Oh my gosh it’s January 1st!

Which means I am supposed to go back to school tomorrow. I say “supposed to” because there’s a storm a brewin’ and my trusty online snow day calculator has informed me that there is a 99% chance that school will be cancelled. 

I hope not. My own three kids at home have some serious cabin fever and I am absolutely itching to get back to my classroom. 

I’ve been on winter break for almost two weeks. I had a case of pneumonia that knocked me out for the week before that (I literally spent an entire week horizontal on the couch and accomplished nothing). My student teacher did his take over for the two weeks before that and Thanksgiving break was immediately before that. To say I am excited to get back to my kids and our classroom routines is a major understatement.

While I have a new post scheduled for this evening that will share my New Year’s blog resolutions, I wanted to share with you a roundup of some past posts that showcase a few of the activities I’ll be doing in my classroom this month. 

{click to view this packet}

I just uploaded my latest monthly writing prompt packet for January which includes creative, informative, narrative and opinion prompts as one page printables, individual task cards in color and in ink-saving black and white task cards, graphic organizers and a variety of options for papers to use for the entire writing process…did I mention it covers just about every single Common Core Standard for writing for grades 1-5? My kids go nuts for these cards which makes my teacher heart happy. They’ll be psyched to see I have all new cards ready for them.

I also am putting the finishing touches on some new packets that will be coming soon including: Penguins, Arctic and Antarctic Animals and Winter Olympics.

Without further ado here are some of my past posts highlighting January activities:

Do you need an educational, but easy-to-use activity to do with your class when you return from the winter break? Do you have a bulletin board that needs updating? I have the perfect solution for you…

click here to purchase this product

This is a favorite New Year’s Writing Project that I’ve now done a few times with my classes. 

This kit was created to be used by teachers in grades K-5. The materials are all differentiated for you and were designed to make modifications easy within your classroom. You can also use it year after year even if you change grade levels.

I recently completed this activity with my third graders in school as well as my first grade son at home. The differentiated pages and templates that are included made it a perfect activity for both.

This is a great activity for the month of January as it focuses on resolutions or as I referred to them with my class…goals.

After editing with the teacher, the students wrote their final copies. I always try to culminate our writing projects with a simple art project. These pages include adorable colored clipart, but I opted to print them in black and white, photocopied them and let the kiddos color them in. We then mounted them onto construction paper and glittered the edges (because I’m fancy like that).
Included in this 15 page kit you will find the following New Year’s-themed items:

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-a primary brainstorming page to collect ideas
-an intermediate brainstorming page to collect ideas
-a 3 detail web to organize writing
-a single detail web to organize simple paragraph writing
-primary-ruled draft paper
-intermediate-ruled draft paper
-primary-ruled final product paper
-intermediate-ruled final product paper
-a simple sentence activity page with space to illustrate for our -youngest learners

This year I hung them on my classroom door because I had some adorable owl writing to put up on my bulletin board in the hall. I displayed them as is, but the past few years I’ve done the board shown above using blowers and party hats. I’ve also taken photos of the students wearing party hats and using the blowers to display with their writing which is super cute too!

om management classroom arrangement classroom organization skills organization ideas for the classroom organization ideas for teachers organization ideas for elementary classrooms decluttering a classroom declutter classroom kindergarten first grade second grade third grade fourth grade fifth grade sixth grade preschool 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade easy bulletin board ideas projects New Year’s back to school

You may remember back in the fall I blogged about how I do a writing project that shows progress throughout the year? If not you can read all about it and see pictures here. Well, since the seasons have changed (unfortunately not for the better for us folks here in New England) it was time to have my friends write about the winter.

This is certainly a writing project you could do with your class even if you didn’t have them write about the fall. But, since I did have my little friends complete a sample of writing back when the leaves were orange and red and I was consuming more hot apple cider than you would think humanly possible, I had the added bonus of having my jaw hit the floor at the noticeable progress that they’ve made.

{click to purchase the Winter Writing Packet}

We began by brainstorming all kinds of winter-related topics, words and ideas to get their minds thinking. I then had them work fairly independently to complete their graphic organizers and compose a draft. I sat with each child individually to edit, discuss and revise their writing goals and then they were off to use their very best handwriting to complete the final copy. 

{click to purchase the Winter Writing Packet}

No writing project would be complete without a fun craftivity with which to display the writing so we made the cutest stinkin’ snowmen you’ve ever seen to hold their work. 

{click to access and download the Snowmen at Night Writing and Craftivity Packet}

In addition to the winter writing and cutie-patootie snowmen that I blogged about yesterday we rocked one additional snowman project in my classroom recently.

{click image forreviews}

I began by reading the book Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehler. Are you familiar with the series? They are super cute. {Check out all my snowman book recommendations here if you missed them}. It was a perfect way to jumpstart the project, but you certainly could have them write about what they think snowmen do at night without the book as well.

Afterwards I had them brainstorm ideas for what they thing snowmen do at night when they are sleeping. I asked them to just pick one of their ideas to write about so they could really focus on the details. My favorite part was the adorable snowman craft they made to display with their writing. I was thisclose to adding glitter snowflakes or stars, but since glitter makes me crazy I skipped it.

I added all the materials including the templates for the snowmen to my store. As always, the packet is differentiated to be used with grades K-5 or with a range of learning abilities within one classroom

{click to access and download the Snowmen at Night Writing and Craftivity Packet}

Today’s post won’t help you organize or manage your classroom. 

And, I apologize, but it will be of no use to all you Southern folks. 

But for those of you who live in the colder regions and know all about what it is like to do the snow dance, stalk the weather channel and anxiously await that infamous phone call that announces school is closed for the day…this one is for you.

It’s just too fun not to share. It’s the snowday calculator! After entering your zip code, the # of days your school has already been closed this year and the type of school you teach at, you will be given a percentage letting you know the odds of a weather-related school closing.

We’re expecting another BIG storm tomorrow and the calculator tells me we won’t have school. I can’t wait to see if it’s right.

I always regret the snow days in June, but they sure do feel good when you are home in your jammies on a cold winter day.

Plus, today is Superbowl Sunday {click the link to snag a free football printable for grades K-5} and teaching on the day after the Superbowl is always a challenge ranked right up there with a full moon, the day after Halloween and the day before Christmas break. This year our home team is playing so I surely would be trying to teach fractions to a room full of overtired friends with buffalo dip belly aches if school were on so I am Team Snow Day for this one.

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