A New Year to me happens in September (teacher brain) as I tend to think in the cycle of a school year. However, as we know, the true New Year is in January, often when many of us are returning back to school after a holiday break. This can be confusing to young kids. New Year? Things feel the same!
It can be fun to learn about the New Year through reading aloud New Year’s books for kids and incorporating some fun learning activities, like these New Year’s writing centers. These are perfect to have prepped and ready to go for when you get back after the holiday break to ring in the New Year with your students!
*Grab these on their own (below) or in our Writing Centers for the Year pack!
New Year’s Writing Centers
If you currently use our writing centers as well, your kids will be super familiar with them and the routines, and you will hardly have to give any instructions (yay!)
If you are new to these writing centers, we change out themes often, but the activities remain similar.
This means that kids really get to know the routines and structure of the centers quickly, which allows them to really focus on the writing and vocabulary, and allows you to focus more on teaching and not direction giving – which makes it a win-win for everyone!
For the New Year’s writing centers, kids will work on a variety of writing activities with the following vocabulary words: clock, party horn, star, party hat, balloons, confetti, fireworks, and cake
The vocabulary cards come 4 to a page (8 words total) and are a great size to accompany all the activities. I cut these and laminate them before adding them to the writing center.
After laminating the writing strips, I place them in the writing center with the cards for kids to pick a card and then write the word using a dry erase marker (pictured below).
We also use the cards to complete the “Write It!” books (pictured above) which are great for practicing spelling and labeling.
You can even use the cards in a pocket chart and practice reading them, creating stories with them, etc. in a small group or whole class as well.
“Write It!” is similar to “Write the Room,” and is always one of the favorite choices in the bunch! Kids pick a card, find the matching picture on the sheet, and record it.
You can hide the cards around the room (they love this) or you can also put them in a sensory bin. My kids are even happy to just have them scattered on a table to copy.
They just love picking a card, and I think the element of choice (they choose the order, and sometimes don’t know what they will get) makes it that much more engaging.
Trace and paste is a fun small group activity, and great for working in some cutting skills as well. You can also use this whole group or as a writing center independent activity.
Kids trace the words, then cut and glue the picture that matches, using the vocabulary cards as a support.
The story books are fun to create during Writer’s Workshop, and then take home to show families. We usually work in them over a period of time, or I use them as single pages to choose from instead of a book (although there is a cover option if you want to create a book).
Each page has a vocabulary word for the theme, and then space for the kids to use their creativity to write a sentence or story around that word. Younger students or very early writers may just write the word several times, and that is ok!
Many of my students use it as a way to work on labeling and writing more sight words or simple sentences. I just love that they are writing!
There are so many fun New Year’s writing activities in this printable pack!
All the colored pages also come in black and white. You can save ink or print on colored paper to give it a fun and unique twist.
Grab the centers below and have writing centers fully done and ready to go for you and your class after the holiday break. Happy New Year!