Double Vision for New Year

Happy New Year!  Don't you love the new year - almost like a blank slate, ready for you to make your mark?  Do you love turning the page on your calendar to a new year, all of those 365 days waiting to be filled with special memories we'll celebrate in the coming months.

As much as this is the time to look forward, it's also a time to look back and reflect on the year that's just closed.  As educators, we know the value of reflection.  We ask this of ourselves and our students daily, considering what worked and ways to tweak the lesson or activity.  We ask students to reflect on their own understanding and growth after a lesson or unit of study.  

At New Years, we challenge you to have "double vision," looking both ahead and back!

In our classrooms, we often do journal writing called "High/Low," in which kids write the best and worst things about a topic or event.  This lends itself well to reflecting on 2016, too!  Ask your students to list five "highs" and "lows" for the past year.  Here is one example.

Side note:  We have been working on keyboarding, so we had our kids type these. Yeah, we might need another lesson on how to get rid of the red wiggly lines and the use of spellcheck, so I apologize!

As we jump into January, it's a perfect time to outline goals for 2017.  Our students set goals for both home and school.  We've shared our New Year's Goal Writing Activity as a free resource on our Teachers Pay Teachers store.  

How can this resource help?  It's a great starting point for a discussion about what New Years is all about.  This conversation is so easy to initiate because most kids are happy to share what they did to celebrate New Year's Eve.  Let them share - talk about their family traditions.  Then introduce other ways to celebrate and other traditions using these picture books:

Next, we work with the word "resolution" and talk about resolving or promising to do something.  We use the goal-setting graphic organizer in our free resource, and then students write their goals for home and for school on this cute tag.

These make a fun bulletin board, or save for your students' time capsules!

As you reflect on 2016, can you find a few of those magical moments in your classroom (or life in general) from 2016 - those moments that took your breath away?  What are your celebrations of success for the past year?  Do you have goals for the new year?  We'd love to hear from you - leave us a comment below and share!