In January we always return with a short week of learning. I like to use this week as a time to reflect on our learning, set new goals, and celebrate a new beginning and new year. Here are my top 5 favorite new year’s activities for students.
1. Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
Resolution is a pretty big word for first graders to learn and understand. This story explains it perfectly, so it is definitely my number one pick for a new year’s read-aloud. Before I share this story, I read the title and share the cover. I ask the children to predict what they think is going to happen in the story and get their prior knowledge of the word resolution. I just plop their ideas up on the pocket chart with some sticky notes.
After reading the story, we review the characters and setting and retell the story with the mini visual posters I have created. Then, we make the squirrels and write a resolution for the new year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect resource to go with one of my favorite New Year’s Books. I love the retelling cards! Thanks so much!!”
“The activities that go along with the story are great! They are engaging and aligned with our standards. Thanks for a great product!”
“Love, love, love this unit and the activities that go along with it. This unit matches perfectly with the standards. I will be using this over and over!”
2. Yeti New Years Bulletin Board
I also love to read a winter Yeti story and create a fun Yeti bulletin board full of hopes for the new year. You could read any book to go along with this activity or no book at all. You can find my favorite Yeti books in my winter book collection on Amazon. For this bulletin board, we put our hopes for the new year rather than our resolutions.
“My students were so excited to make their yeti! They looked so cute up in our classroom. They enjoyed sharing their goals with each other.”
“I love this resource so much! I’ve used it 2 years in a row. It is cute and perfect for students to engage in critical thinking, self-reflection, and goal setting! The students think it is fun and cute and are excited to make their Yetis.”
“This turned out SO CUTE! My students were able to write their goals for the year and talk about goal setting and the yeti was the finishing touch!”
3. Happy New Year Nonfiction Unit
Another activity we complete is my New Year Nonfiction Unit. We read the mini book about New Year’s celebrations and come up with resolutions for home, school, friends, and the world. We make a mini book about our resolutions, but I usually start off with the pocket chart and sticky notes.
There are a lot of other activities we complete too. We work on some word work activities, write, make party hats, and compare New Year’s to the holiday Diwali.
“Great resource for teaching about New Years!”
“This was super fun way to come back after the break!”
“My kiddos loved this! It was a great resource to talk to them about resolutions.”
4. Digital New Year’s Activities for Students
When Covid came we all needed digital everything, so I created a digital New Year’s Activity Pack. This is filled with goodies that I still used even after the fact. They are great for centers or for whole group at a projectable board to display and lead your day.
“This is the perfect product! I love all your theme day resources for so many reasons but the top one is just how you have activities that can be used throughout the entire day!! I love leaving these for subs or if I ever have to leave the room with an IA. Thank you so much for the great product!”
“If you need New Year Day activities, BUY THIS ACTIVITY! It has EVERYTHING! I used this for live teaching and split some work into asynchronous work. There is so much included!”
5. New Year’s Goal Setting Freebie
Finally, we talk about goals. I created a digital and printable goal sheet that we use to look ahead and create some academic goals for the rest of the year. You can grab this freebie if you would like to use it in your classroom.
All of these activities are in one big New Year’s Activities Bundle if you want a week’s worth of goodies. Here is what some buyers had to say about the bundle:
“This is a wonderful and comprehensive bundle for New Year’s with a huge variety of activities to choose from. It is a perfect mix of digital and printable activities. Thank you so much! It is exactly what I was looking for.”
“LOVED this resource and using it coming back from holiday break! I am teaching both virtually & in class; this worked wonderfully!”
“LOVED the Yeti activities – the kiddos are still talking about their Yetis for the New Year! Thank you for such a wonderful product!”
Cheers to a wonderful New Year filled with resolutions, goals, hopes, and dreams that come true.
Check out these blog posts for more engaging activities for January: