It happens every year. Once the snow starts falling, my middle schoolers start going nuts. "When's break?" "Do we have to learn today?" "Will we have a snow day tomorrow?" start to replace questions like, "When did King Tut rule?" "Why are all these cultures polytheistic?" or "Which one had ziggurats again?"
I understand why they begin to shut down, I mean come on, two whole weeks off? But it still makes the time before break more, not less stressful.
I am a firm believer that breaks, even Winter, Spring and Summer, come quicker and there are less discipline issues when kids stay engaged in and have fun with content.
Instead of mindless word searches or crossword puzzles, I like to do activities that will help them make connections to and remember the content. Things like readers' theater plays, ancient writing activities (which are especially great for half days), and quick and easy, but interesting, map skills activities.
Below are some of my favorites that I use every year as breaks approach. Click on them to see if they are right for you, and enjoy your well deserved break!
I'm a 14 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.