Sunday, January 3, 2016

Setting Resolutions with Students

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In my first post of the new year, I shared my 4 favorite 2015 recaps that are worthy of sharing and discussing with your students as you kick off the semester.  It's only logical to lead into some goal setting, and I've got a few ideas that will add a little twist to this year's resolutions.

Begin with some quick reflection using paper and sticky notes.  The Start-Stop-Continue is a simple enough prompt that is sure to get some ideas on the table, especially with 3 to 5 minutes of continuous writing.  I love when students create goals centered around our classes, but I also think it's fun to encourage students to set personal goals related to their lives beyond the classroom. They appreciate so much when you really want to know who they are.

Here are 3 ideas to formalize the goal-setting process that will hopefully add an original spin to your lesson.  Better yet...give students the opportunity to choose from one of the three ideas below.

Pictorial Head by Dr. Sivartha

1. In Your Head

Allow students to artistically represent the goals in their head. Several years ago I discovered these brain maps, and I've used them several times to inspire students to represent ideas.  I'm always amazed at the creative representations that come from the process.  Illustrating one's goals for 2016 could produce an intriguing mindmap that can be displayed in your classroom or hallway as a reminder of the resolutions.  A quick google search of 'Dr. Alesha Sivartha' or 'phrenology' results in several illustrated brain maps that are sure to inspire.

 Original Photo by Wicker Paradise

2. The Ungoal

I don't know about you, but it seems everyone I know sets resolutions with high hopes, only to realize in a few short weeks that they've already fallen off the wagon.  The Ungoal activity encourages students to focus on what they want to STOP doing, rather than what they want to start doing.  For example, perhaps they want to stop procrastinating on studying for tests, or stop hitting the snooze button three times every morning.   Celebrate the habit you plan to undo with your ungoal by dumping those bad habits in the trash can at the end of the class period.

Graphic created in Canva

3. Remind Me Later

Put your goals in writing using a delayed email service. These sites will allow you to compose and send the email now, but set a delivery date for a specified date in the future.  Students might set the email for a delivery date shortly before spring break, which could be a good time to check in on the progress toward those 2016 goals.  Boomerang for Gmail will allow users to set delivery for a later date, which is perfect for GAFE schools.

Rock that first day!

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