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New Year Classroom Activities

When the clock strikes midnight, a new year has begun! For many, this is a chance for a fresh start whether that’s on a personal or a professional level. New year classroom activities can help make the trasition back from winter break a breeze.

New Years classroom activities are perfect for ringing in the new year when your students come back to school after the winter break.  In the following blog post, we take a look at four engaging activities that allow your students a chance to share, reflect, and learn from each other collaboratively.
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Just like adults need a fresh start, often times students need a fresh start too! Give students the chance to get a fresh start with a few New Year classroom activities to start off the new year!

New Year Classroom Activity #1: Resolution Solution

One way to get your students into the growth mindset is to have them make a classroom resolution. To implement Resolution Solution in your classroom, you can have your students look back at what they accomplished the first semester.

This can be how many words they could write or spell, how many books they read, or how they treated other students. Have students write down what they want to accomplish in the second part of the semester.

Depending on the grade level, you may also encourage students to make a “personal” and a “professional” resolution.

Their personal resolutions can be about behavior or positive self-talk and their professional resolutions can be something school related.

To help students keep their goal in mind, you can have them illustrate an action plan. After they are finished, have the students share what they want to accomplish with the class.

Then, you can laminate the action plan and tape it to your students’ desks so they remember what they are working towards.

New Year Classroom Activity #2: Would You Rather

Another great idea for your list of New Year classroom activities is a nice clean game of Would You Rather. You can play this game in two different ways.

Option 1:

You can have students generate a list of would you rather statements such as: Would you rather have to eat chocolate or pizza every day? Then have students ask a partner and try to incite good conversation.

Option 2: 

Have students generate a list of would you rather statements and add your own in there as well. Then, you stand in front of the room and read out the statement.

Finally, direct students to a certain area of the room. For example, you could say: “If you would rather eat pizza every day, go to the reading corner. If you’d rather eat chocolate every day, go to where the glue is kept.”

While Option 1 will let students get to know each other better, Option 2 gets students reacquainted with the room after being gone on break.

New Year Classroom Activity #3: Who Am I

This game is a fun way to reinforce good character skills and makes a great addition to your New Year classroom activities. Tape the name of a student to the back of another student. Then have each student ask questions about the name on their back. Remind students to be respectful and say positive things about the person.

If you have new students coming in at the New Year, this is also a great time for them to get to know the students  and become a part of the class right away.

New Year Classroom Activity #4: I’m awesome because…

We all know that some students don’t have the perfect home life. A great way to possibly combat some negativity over winter break and to start the New Year right is with this icebreaker.

Have students sit in a circle and say, “I’m awesome because…”. Students can say anything from “I’m awesome because I have brown hair,” or “I’m awesome because my grandma and grandpa came to my house!”

Whatever they say is fine as long as it is positive and true. Then whoever shares that trait stands up and finds a seat. This is a great way for students to get to know each other better especially if there are any new students, and it’s a great way to promote positive self-talk!

New Year Classroom Activity #5: Skit-tell

This is a great way to catch up and reconnect after being gone for a while and there are two different ways you can play this sweet game. For either option, you will need some Skittles. I would recommend putting Skittles into snack baggies ahead of time to prevent potential chaos.

Option 1: Getting reacquainted.

Put Skittles into a snack baggie. Make sure there are a variety of colors and try to make sure each bag has the same amount.

Make each color a question about their break. Then go around the room and have students choose three (or whatever number you choose) to share.

For example, your color question could be:

  • Red: What is something you did for someone else over winter break?
  • Orange: What is one present you received that you loved?
  • Yellow: What is one thing you did with your family over winter break?
  • Green: What is one game that you played with friends or family over winter break?
  • Purple: What is one goal you have for the New Year?

I would not force students to answer each question, because you never know the family dynamics outside of the classroom so tread lightly!

Option 2: Getting the Brain Going!

Repeat the first two steps in option one. With this icebreaker, I would have students answer more questions. If you wanted, you could put the students in groups for this icebreaker and make it a team “competition.”

Instead of questions about their break for the colors, ask them a question about something related to your classroom.

Each color can be for a different subject. For example:

  • Red: Science
  • Orange: Spelling
  • Yellow: Sight Words
  • Green: Math
  • Purple: Teacher’s Choice

No matter how you choose to play, it is a fun way to get to know your students better or to get their brains back into school mode after a break!

With the first semester ending and a new one beginning, it’s a great chance to revamp the energy in your classroom. Have some fun with students when they first get back by adding these New Year classroom activities to your lesson plans.

Whether you challenge them to really think about what the New Year can mean for bettering themselves, enhancing their character or academic skills, all of these New Year classroom activities are a great way to start your New Year!

New Years classroom activities are perfect for ringing in the new year when your students come back to school after the winter break.  In the following blog post, we take a look at four engaging activities that allow your students a chance to share, reflect, and learn from each other collaboratively.
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New Years classroom activities are perfect for ringing in the new year when your students come back to school after the winter break.  In the following blog post, we take a look at four engaging activities that allow your students a chance to share, reflect, and learn from each other collaboratively.
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Do you have a favorite activity for when your students return from break?  Share them below or email me at farrahshipley@mrsshipley.com and your idea might be shared on the blog or social media (with full credit of course).

Looking for more amazing activities for your students to get their learning muscles back in shape? Check out these other posts that can help you get back in the swing after winter break:

Spiral Review: Making it Work for You

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Happy Teaching…

Farrah
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