I ditto Lily. I would typically spend about the first five minutes of class reminding them that it is business as usual. I have discovered that the better I am at having solid routines the first semester, the less I needed to practice routines after break.
However when I was new, this was not the case. I basically was repeating the first week of school all over again. This is okay as well. Talk and observe colleagues classes to get ideas on rituals and routines. Be honest with the students that somethings have not been working and you want to change it.
The key to reinforcing routines is practice, practice, practice.
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I think going back to classroom agreements & expectations is a great way to start. Perhaps get the class to agree on a "resolution" or goal for the new year. Sadly, coming back from break can seem like the beginning of the year all over again. Lots of repetition and consistent expectations are key to getting students back on track. Here's hoping the transition will be smooth!
I love the idea of asking students to take ownership of their learning and their classroom routines. I often ask my students to reflect after break on what routines we have really been successful with, and which seem like they need work. Together, we set improvement goals. These tend to be quantitative, such as we will move from our desks to the carpet in 30 seconds, or we will all have our HW out and be started on morning math within 3 minutes. This way students are invested in improvement.
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