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Friday, December 30, 2016


It’s hard to pump yourself up to go back to school after the holidays - and it’s difficult for children as well. Here are some little “happies” that might give you and your children something to look forward to in 2017!

Hot Chocolate Friday
I LOVE this idea! Ask each parent to send in a box of instant hot chocolate and an old coffee mug. End your week by letting each child stir up some hot chocolate. Read poems, say rhymes, read books, and fall in love with language as you sip your hot chocolate together!
Dress Up
We always looked forward to dress up days. Pajama parties, beach day (Yes, in January!), what I want to be when I grow up, my favorite book character, hat day, and silly sock day are just a few ideas. You can easily tie these in with units of study or literature. (Goodness, don’t forget about “instructional time”!)

Game Day
This was on a blog several weeks ago. Let children bring in games from home on Friday and play with their friends the last 30 minutes.

A teacher in Atlanta explained that their whole grade level gets together for 30 minutes of LIFT every Friday. LIFT stands for “Learning Is Fun Time” and I think it’s a wonderful idea for 2017. It’d work well to put one class in charge each week and to relate songs, rhymes, stories, and games to standards and themes.

Tell your children that they can EARN “fun” time on Friday. First, discuss what “fun” time might mean to them. Basically, it’s a time when they get to do whatever they want. When you catch the class on good behavior during the week they can earn a letter in the words “FANTASTIC FUN FRIDAY.” Write the letters as they earn them on the board. If they earn all the letters by Friday then their reward is to have fun the last 30 minutes. (You’ll be surprised that some of your students won’t know what to do at first. They’ll just walk around and walk around. Funny! Sooner or later they will figure it out!)

How about you?
Have you got any tips for energizing yourself and your students when you go back to school? Please email them to me ( and I’ll share them on my blog. Thanks! I love to learn new things!

I was looking through some old blogs and I saw this idea from KIRPC Head Start in Indiana. The teacher said she bought sheets, tied the ends with ribbons, and then hung them on hooks around the smart board. Wouldn’t this be a nice touch to your classroom in January!