Saturday, January 9, 2016

Ringing In the New Year, Classroom Style

Are you a New Year's resolution person?  Well, I am.  I have had the same resolution for the past few years.  Start going to bed on time.  I'm sorry to say, like many resolution makers, I've already broke it.  We were in school a total of three days this first week back from winter break, I did not go to bed on time once.  Oh well...I'll try again next week.

During our three days back this week, my firsties rang in the New Year with style.  We did some retraining, some reviewing, and some fun New Year's themed activities.  Here's a peek at a few of the New Year's resources our class enjoyed.
We built background knowledge by reading the few New Year's themed books I've been able to get my hands on.  For some reason, there are not very many of them. 


We read P. Bear's New Year's Party by Paul Owen Lewis.  This book is a counting book about the animals arriving to Polar Bear's party.  (If you would like a copy of a free activity I used with this book, a few years ago, you can click here.)
We read Squirrel's New Year's Resolution by Pat Miller.  This story is super cute.  It does a good job explaining what a resolution is.  It follows Squirrel as he tries to figure out what his resolution should be by asking the other forest animals about their resolutions.  I like reading this book in class just before we do any resolutions writing or set any goals for the New Year.
Another New Year's themed book I shared with my first graders was The Night before New Year's by Natasha Wing.  This edition of The Night Before... books is true to form as it stays consistent the pattern of The Night Before Christmas, but inserts the symbols and traditions (this time) from New Year's.  It's a great jumping off point for students to share their family traditions for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
New Year's Day (Celebrations in My World) by Lynn Peppas and New Year's Day (Holiday Histories) by Kathryn Imler are two nonfiction explanations of New Year's.  They are a great way to explain traditions and facts about this holiday.
Shante Keys and the New Year's Peas, by Gail Piernas-Davenport, is a wonderful book to use with your young learners.  This rhyming story tells the story of Shante as she visits neighbors to borrow some black-eyed peas.  She learns about different New Year's traditions from around the world from her neighbors.  I love this book.

Throughout the week, as we read these stories, we created a New Year's anchor chart to display and reference in class.


Having the anchor chart helped students with a couple of writing assignments they completed about New Year's.  One of the writing assignments went along with a cute New Year's craftivity we completed to share our resolutions.  Our New Year's Kids look totally cute as a hallway display and the kids love, love, love the blowouts.
If you are interested, this writing craftivity is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers story.  You can click on one of the pictures for details.


We started our January math and literacy centers this week.  Some of the centers are New Year themed.  The one pictured below is a review of the short and long a sound.  
It's amazing to me how improved my students are with centers at this point in the year.  They are so much more independent and willing to problem solve each month.  It's really rewarding to see.



Below is a FREE New Year's math center that I've incorporated during our center time during the past couple of years.  Students practice matching the numbers that are 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, and 1 less.  If you would like a free copy of this center to use with your class, click on the picture below.

Another free New Year's math resource you may want to check out is my Out With the Old and In With the New: A Happy New Year Math Mini Book.  This little booklet features word problems that review some of the skills that we've covered so far this year.   I'm all about holiday inspired math mini books as we continue to learn how to tackle word problems. 
I've updated it for 2016-2019. You can click on the picture below for a free copy of this booklet.



Although New Year's Day has past once we return from break, I still really enjoy finding ways to integrate it into my classroom.  It makes the beginning of the second semester start on a really positive note.
I hope you had a great first week back from break.  Thanks for stopping by.
Cheers to a great rest of the year!


1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year, Amber! I love it when I finally get to bed ON TIME. It feels so good. It's just hard to do sometimes! Love your math centers, too!

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