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Volume 1 Issue 5
December 30, 2003



WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Each month, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

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The beginning of a new year has me thinking of all the beginnings teachers face. There are, of course, the first teaching job, first classes, the first 100 days... But also the wonderful beginnings our cyclic profession provides us: the beginning of a new school year, the beginning of a new semester, a new group of students, a new teaching assignment, etc. Each of those beginnings gives us a chance to start again, each time with more experience under our belts and more awareness of what we want to accomplish. Each school year (and calendar year), each new class of students gives us the opportunity to start anew. Happy New Year!

Coming for February: LOVE of Learning

Anne Guignon
Editor, Early Childhood Education Newsletter


BEGIN January by changing the calendar. Take down the old calendar and put up a new one. Show students that the months follow the same pattern (January, February, March...) each year. Ask what will come after December.

2004 ALERT
Talk about the change in the date: 2003 to 2004. Ask what the next year will be. Ask children to alert you whenever they see the date, 2004. Keep a list of places they find it throughout the year. Extend this by recording all the places they see such dates. I once had a kindergarten class that became fixated on dates. They always wanted to know how old coins, automobiles, and other things were. Reading dates became a great transition activity with that class.

A year is a long time for young children, so begin with one-day resolutions. You might make Monday (or any day) Resolution Day with children making individual resolutions for that day, or making a class resolution for the day. Depending on the ages and stages of your students, they might be able to work up to weekly resolutions.

Present a New Years PARADE
Parade through your school or neighborhood using student made noisemakers (shakers or horns), hats, streamers, and confetti -- wishing one and all a Happy New Year and a Happy 2004 (to reinforce the number of the year). Then celebrate with a 2004 New Year's Party.

New Year's CLEANUP
Out with the old, in with the new... what a great saying. Take a few minutes to clear out materials from your classroom that you no longer use. Get the kids involved, too!


Check out the following Web sites for more background about New Years celebrations and activities your students might enjoy.

Celebrate! Holidays In The U.S.A. -- New Year's Day
An interesting explanation of American New Years customs written for a Swedish readership by the Embassy of the U.S. in Stockholm.

Chinese New Years
You can keep celebrating New Years almost all year long. The Chinese New Year is celebrated later in the winter. This Web site will give you information about the Chinese New Year Parade coming up in San Francisco on February 7, 2004. A section on history and culture is included. This will be the Year of the Monkey.

A History of New Year's Celebrations

Living in Japan -- New Year
Learn all about Japan's three-day New Year's celebration -- and about "bonenkai parties ('year forgetting parties') held with the purpose of leaving the old year's worries and troubles behind."

History of New Year's Day
Learn about the traditions of Western Society and New Years around the world.

How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution