Celebrating the New Year in the classroom is one of the best ways to start back after winter break! The best thing about teaching is the fact that you technically get two new years! You get the new school year at the beginning of the year in August or September. But you also get the actual new year in January. And honestly…I like the January new year better because we’ve already spent the time establishing routines and procedures. We’ve already set up classroom expectations, and now we get to really focus on personal growth and development.
On our first day back, we talk a lot about resolutions and why it is important to continue to improve ourselves. After our discussion, I have my students fill out this sheet for academics, a behavior, and a personal resolution. Sometimes it’s hard for students to make goals because it can seem overwhelming for them, so I do A LOT of modeling.
We also fill out a graphic organizer to hang on the wall to remind us of a few things we want to do this year!
“Noon” Year Countdown
Another thing I do to really makes this special is to have our own New Year’s celebration! I pick up some hats and party favors right after New Year’s Eve to get them on sale! I also pick up some sparkling grape juice and plastic champagne flutes. I find a countdown on YouTube and we count down and blow party horns with our hats to celebrate! As close to noon as possible, I find a video of the countdown and ball drop. We all countdown, blow our party horns, and wish each other a Happy New Year! I’ve even been known to play “Auld Lang Syne”. Then we grab our grape juice and toast to a fantastic year!
It’s such a great way to start the second semester by focusing on how to improve ourselves! Check out the goal-setting pages here: