With 2013 rapidly approaching, it is a sign that a new beginning will also be near. I love New Year's Day because I always feel I have a new chance to reflect on those things that didn't quite work, and am able to stop and think about how to change those habits that I know will make my life better if I do. While most people don't keep their resolutions, it is still a great way to be able to self-analyze our habits and at least take steps to be aware of our actions.
I love that students can also get in on the action as well! We usually ask them to self-reflect on their reading strategies or with the data they have collected, but how often do we ask them to take a closer look at their personal actions and habits?
Perhaps start your lesson by discussing what a resolution is. According to Webster, a resolution is "the act or process of resolving." Not sure how that definition might make sense to students, so I would probably define it for them as "something that we might want to change in the coming year to make ourselves or the world better."
From that point, talk about some examples of resolutions:
- Healthy Choices: Go outside and play for 30 minutes daily, Eat at least 1 fruit or vegetable a day, Wash hands after using the restroom
- Home Choices: Do daily chores without being asked, Pick up anything on the bedroom floor once a week, Give mom, dad, or other family member a hug once a day
- Friends Choices: Take turns letting a friend choose the game or activity, Ask a classmate who usually watches to play with your friends at recess, Say hello to one new person a day (or even just smile)
- School Choices: Study spelling words at home for 10 minutes every night, Practice math facts flash cards with a sibling twice a week, Check over every assignment twice before turning in
Students need to know that goals should be measurable and not unreasonable. For instance, you might have those that want to make a goal of "earn 100% in reading for the rest of the year." That might not be a good choice. We would never expect students to set such a high bar (we hope there are mistakes that they will be able to learn from in the process). Take some time to work through exemplary goals.
Now the fun part - having students complete their own goal sheets! Grab the freebie below and copy it front-to-back. You can even get in on the action yourself!
I would love to know what your 2013 resolutions will be? Feel free to leave a comment!