like my passwords....and copies....and....oh no!  January was beginning just as hectic as December ended!

This is how I saved my sanity after the break:

The last week before the break begins, I complete one small task each day.

To make the rules game, all you need is a stack of index cards.  I have 22 students so I make 11 questions about our classroom rules and procedures on one set of cards and 11 answers to match on another set of index cards.  On the first day back from break, students get new seats along with a question or an answer.  After we've each shared the best thing we did over the break, I have the students find their index card match!

After the rules review, then we work on goal-setting with a New Years Activity.  Below is one of my "punny" New Years Activities that is my gift to you this holiday season.

Click here or on the image above to get this freebie!

Now, with this plan, I am at least ready for the first day back!  This has been such a sanity saver for me!

Something else that might help save your sanity is 7 more days of great ideas, freebies and giveaways!  

Today, you can enter to win the following:

Enter Here:
The 12 Days of December
Next, you may want to hop over to Using Your Smarticles to get another sanity saver and the 12 Days of December Hub for the full 12 days of December low-down!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I really like the thought of preparing for AFTER holiday break in order to make things smooth on the return. I think I lot of times we focus on getting to break nice and 'clean', but forget about the return. And then you end up scrambling to get going again. The idea to use the class rules as a game to start the new year is a quick fix to the 'back to school after break' blues. Thanks for the idea!

  2. The password thing! BRILLIANT!!

  3. Great outline of sanity-saving tips! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. I love the "Toasting the New Year" activity. Sometimes goal-setting can get so complex for middles schoolers; sorting into general and specific categories gives them examples of worthwhile goals. Posting them in the classroom as a positive reminder is something I definitely want to do. Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Thanks so much for these great ideas. It's really smart to chunk tasks day-by-day so that things don't get so overwhelming! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Wonderful ideas! I love the matching concept - applicable to so many different review games. Thanks for the breakdown of ideas for organizing the week too. Very helpful. Happy Holidays!


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