Wednesday, December 31, 2014

new-year-activities

A New Freebie for a New Year!

UPDATED IN DECEMBER 2016!

I can say, "Happy New Year!" because 2015 has about 49 hours left of it.  2016 is just hours away!  I decided to update this little blog post this evening to make the best most of the remaining hours in 2015.

If you are an educator, you might be celebrating your New Year with a well deserved break away from school.  Schools in my area closed for the holidays on December 19th.  They won't reopen until January 5th.  That's sixteen days off of school!  The long span of time away from school will require students to adjust to a routine again.  That is, getting up early, getting ready for the school day, and staying FOCUSED in class.  For teachers, it makes January a challenging month!  The first week back is easier (for teachers and students) when the children are provided with plenty of breaks during the day.  Incorporating games into the instructional day can also keep the "Winter Doldrums" at bay. 

Perhaps you are planning a New Years theme with your students when they return to school.  You could have them write a personal goal for 2015.  You could also set time aside for a "Desk Cleaning Event".  (Some of them are going to find a long lost, half-completed, assignment buried in the backs of their desks!) Cleaning out their desks will give them a fresh start with their developing organization skills.  I highly recommend the "Desk Cleaning Event".  It gets them moving.  They'll need as much movement activities as possible as they adjust to going to school again. 

If you are planning a New Year's theme, you might like to use my New Year decoding phrases.  You can get them at my Teachers pay Teachers shop.  The file is FREE!  Here is an example of one of the pages.
This printable has the children write the missing letters in the blanks.  The code is given to them.
Additionally, for those of you that have SMART Notebook software, there is a companion product.  It will allow you to model the printable pages on the SMART Board as the children complete the activity sheets.  It's also free!  


These activities are NOT appropriate for per-kindergarten or kindergarten.  These activity sheets will work well with second and third graders.  They might be too challenging for some first graders although you could give it a try. 

Here's how the decoding phrases work.  Students use an alpha-numeric arrangement to decode a New Year's phrase.  An example of a phrase might be a fact about new years such as, "The New Year Begins on January First".  

Each numeral represents a letter.  Students write the appropriate letters in the blanks above the numerals which reveals the New Years phrase.
The New Year Begins on January First

After the children have practiced decoding, you will want them to create their own codes for a New Year's phrase.  When they create alpha-numeric codes, they are making their own choices about the numerals they will use.  It also requires them to plan, map, and check the location of the numerals.  This promotes higher order thinking skill.  Higher order thinking skills do not happen when children complete phrases with codes given to them.  An alpha-numeric code that is provided is a starting point which a child can draw background knowledge from when he is ready to create one independently.
This printable provides one of the numerals for the child.  The child chose to write numerals in descending order after the "seven" which was the given numeral.
The photo shown above has the task started for the children.  The "seven" is provided and is also written below the two blanks needed to spell the two "P's" in the word "HAPPY".  The children select other numerals which they print above the letters.  Then the children "PROGRAM" the correct numerals below each of the blanks so the phrase will spell correctly.

The final task is to print the letters in the blanks.  The students could switch papers with a classmate to complete this part.

This New Year's freebie is designed exclusively for the 2016 year.  I plan to update it for the 2017 New Year.  The update will take place in December of 2016.  You might like to get the updated version at that time.  If you would like to get this freebie from my Teachers Pay Teachers store, click the image below:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/new-years-2016-1622507

If you are interested in modeling this on the SMART Board, click on the next image shown below.

Have a Happy New Year!

Lessons by Molly © 2014  All rights reserved.

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