It can be a challenge to get your students back into the swing of things after a long holiday break. That’s why it’s super important to start January strong with activities that help students review material from earlier in the year and get them excited to learn again. We’re going to dive into some fun and interactive activities for January that will help ease them back into the rhythm of school and set the tone for the rest of the semester.
Solve the Room with a New Year Theme
What better activity to start than a New Year themed Solve the Room activity? Solve the room activities offer a unique and exciting way to review math concepts while keeping things festive!
With each solve the room activity, students will work through a series of task cards that are placed around the room, answering questions and solving math problems related to the new year.
This is the perfect January activity to get students up and moving (or maybe even shake off some of that New Year’s energy). Plus, solve the room is low-prep for teachers, making it a no brainer activity for January that you can quickly throw together.
Solve the Room with a Winter Theme
The fun doesn’t have to stop with New Year’s! This Winter Themed Solve the Room will keep the fun rolling all the way through January and beyond.
The winter solve the room focuses on different grade levels and skills, so you can choose what works best for your students. Students will love working through math problems in a way that encourages movement. Plus, the hands-on nature of this activity will help students retain the material.
Winter Color by Number
In my experience, one guaranteed way to get students engaged in a lesson is to incorporate some sort of art. The Winter Color by Number can be used as centers, morning work, independent practice, and more.
This color by number activity is designed to help students review a variety of math skills, including multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and more, all while coloring a fun winter-themed picture. With easy-to-follow instructions and self-checking answer keys, you can be fairly hands-off with the activity if you need to (like if you’re holding small groups).
To prep this resource, simply hit “print” and hand it out! Of course, going over the directions helps, too. Because it’s so low-prep, it’s a great activity for January when you’re still getting back into the swing of things.
Winter Science Experiments
Winter Science Experiments are a good option for January activities for elementary students. They are really fun, so they can lift the energy in the room when students are dragging after the break.
With these science experiments, students will be reviewing the scientific method using experiments like making snowball catapults, snowman snot, and melting a frozen hand. All of the experiments can be set up with simple materials that many teachers already have on hand. If you want to read more about winter science activities and ideas, head over to this post!
This Snowman Math PBL activity helps students review adding and subtracting decimals while staying engaged and actively learning. This seasonal activity challenges students to apply their decimal skills as they design and build their own snowman.
Students are given real-world math problems like creating a budget for their snowman, “purchasing” materials, and calculating the cost of each item. With a project-based learning approach, students will be practicing applying their skills beyond the classroom, which is what we hope for as teachers, right?
Book Review Templates
I love decorating my classroom with student work, and this activity for January gives me the opportunity. With these Book Review Templates, students will read and share their thoughts on books they’ve read.
This resource has templates for every major holiday throughout the year. For winter, the templates are shaped like mittens! Students can review books that are relevant to the season and share their recommendations with their classmates or with the wider school audience if you choose to hang them in the hallway.
These templates are perfect for encouraging critical thinking skills and fostering a love of reading, and they can be easily adapted for a variety of grade levels, making them the perfect January activity for elementary students.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Close Reading
Make the most of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with this close reading activity. With this article, you can introduce your students to the history of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the important work that he did. This resource includes a reading passage about Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as comprehension questions and other activities to help students engage with the reading material.
Getting students back into the school routine after the holidays can be a challenge, but incorporating fun and engaging January activities can help ease the transition. The six January activities for elementary students can help you review important concepts and skills while keeping students excited about learning.