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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year Tips

Ringing in the New Year Tips

From Janine P. Riggins, a second grade teacher at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School Complex in Atlantic

City, New Jersey: 

In order to maintain effective classroom management
upon returning to school after winter recess, I review 
and discuss school and class rules and behavior
expectations. Students have most likely spent the 

holidays visiting friends and relatives and have gotten 
away from the normal school routine. By reviewing
class rules and routines, students are gently moved
back into the swing of the school day. Students work 
in cooperative learning groups and create collages
of favorite gifts or favorite moments from the break. 
Students work together to list their New Year's 
resolutions. This is also a great time for students to 
set behavior and/or academic goals for the remainder
of the school year. Rather than 'clamping down' or
'getting tough' on kids, I take advantage of their 
energy and excitement at the New Year and use it
to my advantage. Students enjoy the activities, and
I am sometimes surprised at the results.”

New Beginnings Poem

From Carol Cirtin, a third grade teacher at Otterbein Elementary School in Otterbein, Indiana:
“An annual poem I have my third graders memorize is 
a wonderful reminder for the whole year. I have 
students who tell me when they are graduating from
high school that they recite it to remind them of 
important things.

New Beginnings, by Helen Steiner Rice:

How often we wish for another chance
to have a fresh beginning
A chance to blot out our mistakes
and change failure into winning.
It does not take a new year
to make a brand new start.
It only takes the deep desire
to try with all your heart.
To live a little better
and to always be forgiving
To add a little sunshine
to the world in which we are living.
So, never give up in despair
and think that you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow
and a chance to start anew.

“My students memorize this poem every year and
do it within a week. We also recite it on the
morning announcements. I have students that
stop by to recite it in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade and
have even had it recited at graduations! What a 
wonderful way to start a healthy new year!” 

Works4Me is a vehicle for instructional staff to
share their ideas with other instructional staff.  
Published by the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.

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