Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year All Around!

Hey guys! It's Ashley from Flying High in First Grade!
I can't believe another year has come and gone! 2014 is a faint memory and 2015 is sitting in front of us ready to be taken by the horns! I don't know about you, but I always have the best intentions of doing so much with my new year's resolutions. I'm hoping I can keep up with some of the things I want to do this year!

As 2015 revs up, it also means it's time to go back to school and tackle the 2nd half of the year. When I think of January, 2 holidays come to mind. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Chinese New Year. I love celebrating both in my classroom, but especially the Chinese New Year because it isn't a holiday that much time is spent on. We spend 1 week learning about the Chinese New Year, and let me tell you, my kids love it!

I always check out some books from the library and do daily read alouds or we will watch a clip from either Discovery Education or Brain Pop Jr. both of these sights my district has subscriptions to and they are a great way to incorporate technology into the classroom! And let's face it, sometimes Moby can teach way better than I can!

One of my students' favorite activities are poems! So I of course have to do a poem for Chinese New Year! We read the poem and look for words we know, words we don't know, and words that rhyme. We color words we know yellow, words we don't know orange, and words that rhyme blue. Then the students get a chance to draw a picture of what the poem makes them think of. Great visualizing activity!
A great way to get some comparing and contrasting practice is to read a book and then talk about how the Chinese New Year and our new year are the same and different. This activity can be done as a whole group or individually depending on your students ability.
I also love to teach about the "Year of the _______" The kids find it so interesting that their calendar year is different than ours!

We of course have to cover where China is on the map and where it is in relation to the USA. They can't believe how far away it is from us.

All of these fun activities can be found in my "Chinese New Year" mini unit. I promise your students will love the fun activities and will be talking about them for weeks!


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