Energize the New Year: Activities for the Week After Winter Break

Get ready to hit the ground running after a well-deserved break! While it can be challenging to jump back into the swing of things, I’ve got some great tips to help you make a smooth transition. So let’s dive in and make this return to routine an exciting and successful one! The first week after winter break can be a little rough. No worries! I have you covered with lesson plans and activities for the entire week after the break!

First Week After Winter Break

Hopefully, you have had a fun and restful break. The LAST thing you want to be thinking about is lesson planning. Here’s an overview of the plans. I’ve created and curated an entire week’s worth of resources you can use for the first week back. It includes many wonderful resources for goal setting, celebrating diverse traditions, sharing about winter break, and more! The best part? Almost everything is free! It includes morning meeting activities, math, reading, and writing. Let’s take a closer look!

Morning Meeting

Morning meeting is one of my favorite times of the day-and the most important-especially after winter break. After the winter break, the morning meeting becomes even more significant, acting as a bridge between the holiday relaxation and the academic challenges that lie ahead. It provides a platform for students to share their holiday experiences, rekindling social bonds and creating a supportive atmosphere within the classroom. This intentional time together also allows educators to gauge the emotional well-being of their students, addressing any concerns or apprehensions they may have about returning to school.

Playing “Stand, Sit, Hands on Hips” is a perfect way to incorporate questions about winter break and the year ahead with movement. Students will stand, sit, or stand with their hands on their hips to indicate their response to each question. These free slides can be found in the lesson plans and activities for after winter break.

january new year morning meeting activity

Ultimately, the morning meeting serves as a powerful tool to re-establish a positive learning environment, ensuring that both students and teachers are ready to face the new challenges of the semester with enthusiasm and a sense of unity.

Week After Break Math Activities

The week after winter break is a great time to review math skills. One of the best ways to do this is by using a spiral review approach, which means revisiting and practicing skills already learned so far in the year. You can also try using centers or games to add a bit of fun to the review process and keep things engaging. Students love playing “Snowman Math games” and “Make it to Midnight”!

january new year math activity game

New Year Digital Library

My goal every school year is to read a picture book and a chapter from a chapter book. Choosing books to read for the first week of January is so much fun! Each day, I have selected a read aloud book from this FREE Digital Library for January.

january new year digital library free

This free digital library makes listening to books so easy! You can project them on your whiteboard or interactive screen. Or, if you have devices, students can listen to them on their own. After listening, complete the free worksheet to go with that story. That’s right–I have included FIVE free comprehension pages!

free reading comprehension worksheets january read alouds

January Writing Activities

As we kick off the next part of the school year, incorporating daily writing activities helps students reflect, and set goals for the new year. First up, students will be writing resolutions and goals for the year ahead. This makes the most adorable hallway bulletin board or door decor! It’s a great way to encourage students to think about what they want to achieve and what kind of person they want to be.

new year bulletin board door decor

Then, we’ll dive into writing prompts with January themes. Your students will love these writing prompts for the month of January. They are so student-friendly with interesting topics, kid-friendly clipart, and supportive writing tools.

january writing prompt free

Ease yourself back into your regular workload rather than overwhelming yourself right away. And don’t forget to make time for reconnecting with your students. This is super important for two reasons: it strengthens your classroom community and gives students a chance to catch up with their friends.


These activities for after break are sure to help with a smooth transition into the new year. I hope the new year treats you and your students well! Looking for more ideas to ring in the new year? Check out this blog post!

free new year january reading worksheets
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