A friendly reminder that a break is a break. This is not an excuse to give extra work to students. There is NO research that suggests that we should give students work to do over the Thanksgiving break or any break. Actually, rest and breaks are very important. So please, let your students have a break.
1. NO Packets
The first assignment to give for the Thanksgiving break is the assignment of “NO PACKETS.” I have spent hours looking through research articles and I can’t find any that suggest this is an effective tool for learning. I have been guilty of giving packets of math in the past. I am not improving learning, I am just ruining the break of the students and parents.
“You are assigned no packets. Enjoy your break.”
2. Drop a Low Score
“There is no research to support that giving students a low score is motivating. In fact the opposite, it leads to students quitting and giving up.” – Dr. Thomas Guskey
Consider assigning students to ask for a low score to be dropped. A step up and a fresh start can help some students feel energized.
3. Do Not Think About School
Breaks are important for your mental health. Assign students to take advantage of the break being a break.
4. Clean Out Your Backpack
Lighten their load. Assign students to stop carrying around every scrap of paper since the beginning of the year. Consider how to come back to school with a lighter backpack.
Remind students that movement and play are shown to improve learning. Ask students to consider taking time during the break to play and get the blood flowing to their brains so they come back ready to learn.
Give Parents Homework
Do you have parents who ask for homework? Remind them that HOME is their responsibility and that NOTHING you assign is better than THEM reading to their child and spending time with them. Having conversations and talking with them about things they value as a family and doing things together will have a significantly larger impact on their student being successful in life than anything you could assign. If parents ask for homework, give the parent homework.