I can’t believe the year is coming to a close! I feel like it just started! Our kiddos have some amazing things to celebrate this year! I love making the start of a new calendar year meaningful for students with read alouds, interactive craftivities, and a bulletin board display that makes everyone feel included! Here are some of my favorite New Year student activities you will love!
Goal Setting For Students
Believe it or not, students thrive off of setting their own goals. It gives them ownership over their learning and makes them more confident in everything they do. We like to create a flipbook of SMART goals that outlines their personal goals in the classroom. It’s a great tool of reference that can be swapped out quarterly or bi-weekly to hold them accountable. This is an easy new year student activity as you re-enter the classroom in January.
This graphic organizer helps them visualize their goals and make deadlines. Having an end goal helps them stay on task and motivated to achieve those goals. These can easily be kept in folders or 3-ring binders for you and your students to reference as often as needed.
Once students achieve their goals (no matter how small), celebrate them! Letting students see their goals brought to completion motivates them to work harder to achieve their next goals! Like I said, their confidence will soar!
If you want to read more about goal setting in the classroom, you can check out this post: Goal Setting with Students!
Create a Meaningful Bulletin Display
You can extend those goal-setting skills to New Year’s Resolutions with these New Year student activities. Remind the students that they can set personal or academic goals. Maybe they want to learn to play soccer or maybe they want to try to get outside more when they are home.
They can write their goals down on this template and decorate it with a New Year’s hat and bow. Add their sweet little faces and you have an amazing display for the hallway or classroom. Students adore seeing their smiling faces on the wall. It gives them a sense of pride and inclusion. They can look at their little classroom family and feel the love!
As they walk down the halls or enter the classroom, students will love pointing out their faces among their peers. They can show them off to classmates, other students, teachers and parents!
Incorporate Fun New Year Read-Aloud Books
New Year’s books were a bit tricky for me to find at first, but I eventually found some great ones! One of my favorites is Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. We love this sweet story about a squirrel helping her friends make their goals for the new year. Not only is this a fun story, but it shows how helping can make others feel good!
Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas is a fun story about a girl who insists on getting the new year peas when her grandmother forgets. She’s determined to get them to avoid bad luck in the new year! You can follow her on her journey to find some peas with this exciting story!
Another great story is Freedom Soup! This story is about family and celebrating the new year with a traditional soup. This book is also a fantastic introduction to how Haitian independence came to be. Your students will love the rhythmic words and beautiful images.
Students may not realize it, but the New Year starts on a different date for many countries. In the United States and many other places, it’s on January first, but elsewhere the New Year starts in a different month! Every Month is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World is a fun way to learn how and when the New Year is celebrated around the globe!
Take Care of Yourself, Teacher Friend
While these New Year student activities are fun to prep, it’s a crazy time of year and a crazy year at that! I know students are on different levels and you’re feeling exhausted. Take care of yourself any way you can. Buy yourself something nice, get a massage, take some needed time off and don’t feel guilty about it. Stay as organized as possible to keep stress to a minimum! As much as you can, prep your plans in advance so you have nothing to worry about when the day comes to teach.
You can use these FREE goal setting and organizational tools that are in our Freebie Vault! All you have to do is enter your email address and they will be sent directly to your inbox! Hopefully that can alleviate a little bit of stress and keep you on track the rest of the year.
To use the resources mentioned in this post, just click the images below!
If you enjoyed this post about New Year Student Activities, you will enjoy these posts as well:
- Goal Setting With Students
- 3 Game Changing Activities to Build Community in the Classroom
- Boho Rainbow Levels of Understanding Posters
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and happy new year!!