Happy New Year! You most likely spent the first half of the school year working hard to establish and perfect classroom routines. Routines help students feel secure and empowered while adding structure and stability to their day-to-day learning. Now that it’s officially the new year, let’s chat about some tips and New Year activities to ensure a smooth start to the second half of your kindergarten school year!
After all the holiday excitement, maintaining a sense of calm and normalcy is essential for your students’ success and your sanity. Reminding students that we still have the same routine after a break is reassuring to them. Here are some ways to help you maintain and practice those fabulous routines you’ve worked on in ways that are engaging for your students and helpful for you!
Use thematic activities for the New Year
With all of the holidays in November and December, thematic activities are easy to come by. That doesn’t have to end now that it’s January! Here are a few quick themes and ideas for January:
New Year Fine Motor Activities:
Celebrate the fun a new year brings with this fine motor pack! The activities are an easy addition to morning tubs or any other center.
Snow Themed Activities:
Even if you don’t get snow where you live, it’s still a fun and mesmerizing topic. There are several snow-themed activities in my January Morning Tubs pack, like these snow globe ten frame mats and snowflake word family sorting cards!
Penguin Activities for Kindergarten:
If you aren’t already incorporating a penguin theme, you’re missing out! My Penguin fine motor pack has several adorable learning activities that are easy to incorporate into your school day.
Use Review Activities to Start the New Year
Reviewing skills that students feel comfortable doing independently is a great way to review routines. The students know the standards they are working on, limiting the amount they need to lean on you. This will free you up to monitor the behaviors and reteach classroom routines.
My January no-prep printables are a life saver when it comes to reviewing skills. With 30 pages to choose from, this pack covers number sense, addition within 10, rhyming, CVC words, decodable sentences, and more kindergarten skills.
Continue Established Routines from Day One
Although they might not go perfectly, continue established routines starting the first day back from break, if possible. For example, if you start your mornings with morning tubs, have those ready to go in January because your students will expect them. Not only are tubs a part of your student’s established routine, but they also review skills and provide the motivational factor you’ll need!
By the way, if you need some fresh ideas on morning tubs, be sure to check out my morning tubs blog series!
Give Yourself Grace!
Give yourself grace! You likely spent a lot of time practicing your established routine at the beginning of the year. However, don’t feel discouraged when your students need a little practice and a few reminders when they return from break. Every other teacher will tell you that it’s normal!
In short, take it easy on yourself and make it easy on yourself by using these tips!
Grab a New Year Activities Freebie!
To help you take it easy on yourself, I have a free New Year themed printables pack that I’d be happy to send straight to your inbox! Just fill in your information below.
I hope your January is full of joy!