Themes and Skills I’m Teaching in January

Ahh, January. A new year. A fresh start. And while most of us experience the “new year” in August or September, it is lovely to have another new beginning. It might be close to half way through the school year. Your students have already learned so much but not it’s time to get to business. There is still so much left! Which is where my monthly plan comes in.
I love an overview of the entire month versus a weekly plan (although, I usually make one of those, too). I have been trying to get away from the mentality of having to wrap things up nicely in a 5 day week. Learning shouldn’t have definitive starts and stops. So a month seems much more conducive to fitting it all in. #mytwocents
I just love teaching about polar bears…or any Arctic animal really! We will spend at least a week on learning about these beautiful creatures while also exploring nonfiction text features, facts and opinions and also tie in some review of nouns, verbs, adjectives (we can never review this enough!). It will also be the basis for our first informational book we write together. My grade level also uses Rooted in Reading and January has some great books! I love “Alexander” and “Snow Day”. Anytime we can incorporate social studies and ELA, that’s a win-win and learning about MLK Jr. does just that!
January is always a wake up call to step up my writing game. This includes more focused instruction and more options for students during independent writing. I love providing a lot of paper options, vocabulary cards and prompts.
In addition to our hands on options, students will review types of sentences and practice contractions. You can read more about how I plan for word work and what other types of activities we do in this blog post (it’s my favorite!).
Not going to lie. Teaching subtraction with regrouping is one of my least favorite times of the year. It usually starts with a positive attitude and ends with a few more gray hairs. We do so much practice, I need all the resources! Amy Lemons has a lot of fantastic ideas and I just love the centers and crafts from The Bubbly Blonde!
Subtraction isn’t my fav but teaching how to tell time is! The way students’ eyes light up when you pull out the Judy Clocks is so cute! We get a lot of hands on practice and play games like bingo and Make it to Midnight. It is a nice break from regrouping!
There are so many fun winter STEM ideas, some of these are sure to carry over to February (especially since we get a few snow days every year and lesson plans tend to spill over). I am excited to use the Grow Your Own Bear in conjunction with our polar bear unit!
And finally, social studies will start with New Year’s (this might have been on my plans from the week before break…and we never got to it #typical) Then, we will learn all about Martin Luther King Jr. through close reading. I already have this prepped from last year when I was out on maternity leave. I found it in one of my small group table crate seats. Disorganized or prepared? I will go with the latter.
You can download all of the pages above to access the resources (just click on the pictures within the document). Download Here
Happy Teaching, friends!
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