An unbelievable NEW CHINESE YEAR!!!!

The Chinese really got things right with this New Year Celebration. First of all the idea of sweeping out everything from the year before and starting fresh is invigorating.  Not just for me, but it was for my students.  On Friday last week, we finished the cleaning of our room, taking home of the first term's work, emptied our lockers, made decorations for the classroom, and literally with brooms, swept out the year before to welcome the new year to come. Some of my students even got hair cuts over the weekend. So, the students left on Friday knowing that on Monday, everything will start out fresh.  For some of my students this was an opportunity to re-invent themselves into something better.  I try and model the message that when you leave my class at the end of the day, that tomorrow is a new day. Maybe that is why I enjoyed learning and participating in this holiday so much.  Here are some pictures of the things we did last week and today. 
Here is the snake craft from our Chinese New Year Package. I decided to do it on wallpaper and they turned out incredible.   
These were our cherry blossoms made out of dipping a coke bottle in pink paint and making blossom prints with it.  They turned out fantastic and made our classroom look like the inside of a restaurant. If you look close you can see the snakes hanging from the ceiling.  This is how we left our classroom on Friday.  Looks amazing, and it was all the student's hard work.
I am including some pictures of the Canadian New Year activities we did the first week back in January.  I left them up to help with the comparison between the two "new years".  Yes, also because things have been crazy busy and I didn't have the time to put up new work. lol   Interesting how much better it sounds when I put the "for the students benefit" spin on it. :)
So here are some pictures from Today.  The students walked into the classroom with the non-fiction booklets on there desks and their lucky money pouches.  They were so excited.  What a great start to a day full of activities and celebration.
I used these booklet in a guided reading session with some of my weaker readers, then when I handed out the comprehension sheet from our Chinese New Year package, I found that the whole class did very well on it. 
The students are enjoying some scrabble fun that was offered as a freebie on our blog and on TPT .  I had some lucky red candies donated to the class and told the students that as a reward when they finished they would receive one.  Of course the addition had to be correct, and just this small incentive encouraged all my students to go over their work more than once before submitting it to me.  I didn't put any focus on totals, I just wanted all the students to be able to participate at their own personal levels.  It was a great open ended activity. 
Our day ended with a Chinese feast and a youtube tutorial on how to use chopsticks.  The students enjoyed the challenge and the food.  What a great end to a perfect day.
All the food and the supplies were generously donated to us from the Pomegranate Restaurant located on 7816 Wyandotte St E Windsor, Ontario. They have incredible food and very generous hearts. The red pouches were donated to us by a parent of a student of mine from last year.  She introduced me to Chinese New Year and inspired me to make a package I could use in my classroom.  I consider myself very lucky, to have crossed paths with such charitable and amazing people.  
Thanks for reading about our incredible day.  Do you have a special holiday or event that you like to celebrate in your classroom that the students really enjoy?  I would love to hear about it and expose my class to new and wonderful things. Drop me a message. 
Thank you,