New Year...New Goals

Every year when I leave my classroom for winter break I tell myself I am not bring any school stuff home and I am not doing any school stuff over break.  This is the first year I have actually followed through with that promise.  I spent my 2 weeks with the ones who mean the most to me…MY FAMILY. I know that my little girl will not be little forever and before I know it she will be ready for Kindergarten. I have really enjoyed this time off relaxing, going to do fun activities with my 1 ½ year old, and having date nights with my hubby, but reality is sinking in and I will be back in the classroom in a couple days. Sigh….

I have decided to post some of the fun things I plan to do on my first day back.  My kiddos are always so excited when they come back because they haven’t seen their friends in weeks and they want to tell all about their Christmas and their toys.  I start off my morning with a long but much needed MORNING MEETING. I give every child the sheet below to fill out and then they share what they wrote at meeting time.  If I didn’t do this we would be at morning meeting until lunchtime (NO JOKE).This is fun freebie I get from Classroom Freebies Too!

Click the picture above for a direct link for your FREEBIE! 

I also feel like this is the perfect time to really think about GOALS, GOALS, GOALS! This is crunch time for us and we really have to work hard as a class to get ourselves ready for second grade.  We always read the book, Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. It is the perfect book for younger children and the kids really understand what making a goal is all about.  The best part is if you can’t get the book in time they have a wonderful video version online here.

After watching the video we discuss together what some of our goals might be.  Then, I have them make their own goals and do a fun craftivity similar to this one from Learning in First.  I have redone this template for 2015 and will post a downloadable copy for you on Monday if you would like it. I also buy those cheap party horns to tape to the mouths to make a very adorable display outside my room. If you are short on time here is a similar one for free here. This is the smaller image to the right.
At the end of the day we share our goals with each other and tell how we are going to achieve them.  When everyone has shared we do a “Toast” (with sparkling soda) to our New Year and new goals.  The kids LOVE this and it tends to make the goals special since we celebrated everyone’s. I even found this cute freebie on Pinterest for these adorable party hats.  The best part is that all of these activities make for a fun and FREE of cost day for the kids and teacher.  The only things I do splurge on are the party horns, soda, and toasting glasses.  All of which you can snag for under 5 bucks at Dollar Tree! 
Here is a link to the cute DIY party hats!

What fun things do you do with your kiddos after they come back from break?

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