5 Ways to Engage Your Students in the New Year

5 Ways to Engage Your Students in the New Year

Whether you are planning for the New Year or thinking about how to best roll with New Year’s momentum, the new calendar year provides teachers with so many enriching opportunities to connect with and engage with students. During this time of year, positive messages and promises of what the New Year may hold bombard our students, and many of our students are thinking about how to make this year better than the last.

During this time, I like to take advantage of this optimism and have my students focus on goal-setting, growth mindset, and reflection.

Here are 5 activities for the New Year:


1. Letter to Self
Have your students write a letter to themselves. Instruct your students to write about where they are in life and about their goals, hopes, and dreams. In the letter, ask your students to formulate a plan and write down actionable items they can accomplish in the new calendar year that will help them achieve their long-term goals. Also, have them write about why this is important to them.

Once students write the letter, have them bring a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Mail your students their letters in one year. They will love receiving the letter next year!

2. Growth Mindset Escape Room
The New Year is the perfect time for students to think about and reflect on their mindset. With my Growth Mindset Escape Room, students will work together in small groups to learn about growth mindset while solving tasks and challenges. Students will learn about growth vs. fixed mindset, famous failures, and more! Plus, this is a great way to start the new calendar year because students will work together to achieve a goal and solve a problem.
Growth Mindset Escape Room

3. Vision Board
Students will love spending a class period working on a digital vision board. Have your students write down some of their short-term and long-term goals. Once students have listed several goals, have them create a digital vision board using Google Slides. A digital vision board is necessarily a digital collage of images and words that will help your student think about and prioritize what is important to them. To take this activity one step further, have your students write a brief speech about their goals and use the vision board as a multimedia backdrop.

4. Sticky Note Growth Mindset New Year’s Activities
Last school year, my students created these New Year’s banners, and they decorated them with their goals and aspirations. I displayed these banners for the rest of the school year, and it motivated my students when they saw their goals and banners posted throughout the room. This is just one of the activities in my Sticky Note Growth Mindset New Year’s Activities packet.
Sticky Note Growth Mindset New Year's Activities

5. Growth Mindset Bell Ringers
Another way to begin the new calendar year on a positive and affirming note is to incorporate my Growth Mindset Bell Ringers into your classroom routine. Each bell-ringer includes an inspiring growth mindset quote and a writing prompt. The writing prompts follow the three common core writing strands: argument, informative, and narrative. After my students spend about five minutes answering the prompt, I have several students share their responses with the class.

These are just a few ideas that you can use for the beginning of a new calendar year in your classroom!
5 Ways to Engage Your Students in the New Year