Taking time to “reflect” on their experiences of the previous year gives students one way for students to learn from the past, as well as an opportunity to move forward and plan for the future. I have also found “goal setting” to be a good way to motivate my students to take ownership of their learning.
#1 New Year Reflection and Goal Setting for Students
In January, when my students return to school after the holiday break, I like to give them the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and set goals for the New Year. Using the “A time to reflect…a time to plan…” Writing Activity, students answer the following questions:
What was the best thing that happened to you last year?
Is there anything that you would change or do differently?
Think of at least one "hope" or "wish" that you have for the New Year.
I like to keep things in the classroom fun, yet purposeful, after returning from a long vacation. Transitioning from “vacation mode” to “school mode” can be a struggle for students (and teachers). I have found that the New Year Flip-Up Activity encourages students to make New Year resolutions and is a perfect way for them to ease back into the routine of doing schoolwork.
Here’s how to do it:
Fold a piece of construction paper in half.
Cut only the top half of the paper into four even sections.
Write one of the digits of the current year on each section.
Underneath each number, have the students write a goal for categories that include: Home, School, You (as a person), Activity/Sport/Hobby.
The final activity in this bundle of New Year activities for students is "Resolution Balloons.” I start by explaining to students that when you make a resolution, you decide to do or not to do something during the New Year. Then, together we brainstorm resolutions that we would like to work on in the New Year and list them on the board. Finally, students finish the activity by writing individual resolutions on a Resolution Balloon.
I collect and display the balloons on our “Happy New Year” bulletin board. I like to use colored paper for the balloons and I tape a strand of curling ribbon to each balloon as its string. This makes for an eye-catching display.
Hopefully, my printable New Year activities for students will help you kick off the semester with a bang! If you use these New Year classroom activities, snap a picture and share it on Sadlier School's Facebook page. We would love to see the finished work and share the pictures with other teachers.