Unfortunately I had to return to work last Thursday. I know! Bad me! I wrote ‘unfortunately.’ You know I love my job and of course missed my kiddos over break but on that moment when my early morning alarm blared away on Thursday –  I loved lounging in my pjs more. Waking up in the 5s was a harsh reality check. The two days were a fake out. I would’ve loved to finish the week out cozily tucked in on my couch in front of another marathon of my newest favorite tv show – but I sucked it up. I didn’t dwell. It was all good.

Unrelated side note: My newest tv obsession is Parenthood. How have I not watched this show before?? Omigosh I’m hooked. I am half way through season 2 (seasons 1-3 are all on netflix!) and it is amazing. If you have never seen in – the son of one of the main characters gets diagnosed with asperbergers during the first season. I think the show addresses all of the issues really well – the parental stress, the guilt, anxiety, scheduling, therapies, special schools. The son has a behavior therapist too! Love. And the actress is the girl from Friday Night Lights. Ahhhh.

Okay back to it. So Thursday was a like a little gift from teacher heaven. I had only 3 students. Most of the bus attendants hadn’t shown up so a lot of my students couldn’t get to school. No lies. I was pretty stoked. I got a BUNCH of planning and prepping done plus got some extra special quality time with some of my lovelies. Friday I had all but one so it was back to business as usual.

If your kids are anything like mine they were brimming over with excitement to tell me about their Christmas break. And then I have a few students who were obviously anxious to share but didn’t have the language and/or needed some support. So we spent most of Friday morning focusing on conversation skills and writing activities related about what we did over winter break. They did really well. I was proud 🙂

I found a ton of great freebies on TpT. Check them out!

The two main activities we did were this Christmas Break Reflection form from Rachel Lamb. This was very helpful to get them thinking and talking about different aspects of their break. It helped get a little more info than “I played computer.”

I wanted to share some of my favorite tidbits my kiddos wrote! My personal fav is of course that one of my kiddies wrote that he missed me over winter break 🙂 Sigh. I also loved that one kid said he slept until 10:30 on Christmas morning! Man! What luxury! And my little girlie wrote that her barbie was her favorite present because she can hug her. Sweetie pie!

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We also did this Winter Writing with Details activity from Learning to the Core. I loved this 3 page freebie. It was perfect to break down the writing activity into the component skills of the task. Handing my students a piece of paper and asking them to write about their break would surely evoke some blank stares. Using the graphic organizer helped to focus on each detail of their winter break and then we used the graphic organizer to write our journal. Thanks for this freebie! This did some great writing!

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 I also downloaded this Return from Winter Break freebie from Deanna Sessoms. Teach Forward had a cute little graphing activity that would be awesome to do as a class: Winter Break Activity Graph. If you are starting back to work tomorrow (I am a little a jealous…) be sure to download some of these awesome freebies!