Teacher celebrating being on Spring Break

Spring Break Survival Tips for Classroom Teachers

Friends, I am not even gonna sugar coat it… by March, everyone needs Spring Break! Students are done with work (even the kids who love school!). Teachers are done with work (even the teachers who love school!). And what’s worse than everyone being exhausted? Everyone being exhausted and still HAVING TO WORK! *ugly cries*

I have been there and know exactly what you’re going through! When teaching the week before Spring Break seems impossible, know that not only are there ways to get through it… you might even enjoy it! Ok, at least not hate it! Here are my favorite ways to survive those final days before Spring Break!

Take It Easy, But Stay Busy till Spring Break!

Students working before Spring Break.

First off, don’t plan to teach any new material or give a test the week before Spring Break. This is a pretty basic tip that some teachers may already know, but you would be surprised how many teachers try to “squeeze in” one last standard so they have less to do when they come back.

That doesn’t work (in my experience….) and will be a waste of time. Coming back from Break and realizing you have to reteach everything you pushed so hard to “squeezed in” is NOT the feeling you want when returning from your relaxing Break!

Now don’t misunderstand me. I am definitely not saying “do nothing for an entire week”! You can still keep up the rigor in your class (and you should!), but do this by sticking to your regular schedule, keeping “down time” to a minimum, and reviewing standards that you have already taught!

A few ways you can review standards and keep kids busy with meaningful activities are:

Fun Spring Break Themed printable activities to keep students on task.
  • Have students plan and write about their dream vacation destination for Spring Break
  • Read picture books with a vacation theme and discuss Story Elements, Inference, Prediction, etc… (I love A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen)
  • Review Parts of Speech with vacation or Spring Break themed Mad Libs
  • Ask students to write a letter to themselves predicting what they think will happen over their Spring Break (BONUS- the day they come back after break, they can write what really happened!)

If you want print-and-go Spring Break themed Reading activities that review standards like Cause & Effect and making Inferences, check out my Spring Break Survival Guide! This pack of printable pages includes done-for-you versions of some of the activities listed above. I love the fact that this pack harnesses student excitement over Spring Break and includes activities that allow students to think creatively and draw! Make your last week before break less stressful for you, yet keep your students busy with meaningful, fun activities!

Wrap up missing work before leaving for Break!

I like to have a “Make-Up Work” class period/hour the Friday before the last week before Spring Break. This gives students one last chance to turn in work because I am moving on! Let Spring Break be a fresh start when you return!

Happy Teacher wrapping up unfinished work before Spring Break.

Begin by clearing your desk of student papers that are causing clutter. If they are graded, pass them back. If they aren’t, really evaluate how important it is that you grade it! Is the assignment vital to student understanding and mastery of a concept? If not, throw the papers away or simply put a check at the top and pass them back.

Is the assignment important, but not vital for Report Cards? Take 10 minutes in class to grade and review together (Yes- students grade their own papers with a colored pen- regular pencils stay on the floor). Students understand why they missed certain questions and learn from their mistakes, and you aren’t grading papers at home!

Next, make a list of Missing Work, grouping kids by missing assignments. I post a list of the work that has any missing assignments on the SmartBoard (in a Google Doc) or write it on my whiteboard. You can add students names to your Missing Work list (which is visible to everyone) or give each student a note telling them which assignments they are missing (which takes preplanning).

Students who are Missing Work have this time to finish it. Guess what the students get who do have their work finished? They get to choose from a list of fun activities such as:  

Student building with Legos as a reward for having all of his work finished.
  • Research topics of their choice on Wonderopolis* and write about what they learned
  • Build with Legos, then write a story inspired by their build
  • Free Read a book in a comfortable area in the room
  • “Free Time” on Chromebooks or Tablets utilizing Teacher Approved “fun” sites- ABCya*, Epic!*, or any other site you typically use
  • Copy a silly poem from a book like If Kids Ruled the School by Bruce Lansky, then draw and color a picture to illustrate it. 

When I was in the classroom, I always let kids know a few days ahead of time that we would have a “Make-Up” Day. Often times, this motivated kids to turn work in before then so they could do the fun stuff instead of work!

*I’m not affiliated with these websites, but used them constantly when I taught in the classroom!

Give students “work” that’s fun!

Two students working on a Spring Break themed art project.

Now that we’ve got the boring stuff out of the way (Ha!), let’s talk FUN!

If your students are as “done” as you are, then you have to add something new and different to your day.

Giving boring worksheets or difficult assignments just aren’t the way to increase student engagement (the week before Spring Break or any other week of the year). In fact, it will give you the opposite result.

Novelty and fun is the key to keeping student complaining to a minimum and increases the likelihood of students staying on task! Some ideas could include:

  • play review games on platforms like Kahoot or Quizizz
  • read a picture book and watch the movie version (compare/contrast)
  • add an Art/drawing activity to a picture book read-aloud
  • play charades to review old vocabulary words
  • take your work outside if the weather allows
Free Spring Break themed printable activities for Teachers

How about a funny Word Search that reviews Common & Proper Nouns/Action Verbs (and incorporates drawing!)?

Relieve some stress with a funny Teacher Quiz where students have to guess how you answered questions about Spring Break! I can hear you all laughing over the answers already!

If those last two ideas sound intriguing, I have a little surprise for you! A FREE Sample of my Spring Break Survival Pack that contains these exact printable activities! Grab this freebie in my TPT Store!

Do you feel better about surviving till Spring Break?

I know it can seem like Spring Break will NEVER get here, but I promise- you will make it! If you’re ready for break right now and truly don’t see how you’re going to make it to break without breaking down, let me help!

Fun Spring Break themed printable activities on TPT

Grab a copy of my “Make It To Spring Break” Teacher Survival Pack! This pack will keep your kids busy and learning, but is print and go! It comes with an Implementation Guide with directions on exactly how to use this pack!

Students practice Cause and Effect by reading short “cause” stories and writing “effect” conclusions. They will study “Family Vacation Photos” and answer inference questions about the trip based on evidence and prior knowledge.

Other Student Pages incorporate stories or activities that allow kids to imagine being on different trips, feature cool pictures, and give plenty of opportunities to draw and color! Mad Libs, Visualization, and First Day Back activities round out the pack.

Student Pages can be used as seatwork, in centers, with a partner, or as a whole group activity (or any combination of the above). You could complete one or two activities each day of the week or use several on one big “Spring Break Celebration” Day! 

Spring Break themed Good Behavior Incentive Banner

There is also a good behavior incentive banner to give students a “prize” to work for. When kids are tired, you really start to see poor choices being made and students not getting along! With this banner, students work to earn a letter a day (or you can give out more for a truly exceptional class period!).

When they have the entire phrase spelled out, they earn a prize for the last school day before Spring Break! My students always stopped class at lunch and had extra recess and a movie for the rest of the day! They loved it, and I LOVED IT TOO! A little well-earned celebration for making it till Break!

Friend, you WILL make it to Spring Break, and when you do, I hope it’s the BEST Spring Break ever! You work hard every day for your students, shoulder unrealistic expectations, and make such a huge difference in the lives of your kids! Not only do you deserve this break, but you deserve a first-class ticket to the Bahamas and a million dollars! You are amazing, and I thank you for ALL you do!

Pin these Spring Break Survival Ideas

Be sure to Pin this Blog Post to your favorite Teaching Board on Pinterest! That way, you will have these Survival Tips ready to help you make it to Spring Break!

Pinterest Pin Spring Break Survival Tips for Teachers

If you ever need me, I’m here for you! Teacher Sparkle always grows when it has other Teacher Sparkle to bounce ideas off of! ❤️


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