Back to School – New Year Activity

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Today was interesting.

It always is.

The return after The Holiday Break. (I wish I could add some dramatic music here.)

Someone always forgets their combination. (That was probably me in middle school. Let’s be honest!) A few may even forget where their locker is! (Is that a stretch of the truth? Maybe. But you’d be surprised.)

Why does two weeks away feel like two years and two minutes – at the same time?

To add to the unique feeling of coming back – Mother Nature decided to throw in a little rain which led to a two-hour delay.

All that aside, I wanted to do something to ease us back into the curriculum and help foster our positive classroom environment.

I placed a definition of resolution on the board. Students did not have to choose a resolution, but we talked very briefly about what it meant. I was surprised by the number of students who had not heard about the tradition.

I shared my experience with resolutions and how mine has evolved over the years into a quote; it has become more about a time to reflect and think about a positive mindset and something motivational for the upcoming year.

Then, I had the students choose their own word (or words) or quote for 2019. I had them use 1/4 of a sheet of paper, because I didn’t want to overwhelm the classroom walls or have this turn into a long activity.

My favorite word chosen was angel. My student asked if I’d like to know the reason for his choice. He explained (and I wish I could put it as eloquently as he did) that he pictures the word meaning to rise above and to reach for goals this year, but he also envisions it as a reminder to protect, help and love his family and friends. I was not expecting his response, and it made my day complete.

Here is the result of today’s activity. I’ll be moving them to a place in the classroom as a friendly reminder for 2019.

My Instagram explanation: A great opening activity to “start our year” – we chose a 2019 word (or quote) that keeps us in a positive mindset.

Then, it was on to Nefertiti and Hatshepsut.

Here are some more examples of their choices. I was (and am) inspired by them!

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