Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year's Activities that Spark Thinking and Creativity (and Motivation!)

Hey there!

I wanted to pop in real quick and share with you two activities I did to celebrate the new year with my students this week!

The first activity I left on their desk for them for morning work.  It looked like this

This is a creative art activity where students use the numbers in 2014 in a picture in some way.  They can incorporate it any way they want.  I like doing this now and then because it differentiates itself.  My very creative kids had an opportunity to think outside the box while my kids that don't like to create could still do whatever they wanted within their comfort zone.  Here are some of the pictures I got!

Here it looks like she used the 4 and the 1 as a sail boat, the 2 as the body of a flamingo, and the 0 as a sun!  :O)
Here, it looks to me, in my artistic expert opinion, that he used the 4 for a campfire, the 1 as a street light, the 2 as fireworks, and the 0 is the peach dropping.  Here in Georgia, we watch the peach drop in Atlanta on New Year's, if you aren't watching Times Square!!  :O)

And, I sort of know what she did here because she came to me and said, "I meant to use the 0 as a moon but I made it a sun.  Should I start over?"  I told her of course not, I would understand!  So, it looks like Santa is in a sleigh made from the 1, she pasted the 4 and used that as part of the roof on the house, and then she used the 2 as the street address.  Then, I guess she wanted another 1 and 4, too!

I think they turned out pretty cute!  :O)

At the end of the day on Wednesday (Monday was a teacher work day and Tuesday school was closed due to severe cold) we talked about resolutions.  Almost all of them had heard the word resolution but we talked about it anyway.  I gave them a pep talk about starting the new year with achievable goals in mind and then I told them about the crafitivity we were going to do.  It is from Runde's Room and it was FREE!

This craftivity had 6 pages of goal setting!  There was a page for academic, social, leadership, athletic, and organizational goals plus one page for picking a one word theme for the year!!  I loved it because it wasn't just based around school, plus it got a lot of discussion going!!  

We worked on RACKs before school got out and it was a nice tie in to leadership.  I love that Jen used "big" language like academic and social because many of them did not know what that was, so we got to talk about it (and then they felt really smart!).  I didn't have anyone tell me they couldn't think of anything!! Goal setting is so important, and I probably don't do it enough with them, so I really wanted to take the time and do this!  We talked about all of this and they got started Wednesday afternoon.  Then, they finished it for morning work on Thursday! 

Here are some of the finished products!

On the bottom one, her word for the year is excellence!!  Wohoo!  Sounds EXCELLENT to me!!  ;O)

I loved this one word!  Her one word was LIVE.  Then she said that she spends too much time indoors on electronics and she needs to go outside and LIVE!!  I love it!!

Right now these beauties are on their desks.  I would have loved to hang them from the ceiling but the FIRE MARSHALL (who's not my friend) says that's illegal (or something like that) so I can't do that.  I told them they could keep them on their desks for another week and then take them home.  They are really proud of them!!  Which makes me happy because I hope that they will remember these goals!

I'm linking this up to my sweet friend Joanne's linky because my hope is that both activities sparked their motivation to begin 2014 on the right foot!!

What fun New Year's activities did you do?


  1. I love your number activity. It looks like something the students could have a lot of fun doing.
    Live - What a perfect word.

    Fit to be Fourth

  2. The number craftivity is GREAT! So very creative. The fire marshal is not my friend either. I argue with him that he needs to count the floor and the ceiling as 20% along with the walls. I have found a little trick though that doesn't stand out as much when I "accidentally" hang something from the line!!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. So cute! Love the goal setting books you created! We made a banner of our all our goals this past week! The students wrote really thoughtful goals and really got into the project! Love your idea as well :) Boo on the fire marshal....

    Thanks for sharing,
    My Shoe String Life

  4. I love how creative your students were with using the numbers for their pictures! so cute!!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  5. I love the number activity!! I may have to pull this one out for inside recess this week! Your students did a fantastic job with them!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans


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