Welcome Back! It’s time to start thinking about getting back into the groove! I don’t know about you, but the school year FLIES after Christmas Break! So, I am here to share some teaching ideas for January. Please note that this post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase anything from Amazon through these links I receive a small commission at no cost to you! Keep reading and don’t forget to grab your freebie!
January Teaching Ideas: Back to School “Bootcamp”
So, the first few days of school back from the break we spend some time reviewing our classroom rules and procedures. We revisit all of our anchor charts for Read to Self, Read on the Computer, Writer’s Workshop, etc. We practice our procedures to rebuild our stamina for reading and writing. I really reinforce the expectations of each part of our day. We practice walking in the hallway, we practice coming into the room, how to get what we need for our lessons, bathroom expectations, etc. It only takes a few days, but it is a great refresher for the kiddos and for myself.
We also do a classroom cleanup. We get rid of things that we aren’t using, clean out our desks, book boxes, chair pockets, etc. A good way to start the new year. Clean, organized and ready! This is also a great time to do a Book Picnic! You can read about that HERE and grab your freebie! Starting the new year with some great new books in our book boxes is always motivating!
Teaching Ideas for January: Reading ideas
Coming back from Christmas Break some of us spent a lot of time reading and some of us didn’t. We usually ease back in with some fantastic January read alouds! Some of my favorites are: (this picture will take you to my Amazon Storefront there are more great book ideas there! I couldn’t fit them all into the image!
What could be better than reading in front of a cozy fire? Now, I am pretty sure that your classroom doesn’t have a fireplace (mine doesn’t anyway), but you can do the next best thing! There are great fireplace Youtube videos! I use my projector to project one onto the big screen in my classroom. I searched “Fireplace with Music”. Here is an example! Isn’t it lovely?
I also enjoy watching it snow! It’s very relaxing. I also put these on during work times! The kiddos LOVE them!
This is also the time of year for the middle of the year benchmark assessments. We give Star, MCLASS TRC, and Dibels. After I have gathered all of my new data, I meet with my students to make sure that their reading goals align with their needs. A great way to help your students keep track of their reading goals is using these Reading Goal Checklist Bookmarks! The front has a list of actionable steps for your students to reach their reading goals. The back has mini-anchor charts or places for your students to stop and jot to help reach their reading goals.
You can check these out and get more information about them by clicking on the picture, or clicking HERE! This is a great time to get organized for your Reading and Writing Conferences! You can read more about how I do it HERE! Looking for new reading log ideas for the year? I have several different reading log choices in my store. Some for in-class and some for at home! This product also contains a fun January Reading Challenge if you want to try something a little different! You can find those HERE!
January Teaching Ideas: Writing Ideas
We are in the thick of it now! Building back up our stamina for writing, starting our unit on poetry to get ready for our Coffee House Poetry day. Busy busy! To help rebuild our writing stamina I like to have the kiddos do some writing to prompts. My favorite way to get back into the groove is my Weekly Writing Journals. Every day there is a super quick, fun prompt to get the kiddos into the writing groove! They love these journals, and if you want, you can collect to take a grade. Interested? You can find those HERE!
This product also comes with winter-themed writing paper, perfect to put in your writing center! I also have some fun Winter Pick a Prompts. Pick a Prompts are also excellent for leaving with substitutes or added to your writing center.
Story starter Cootie Catchers are also a really fun way to get your students writing. They make their cootie catcher, then tell a story while playing with it. This is a great way to get your kiddos collaborating on a story as well. They LOVE these!
Teaching Ideas for January: Math Stuff
This month we are working on learning about measurement. My math centers this month will be reviewing the previous skills that we are working on. One of my favorite math manipulatives are Pattern Blocks. I did a whole post about how I use these in my classroom HERE! I have a fun Winter Pattern Block Puzzles product in my store. My students LOVE these!
January Teaching Ideas: Fun Stuff
My students love this fun Roll a Snowman dice game. It is super simple to play! All the kiddos need is a die, a gameboard (for reference, 1 per pair), a piece of paper and pencil or whiteboard and dry erase marker. They roll the dice and draw the snowman part. When they have a completed snowman, they win! You can get this fun game for FREE HERE!
I am always looking for new ways to make my morning work time more interesting. I did a blog series on Morning Work Ideas. You can find Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. One of my favorites is my critical thinking “Mini-Missions”. These quick, fun activities get your kiddos out of their seats and talking to their classmates to solve problems or share ideas. You can check out my January Mini-Missions HERE!
Or, maybe you are looking for some fun STEM/STEAM activities? I have some very fun Playdough STEM mats! The kiddos solve creative problems by creating things with playdough! My students LOVE these! These are a favorite during center time! You can check out my winter set HERE!
Looking for other January ideas? You can check out everything in my store that is January Themed HERE! If you are just looking for winter ideas, check HERE!
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This notebook has been so valuable for tracking reading progress! I have created multiple notebooks for multiple grades. I have found this to be so helpful for keeping on the same page with my aide as well. We can both pop into this and see what work has been done with which students! Thank you for this wonderful teaching aide!