I'm not going to lie, I could get used to working two days and then having a big chunk of time off! For the most part, the students came back ready to work and learn, but I did try to put a little fun into our first days back. I thought I would share some of my ideas with you in case you wanted to try them when you go back next week.
One of the activities I did was an extra math activity where the students needed to find different ways to "make" 2014. This is an activity I have done at other times this year ("Find 10 different ways to make 100.") so the students were familiar with the idea. I really stress with the students that I want them to PUSH themselves...that simply doing 2000 + 14 = 2014 might not cut it. I remind them about the different operations and also that they can get creative and use square numbers, parentheses, and so on. I feel my students did a nice job of self-differentiating!
After they had some time to work, I asked the students to circle 5 of their best/favorite equations. They then worked in pairs to check their work...they could use calculators if they wanted--and then they each picked one or two favorites to record on a big chart to hang in the room.
Another activity I had some of my students work on was an open-ended problem solving task. They worked in pairs to plan a fun New Year's party, and they were able to have a great time spending their $50 budget. While they worked, I pulled some small groups to help with reviewing a few key fraction concepts that got a little fuzzy over break!
Finally, we had a little 15 minute break before lunch, so I broke out a "making words" activity that I thought they might have fun doing...I let them work in pairs and they had a blast. I even heard compliments and saw high fives!
I think having a few "just for fun"--yet still meaningful--activities helped ease their transition back. If I have a little extra time next week, I have these last few activities I may throw in to the mix.
If you are looking for a few things to help YOUR transition, these activities (and even one more not shown here!) can be found in my January "Back to School in the New Year" resource. If Monday is your first day back, I wish you smooth sailing! Have a great Sunday.