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First Day Back from Winter Break

If the first day back from winter break makes you want to hide under the covers, you’re not alone! With a new year comes a whole new set of  first day jitters for teachers and for kids! To help everyone ease back into the classroom, I’ve got a familiar activity that has a new year twist!

New Year Promises Activity

As teachers, we worry that our students forgot about all the work we did to learn classroom rules and routines. We need a positive way to review our expectations and classroom routines. By adding movement, you can keep everyone engaged and excited to participate!

My first graders didn’t always comprehend New Year resolutions, but they understand the idea of promises. For this New Year Promises activity, I repurposed one of our beginning of the year movement games. 

I grabbed my behavior cards from my Classroom Promises movement activity and printed  two new posters for “New Year PROMISES” and “Last Year PROBLEMS.” Now we are ready to play!

To get moving,  hang one poster on each side of your classroom. Read a behavior card and have students walk to the correct sign. For example, if you pull out the “work quietly” card,  everyone should walk to New Year PROMISES.

If you pull out the  “tap on the teacher” card,  everyone should walk to “Last Year PROBLEMS.” You can also talk about those behaviors. It might sound like this, “Do you remember at the beginning of the year when some of you got out of your seat and tapped on me?  Now it’s a new year, and we all know we raise our hand when we need something.”

I also made pocket headers so you can keep your sorted cards on a pocket chart or create a quick classroom anchor chart!

New Year Craft

When you’re done playing the movement game or sorting the cards on a pocket chart, your kids can write about their New Year Promises. They can use the behavior cards for ideas or come up with their own resolutions. There is even a craft to go along with the writing so you have an instant bulletin board display on the first day back from winter break! 

First Day Back from Winter Break Activities

Let me help you with your plans for the first day back from winter break by sharing these activities with you! Just add your email below and the posters, writing prompts, and craft will come straight to your inbox!

You can create your own behavior cards or download the cards included in the Classroom Promises activity. Remember you can use the cards year after year so you probably want to laminate them or print them on cardstock.


FREE New Year Promise Activities!

Leave your email below and we’ll send you these New Year Promise Activities right away! 🥳

Even though the first day back from winter break is tough, your kids will be SO HAPPY to see you! I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for a day full of movement and learning! Cheers to starting a new year with great behavior and positive promises!

PS  If you’ve got a class of movers and shakers, keep them engaged all winter with the Classroom Move Maker!

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Emily Yerty

I’m a teacher who believes in creating a classroom kids love and activities that keep them engaged all day!

12 Responses

    1. Hi Jessica,

      Check your inbox again. I just sent you a new email. Thanks for your patience!
      Happy Teaching!

    1. Hi Laura,
      Yes it will be included in your first email when you click the blue “confirm my subscription” button.
      Happy Teaching!

  1. When i click confirm my email it says my admin has blocked your site. Anyway you can personally email it to me?

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FREE New Year Promise Activities!

Leave your email below and we’ll send you these New Year Promise Activities right away! 🥳