5 Ideas for Ringing in the New Year

Although we might not *quite* be ready for that first school day of the new year, it will be here before we know it. So while inside I am sorta, kind of dreading it #sorrynotsorry, I am napping prepping.  Here are 5 ideas for ringing in the new year in the classroom.

Musical Shares Activity

That first day back can be rough.  The kids are tired from sleeping in and staying up late.  It is inevitably dreary or possibly freezing rain (or is that only in Pennsylvania?).
My favorite first activity of the new year I like to call “Musical Shares”. I play some music and students walk around. When the music stops, they pair up with someone to share 1 thing about their winter break. We repeat this 3-4 times so they’ve had time to share with multiple classmates. Grab your free copy here. 

Fill & Fold: Reflection and Goal-Setting

It’s the perfect time to reflect on 2022 and set some goals for 2023. After playing musical shares, we complete this Fill and Fold activity. Do both at once with this activity you can find here.
This is perfect to print double-sided to save paper, reflect and create resolutions all at once! Each question for last year corresponds with a question for this year (for example: a book you read in 2022, one you want to read in 2023).  I plan to hang these up so both sides show or they can easily flip back and forth.

Digital New Year’s Games

One of my favorite ideas for ringing in the new year is playing a free New Year’s Game.  These are so fun to pair with ANY skill or even better–use them to practice/review classroom routines and procedures. Here’s how it works:
  • Choose one of the three games. You can divide your class into teams, play class versus teacher or just work together to win (this can be best if your kids get super competitive!)
  • Decide what you want to practice or review. You could do math flash cards, task cards, or practice routines.
  • Project the game so your whole class can see it. For Ball Drop Surprise, for example, students are working to earn all 4 NYE items. So, after a correct answer, choose a student to move one of the disco balls. Underneath will be one of the 4 items. The first team to collect all 4 wins!

January Digital Library

Start by listening to a book from the “New Year’s” section of my FREE January Digital Library. These libraries are perfect for including in your morning meeting routine or an independent listening center!
I’ve created two free worksheets to go with Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas and A Loud Winter’s Nap (both can be found in the digital library or you can buy from Amazon here and here).

New Year’s Bulletin Board Writing Activity

Have students what they are excited about in 2023 with this easy-to-prep writing activity + bulletin board option. While I talk about resolutions too, I like to build up the excitement for what is possible in the new year! I love hearing about what they are excited about in their lives PLUS this makes an adorable display that you could even do before winter break and then leave it up through January!
Find it here: NY 2023 Bulletin & Writing 
Ringing in the new year with your students is a special time! I hope you have found some helpful ideas for celebrating the new year with your class.
Looking for more activities for the first week back from break? Check out this blog post!
Happy Teaching!
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