Welcome Back from Break: Activities to Do with Your Students

The first few days back after winter, spring, or another long school break can be tough for both students and teachers alike. While the time away from the classroom is important for resting and recharging, it can also throw off everyone’s rhythms. In those first few days back, brains need to be warmed up for learning and routines need to be reestablished. If you’re looking for ways to get back into the swing of things, check out these low-prep welcome back from break activities to get you started.

Welcome Back from Winter Break: Activities to Start off the New Semester

With the holiday festivities over, and summer vacation still a little while away, it’s easy to see how returning to school after winter break might be a challenge. These ideas, however, are sure to make the transition easier for everyone, including you!

Rebuild relationships.

It’s important for teachers to carve out space to reconnect with students after a long break (and for students to reconnect with each other). Here are some resources you can use during your first week back to let students share what they’ve been up to with you and with their classmates. There’s a good chance they did something they’d like to share with you or their peers!

Winter Break in a SNAP-Bell Ringer and Share Activity by Draz’s Class
Grades: K-2 | Community Management

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Winter Break: Stand, Sit, Hands on Hips" and a sample question.

First Day Back from Winter Break Activity New Years Game Morning Meeting by The Sassy Apple | Community Management
Grades: 1-3

Have students set goals for the new semester.

The start of the new year provides a natural opportunity for students to set intentions and goals — whether they be personal or academic, or ones shared across the whole class. Help your students do just that with one of these resources.

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Upper Elem & Middle School: Goal Setting" above a photo of three smiling children and completed worksheets.

SMART Goal Setting and Identity Unit for Upper Elementary and Middle School by Root and Sprout Learning
Grades: 3-8 | Community Management

A TPT resource cover image with the text "New Year's Goals and Resolutions" above a fanned array of work sheets and a teal balloon.

NEW YEAR: Goals, Resolutions, Activities, Writing Prompts – Interactive by Literary Sherri
Grades: 5-8th | Community Management

Review and reteach classroom rules and expectations

Just the way you’d take the time to go over classroom rules, procedures, and expectations at the beginning of the school year, you should also do a similar exercise after returning from any long break. The first week back from winter break is also a good time to reflect on which routines have worked, and which haven’t, in case you need to tweak some things to make the rest of the year run smoothly.

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Classroom Procedures: Journal Pages, Prompts, and Mini Book" above a clip art figure on a orange background with polka dots.

Classroom Procedures and Routines by Teaching in Progress
Grades: PreK-3 | Classroom Management

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Welcome Back from Fall, Winter, or Spring Break: Task Cards to Reflect and Make Goals for the Rest of the Year"

Welcome Back (from Fall, Winter, or Spring Break) Task Cards by Miss 5th
Grades: 2-8 | Classroom Management

Returning Back from Spring Break: Activities for the First Week Back

With the end of the school year now in sight, it can be particularly challenging to readjust to school after spring break. Check out these activities to re-motivate and re-engage your students, so you can end the year on a high note.

Incorporate some seasonal fun into the mix.

Energize and excite students with some fun seasonal lessons and activities that are sure to capture their interest — even when students might not “feel” like being at school.

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Directed Drawing: Winter and Spring Freebie" along with illustrations of a butterfly, penguin, and pencil.

How to Draw Winter + Spring Animals: Directed Drawing Freebie by Prince Padania
Grades: K-3 | Art

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Let's Celebrate: 12 Days of Spring" above a clip art figure of a boy

Spring Reading Comprehension Passages Writing Math After Break Activities by Think Grow Giggle
Grades: 3-5 | English Language Arts, Math

Ease back into lessons.

While it might be tempting to hit the ground running after spring break — after all, there’s only so much time left in the school year — your students might need some time to build up their stamina for learning again. The first week back is a great time to revisit concepts from earlier in the year or to give them bite-sized assignments.

TPT resource cover image with the text "After Spring Break Editing Activity" above an illustration of a typewriter

After Spring Break Editing with Digital Easel Activity by HappyEdugator
Grades: 6-8 | English Language Arts, Writing

A TPT resource cover image with the text "My Spring Break: Funny Fill In & Descriptive Writing Activity"

After Spring Break Writing Activity: Funny Fill-In & Descriptive Writing by Creativity Overload Lessons and Designs
Grades: 4-8 | English Language Arts, Writing

A TPT resource image with the text "After Spring Break Activity: Spanish Writing Project"

After Spring Break Spanish Writing Activity by Learning Llama
Grades: 8-11 | Spanish

Focus on social-emotional learning.

As students reenter the classroom after spring break, they’ll likely bring a variety of feelings and emotions with them that can impact their learning. While some students might be excited to get back to it, others might be experiencing anxiety, fear, and stress about their grades or upcoming end-of-year tests. By focusing on strengthening social-emotional skills on the return from break, you can help get a sense of how your students are feeling and set them up for success.

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Grit & Reslience" above an image of an illustrated desktop computer

Growth Mindset Activities for SEL – Grit, Mistakes, Perseverance, and Resiliency by Mikey D Teach – SELebration Learning
Grades: 3-6 | Social Emotional Learning

A TPT resource cover image with the text "Growth Mindset Game Show

Growth Mindset Lesson: Fun, Interactive School Counseling Quiz Show style Game! by WholeHearted School Counseling
Grades: 4-7 | Social Emotional Learning

Discover more back from break activities on TPT.

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