With holidays just around the corner, you may be wondering how your students will hold up after such long breaks. The fact of the matter is, children are resilient and will be just fine after returning from a long break. Actually, they may be better than “fine” after a long break.
We can’t deny the benefits that children get when they take breaks from the classroom. Short-term breaks from school activities provide a much-needed pause that can result in:
- Reduced stress
- Increased productivity
- Better focus
- A positive attitude
Similarly, long-term breaks let children learn skills they can’t find in the classroom like social skills and problem solving, which are both necessary for development. Physical activities found outside of the classroom improve focus, attention, and cognitive function. Unstructured playtime also allows students to use their imagination and creative skills to play games and activities.
Keeping students “engaged” means assigning tasks to keep their brains stimulated while not overwhelming your students. We want to make sure students achieve proper rest over their break without losing brain activity. If you decide to create assignments for your students, we have some recommendations for you to use this holiday without making your students feel like they’re in school:
- Keep it brief. As explained above, rest is crucial for students. More rest should occur than learning should occur. No matter the age of your students, keep assignments doable within a short amount of time.
- Consider all circumstances. Some students will be on vacation while some students might not have the same technology at home that they have at school. Keep this in mind when creating tasks for students to complete over break.
- Use open-ended prompts. Let your students pick their own topics for assignments or encourage students to take their own approach to a project instead of having uniform assignments. Students will be much more interested in a project where they have more control and personal investment.
- Embrace time at home. What can students learn or do at home that they can’t do in your classroom or through a screen? Maybe set a reading challenge for the break with prizes, or have students interview their family members to learn about their family history.
- Assign household experiments. Encourage creativity by having students make something out of household items like pencils, paper plates, or baking supplies. Our blog features several easy DIY experiments that students can do at home that follow school curriculums.
- Let them explore. Whether that’s the outdoors, their homes, or a book, observe what they are interested in. Perhaps have students build a snowman of their favorite book character for extra credit to encourage a passion for reading and architectural skills.
- Encourage volunteering opportunities. The holidays are great times to get out in the community and help out our neighbors for those that are comfortable. If possible, assign extra credit for volunteer work over the break, whether that’s at a food bank, a local library, or a grandparent’s house.
Keep the fun going after students return to school with laughter-filled, smile-inducing, educational school assemblies from Mobile Ed Productions. We love to educate through entertainment practices brought right to your physical virtual or classroom. Assemblies range from math and science to character building and performing arts. Our team has designed over 40 assemblies to meet the needs of schools across the country!
If you found this post to be helpful, take a peek at our blog for more practical resources for educators!