5 Fun & Free Things to Do with your Students in January

With each month of school, there are always special things that I just love doing in my classroom. Maybe it's celebrating a holiday, setting a goal, or partying in a special way. Today, I want to share with you all the things that I love to do in JANUARY!

One Word Challenge

I love to challenge my students to decide on one word that they want to use to describe their year. I always share my own word with them and help them brainstorm ideas for themselves. You can use a template, like what I have in my One Word Challenge packet with reading passages included, or you can use a blank piece of printer paper. Either way, motivate your students to take the One Word Challenge for the new year.

Directed Drawings

I don't know about you, but I always struggle with deciding what to put up on my bulletin board or to decorate my classroom with each season. While I love doing crafty activities, they just sometimes seem daunting! Have your students spend a little bit of time doing a directed drawing as a way to ease their brains back into school mode. Art for Kids Hub has simple YouTube videos with directions for your students to follow!

Class Reward

I always review expectations for centers, the hallway, morning procedures, and other critical things that students tend to "forget" by this time of the year. I think it's important to offer a little mystery reward to help them work hard and make me happy! I draw the blanks on the board before we come back from break and add one letter at a time until we spell the word. This is such a simple way to get my students excited, while not breaking the bank or taking a lot of time on my part. A simple search of Pinterest will give you plenty of recipes for making large quantities of hot chocolate. If you want to print the letters shown in the picture, you can download them here.

Kahoot Challenge

My kids absolutely love to show what they know by creating their own Kahoot! I spend a lot of time during the second semester reviewing for our high stakes test and spiraling through our critical skills. This allows them to practice in a fun and unique way. I have a free printable here if you'd like to grab it. 

Book Clubs

I often spend a lot of time during the second semester doing paired passages to practice using multiple reading skills and really show my students how we "bring it all together" after spending the first semester focusing on one skill at a time. Reading paired passages, answering open-ended questions, and sometimes writing essays related to the passages can be mentally exhausting. Therefore, I really like to give my students time to read for FUN by doing Book Clubs. Beg, borrow, and steal books from your teaching friends and school library to get multiple copies of several high-interest books. Allow your students to just READ! You can have them write short summaries or draw illustrations to demonstrate their comprehension, but keep it simple. I have a blog post with how I set up my Book Clubs here. I also have a blog post with books that my upper elemenatary students loved! 

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