For many people, January starts with a late night party. Surrounded by friends and family, we count down...5...4...3...2...1...Happy New Year!
Early January marks the end of the holidays that started in the second half of December, and is a time of transition back to school and work. Hopefully everyone feels rested and rejuvenated!
January is named after the Roman god Janus, who is known for presiding over beginnings, transitions, and endings. Janus is often shown as a head with two faces--one looking backwards, the other looking forwards.
Similarly, many people spend early January reflecting on past accomplishments and look forward to new opportunities, often in the form of resolutions (or goals) for the upcoming year. Common resolutions involve eating healthier, exercising, or spending more time with family. Resolutions can be about stopping bad habits too--such as making goals to spend less money or less time on social media.
On every third Monday in January, Americans observe the life and contributions of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His life demonstrated the utmost love and courage in the face of hatred and discrimination. Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 after a series of nonviolent protests such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington. In a month of reflection, transition, and goal-setting, it is worth remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words: "Life's most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?"
Indeed, if we are making resolutions for the new year, it is worth taking some time to think about how we can better serve our families, schools, and communities. For example, if our resolution is to eat healthier, we can make this apply to the whole family by planning a healthy meal for dinnertime.
The January gemstone is the garnet. While most people think of garnets as dark red, they actually come in a rainbow of colors. People have adorned themselves with garnet jewelry since ancient times, but today they are a less expensive (though still beautiful!) way to dress up.
The January flower is the carnation. Like the garnet, carnations come in many colors, but a special meaning is attached to each one. For example, white carnations are meant to show purity. Red show love. Pink express gratitude. When selecting a carnation, one should consider its meaning along with its beauty.
It is interesting that both the garnet and carnation come in many colors--this certainly makes sense for a month filled with new possibilities for what the future may hold.
There are 31 days in January.
The number of school days in January varies by the year and by the school district, but New Year's Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day are always off from school. Depending on where you live in the United States there may also be some unplanned snow days, so keep an eye on your weather forecast!
New Year's Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is celebrated on January 1st. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States Federal Holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday in January. The first day of Chinese New Year begins on the new moon that appears between January 21st and February 20th.
Here is a resource with nearly 6,000 lesson plans for January.
January is a great time to get students excited about the new year. They can make new year's resolutions and get a fresh start on the remainder of the school year. Printable classroom calendars are a great way to motivate students to keep track of their assignments, learn about time, and stay motivated during January. Simple stars or stickers to reward progress go a long way!
Yes, please do. Enjoy!