Celebrating the New Year in the Classroom

Coming back to school in the new year is always a little bitter sweet. On one hand you have missed your kids and have (hopefully) gotten some much needed, well deserved rest. On the other hand sleeping in, going to the restroom whenever you want, and having more than 10 minutes to scarf down your lunch has been amazing and will definitely be missed! 

To help make the transition back to the classroom easy for you and fun for your students, I have come up with some engaging activities, printables, and freebies to ensure you all have a happy new year! 

Countdown Balloon Pop! 

You can use this activity to practice virtually any skill but I love to use it during the math block. To prepare this low prep, high engagement activity all that you need are a few un-inflated balloons, scraps of paper, and something to write with. 

Write out problems that match whatever objective you are covering on a small piece of paper. For example, you could write addition or subtraction problems, numbers to identify and count to, patterns for students to create, etc. Before blowing up the balloons, roll or fold up the paper and slip it into the balloon. If you are feeling really wild, you could also slip a little confetti into each balloon before you inflate it. ;) 

Blow up the balloons and label each one with a number (1-5, 1-10, however many balloons you want to do) using a permanent marker. 

When you are ready to begin the activity, start by popping the balloon with the largest number. After students solve the problem that was inside the balloon (either as a class or individually), move on to the balloon with the next highest number. Keep popping and solving until all of the balloons are gone! 

 Find the New Year 

There are two different ways to play this fun letter recognition game:

Whole group: Play “Where is the New Year?” Letter ID Game

To prepare: Print, cut out and shuffle the letter cards and place them in a pocket chart. Hide one (or more) 2023 cards behind a letter card.
To play: Students will take turns identifying letters of the cards to try and guess where the New Year is hiding. Once a letter is guessed, you will reveal if the year is behind that letter. If 2023 is not hiding behind the card, you can flip the card over and let another student guess until the 2023 has been found.

Centers or Small Group: Play Flip and Color Letter ID Game

To prepare: Print, cut out, and shuffle the letter cards and place them in a pile face down or in a sensory bin.
To play: Students will draw cards one at a time, identify the letter name (or letter sound) and color that letter in on their 2020 recording sheet. 

(Updated for 2023) ***GRAB THIS ACTIVITY HERE*** 

Happy New Year Crown {FREEBIE}

My students always love making crowns and hats... almost as much as I love seeing them march down the hall wearing them! 

I have 3 different versions of 2023 crowns for you to choose from so you can pick the New Year crown that best suits your students’ needs. (Updated for 2023.) After the crowns have been cut out, you can attach them to a sentence strip to fit it around students’ heads.

Crown 1: Students can color and decorate the year and the letters on this crown. You can encourage them to identify the numerals and the letter names as they are coloring

Crown 2: Students can practice writing in the new year and color the words “Happy New Year”

Crown 3: Students can color in the year write “Happy New Year”, their new year resolution, their name, or whatever you would like! 

I hope you have a wonderful first week back with your students! If you use any of these activities in your classroom, I would love to hear about it in the comments below or tag me on social media @teachglittergrow

Happy Teaching! 

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