Ring in the New Year in the Classroom

This is a post that I wrote for iTeach Third that I thought you might enjoy. It's time to start planning for our first days back!

The very first day back from winter break is a party in my classroom! We celebrate the new year together. We are a family and it seems fitting that we celebrate together. It is also a nice way to ease back into school and set the tone for the fun quarter ahead. Here are a few ways that we celebrate....

1. Watching the Ball Drop in Time Square

Each year I have a few kids who have seen the ball drop, but most of my third graders are not allowed to stay up that late. I just find a recording of the ball drop on YouTube. We count down together!

2. Hats and Horns

A New Year's party is not complete without hats and horns! I grab these at the dollar store. My kids think I have lost my mind when I tell them to make lots of noise! I highly recommend having a sign to the kids that will indicate that they must stop blowing the horns. Also, apologize to your neighbor teacher. Or, just invite her to the party!

3. Toasting

I love to teach my third graders what it means to "make a toast." I give my class a cup of apple juice. We all sit in a circle and make a toast for the new year. When we have all had a turn, we clink cups and drink! So simple and yet so fun! The kids feel grown up!

4. Reflecting on Memories and Writing Goals

My kids adore making paper bag books. They are super simple but look so very special when we  finish. First we take some time to reflect about our year and write some of our favorite memories.

Then we think about the upcoming year and the goals we want to achieve. Students choose a reading, math, writing and behavior goal. They also write about the steps they will take to reach the goals.

Want some GOOD NEWS?!!! You can grab this paper bag book and instructions for assembly for FREE! Just click on the picture below.

Happy New Year my teacher friends!