Keeping Students Engaged During The Winter Break


In preparation for our live discussion on this topic, I thought I would begin a rich discussion where we share tips, strategies, and ideas for keeping students engaged during the winter break. 

I'd love to hear at least one strategy you've used or plan on using to keep students connected to your program. 

Ready, Set, Share..... :-) 

Kathy Tracey


Have you seen the LINCS Learner Center? 

Consider emailing students a link to the resources with some explicit directions. Below is a template that you may consider adapting to fit your needs: 

Email Subject Line:  Prepare for the Science HSE Test. 

Did you know the Science portion of the HSE will include questions on Space and Earth Science? Check out this link and learn more about our beautiful solar system.

As you review information on planets and dwarf planets, take notes. For your convenience, you can use this KWL chart attached to the email. This task should 3 - 5 hours. 

Once you've completed this, let me know and I will send you more links and ideas. We look forward to seeing you in person when classes resume on January 15. 

The example connects the student to a relevant resource and should provide explicit instructions, an estimated time line for completion, and expectations for what the student should learn. 

I would love to hear your ideas! 

Kathy Tracey



One of my favorite podcasts is Now and Then. I invite you to listen to any one of the episodes and discuss how we can leverage these free, high quality resources to keep students engaged through the winter break. The student would get a specific link to a topic/podcast with information on why that podcast was selected. 

Here's an example of how this could look: 

Dear Student, 

I hope you are enjoying your winter break. I hope you can find some time to listen to this podcast. If you don't have Internet at home, you can go to any public location with Internet and download the episode and listen offline! 

This podcast provides a great overview of [topic and why selected]. After you listen to the podcast, consider sharing your thoughts and letting me know what you've learned. 

To help get you started, I've created a playlist of curated / free podcasts to share out with students. You can find the list here: 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and let us know which one you listened to. 

Kathy Tracey

Imagined Life is another great podcast for adult learners to explore over the holidays. They even have a family version! This podcast takes you through the life of a famous person, but you don't find out who that person is until the very end. It can connect to additional reading and activities. 

As we look at ways to keep students engaged during the winter break, I invite you to consider hosting a virtual screening event from a YouTube documentary. Check out these resources: 

9 Great Documentaries for the High School Classroom 

17 Best Documentaries 

Remember to join in our conversation on Keeping Students Engaged During the Winter Break

Description: Join the Program Management group to consider how to keep students engaged in programs and improve retention during the winter breaks. Come prepared to share your ideas and discover strategies from other practitioners!

Presenter: Kathy Tracey, LINCS Program Management Group Moderator

Date/Time: Friday, November 18, 2022, 3:00pm ET (live session)

LINCS Community Group: Program Management

Online registration is required to participate in the LINCS Event for Keeping Students Engaged During the Winter Break


In our meeting on Friday, we discussed using WhatsApp as a tool to communicate with learners during extended breaks. 

Do you use WhatsApp? Can you share a few examples of how you use this tool? A specific concerns was about group privacy and if WhatsApp shared phone numbers. 

We would love to see some examples! 

Thank you, 


As many programs begin to wrap up their fall classes and prepare for the winter break, it's time to think about strategies to end the session while keeping students engaged during the break. During our Live discussion on this topic, the participants shared how they close out fall courses. As a classroom activity, they have students revisit their goals and reflect on what they've accomplished. Then the student can create a plan for completing the remaining goals once they return after break. 

How do you end your courses before a long break? 

Looking forward to hearing from you, 

Kathy Tracey