We are back with a January classroom management freebie, this time a cute cocoa mug! Coming back after a long break definitely calls for some classroom management reminders. That’s why we love to share these printables with lots of variety for a simple yet effective way to motivate students. It will help them follow directions, stay on task, work together, and MORE! Perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!
Teaching in January might feel a bit like it’s the beginning of the school year again. Sometimes students need some extra motivation to get back on task and into the swing of things. That’s why you will love using simple, differentiated, and motivating classroom management tools. Lots of options to help your classroom run extra smooth.
This activity goes well with these resources:
January Classroom Management Tips
In January, it sometimes helps to go back to the basics and remind students of everything they learned for the classroom at the beginning of the year. Coming back from a break can be hard on students (and teachers!) so it’s great to have a little refresher.
- Keep the rules simple, easy to understand, and clear
- Model the procedures you want the students to do
- Follow up reminders throughout the day
- Communicate with parents/guardians
Focus on the positives! Students thrive on positive reinforcements. They love to be told when they’ve done a good job, no matter how small it may seem to you. Creative a positive environment leads to better relationships and students who will flourish in the classroom.
Some ideas of positive reinforcements:
- “I see that you remembered how to use an inside voice. What a great memory!”
- “I noticed how you asked ___ to join you for centers today! You’re such a wonderful friend.”
- “What a great job you did walking through the hallway! You’re setting a great example!”
Keep building those relationships! It’s so important to build strong relationships with your students. A classroom that feels like a family or community will run so much smoother, and your students will feel like they can really depend on you. Ask them about their break was, their holiday activities if they did any traveling, etc. They will feel so special knowing how much you care about them outside the classroom!
Fill the Cocoa
January is a great time to drink warm cups of cocoa! Your students will love being able to fill the mug with marshmallows and it’s a great way to help motivate them to follow classroom rules.
You can choose to print out the cocoa mug and then physically fill in the marshmallows, or use one of the options to simply color in the pieces!
These are so cute, fun, and easy to do and great for January classroom management. Students can earn items for whatever they think works best: quick transitions, being good friends, being quiet in the hallway, etc. It’s important to set the expectations ahead of time though, so your students know exactly how to earn those marshmallows.
When the mug is full of marshmallows you can choose a fun reward that all the students can enjoy as a class (further building that positive community feeling!) Some examples could be:
- Bring a stuffed animal to school day
- Lunch with the teacher
- Extra recess
- Short movie
- Pajama day
It would be fun to have the students help choose what their reward will be. Take a vote, count tallies, get students excited and make that part a learning activity too! Remember to remind students that if their idea isn’t chosen this month, they can try again next month when we have a printable for February!
This month’s FREE printable for classroom management in January comes with a variety of differentiation options so you can pick what’s best for your students!
- Fill the Cocoa for a fun wintery theme
- 20 marshmallows to color
- 10 marshmallows to color
- Cut and paste the marshmallows onto the cocoa mug
Another differentiated idea is to do this activity with tables working together. Or maybe just a couple of students need this as an individualized plan. This could even work well with your own kids at home (or significant other haha!)
Free Fill the Cocoa Printable
This free January classroom management printable can help you this month! Make sure to grab it by entering your information below. You’ll unlock the freebie (even if you’re already a subscriber). Our freebie fairy (who is also trying to get back into the swing of things this month) will fly that over to inbox immediately!
Make sure to share how you’re using this freebie in the Simply Kinder Teachers Facebook Group or tag #Simplykinder on Instagram!
Most Importantly, let us know if you love these January printable options so we can make a different themed one each month for you!
This post was written by Johanna, an experienced early elementary teacher who loves learning about new teaching ideas for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade!