New Years Goal Setting and Re-establishing Classroom Routines:
The new year has officially begun, and we had an excellent discussion on our #2ndaryELA Twitter chat about helping students with setting realistic goals and on how to re-establish classroom expectations and routines. I have curated the best ideas below.
Q1: How do you re-establish classroom expectations after the holiday break?
- The first day back- we go right back into work mode. Routine is everything. Luckily that did the trick this year. 🙂
- I do procedure teaching again – reinforce bell ringer behavior, getting supplies, etc. Sometimes give a procedure “pop quiz”
- Play a quick Kahoot game with questions related to PBIS expectations: behavior, materials, lockers, etc.
- We wrote a reflective journal and then got right back to our regular routine. It worked!
- Sometimes we Kahoot the class rules, other times we do a team-building activity. I’m more concerned with class culture, to be honest
- Routine is definitely key. I work with small groups and we get right back into learning
- Definitely do all the normal routines. Ask students what we do next. Access prior knowledge. Rebuild engagement
- New classes, so class procedures, first-day stuff
- In 7/8 science I gave a few mins at beginning of class to share with me before jumping back into a routine. Use question of the day to kick it off
Q2: What do your students struggle with the most after being away from school? How do you support them?
- Students seem to struggle with chattiness. (They might not have seen their friends over break.) 5 minutes of free talk
- Many of my students live in Mexico, so getting them back to English is tough. #ConsistencyIsKey Nonverbal activities help too
- My students seem to struggle with sleep!
- I just try to keep things as lively as possible!
- Morning classes are sooooo sleepy!
- They really want to be apathetic. They test my resolve. Test the boundaries. They struggle w/ caring
- Students can’t stop chatting or struggle with staying on track. We do short spurts moving activities first weeks back to re-engage
- Students often struggle with remembering materials. Today, I gave students two sharpened pencils to use for the rest of their classes
- Some of my students forgot to bring their school supplies back from home. I always have extras
Q3: What types of goals do you encourage students to set for the new year?
- We teach them good vs weak goals & set 9 different categories of goals. Here’s the free activity > http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2016/01/free-goal-setting-and-resolutions.html?m=1
- Goal Categories = Family, School, Work, Health, Spiritual, Play, Friends, Giving, Attitude
- We do SMART goals at the beginning of the year & revisit/revise in January
- Set goals for the weekly assessments that they take with me. (RTI is a lot of progress monitoring)
- We set reading level goals with NewsELA! Though this is the start of the semester more than the new year
- Getting buy-in from students has been hard but they finally believe I’m trying to create a place where everyone wins!
- We talked about a Stop, Start, Continue goal setting. I can never keep up with official resolutions so I am trying this kind
- What are you going to STOP doing because it does not benefit you?
- What are you going to START doing because you NEED to?
- What are you doing well at? What will you CONTINUE?
- I try to get them to set goals that they can specifically achieve: “Check my grades once a week to get make-up work”
- The big goal we talked about was respecting ourselves with the type of work turned in and our overall education
- It depends on the grade level. Often what personal improvements – speaker/ writer
- Students set goals of reading a certain amount of books, turning HW in on time, & not being absent/tardy from school
- A goal for reading, writing and speaking. Ex. the reading goal would be page number for silent sustained reading, and W-ing a specific skill (intros)
- Every week my #AVID students set three goals they can complete and write a reflection on Friday – what was challenging about them
Q4: What goal-setting activities do you do with your students?
- For me – we are evaluating and looking at the work they turn in now. We make goals to push for even better quality next time.
- Set SMART goals in each area – Ex: how exactly will they get to 250 pages in the quarter?
- We do logs and journals. Dream flags are about dreams more than goals, but the visualizing helps and is fun!
- Good goals = specific, measurable, & time-sensitive. They should know exactly when/if they accomplished it
- We discuss how to divide big goals into believable chunks. We do more when we can see progress & believe we can do it
- I’m quirky and like puns so we “toast” the new year by putting our specific goals on pieces of paper “toast”
- I have charts hung that measure their progress and when they reach a goal, rewards like lunch w/me, dance party w/friends
- I am also trying a “Super Improvers Wall” to show progress towards our standards
- I want them to “be here, now” focus on what is in front of them and not speed to a finish
- It’s hard to follow the SMART rules but if you can get students to do it, they have better goals
Q5: Share some goal-setting or classroom management resources that you find helpful.
- Teambuilding helps students stay in their L2 (eng) & improves class culture. Here’s one activity http://eslcarissa.blogspot.com/2016/01/zombies-and-teamwork.html
- Here is my classroom management Pinterest board full of ideas
- My best class management “trick” is rewarding positive behavior with tickets – I do a weekly drawing. Right now I also do a daily drawing with the help of the “Mystery Student” – I hang a sign with one name on the back. The mystery students gets candy from my jar and the class gets tickets drawn according to expectations met by the mystery student.
- My 8th graders love STICKERS! It’s crazy but it works!
- This is a free way I get parents involved with goal setting concerning grammar because students worry. http://languageartsclassroom.com/2015/12/introducing-grammar-school.html
Try This Free New Year’s Goal Setting Lesson
What are you teaching after the winter break? I love having students reflect on the previous year and set goals for the new year. It is a great way to get students back into learning mode without starting right away on a challenging new lesson.
Check out this FREE new year’s goal-setting resource. 🙌 In the lesson, students get some New Year’s resolution ideas from Simon’s Cat. Then they take these ideas and brainstorm how to make the ideas work for them. 😻 Students then work with their peers to reflect on 2021. At the end of the lesson, students will create a wish for 2022 that can be displayed in class or on a bulletin board.
This resource comes in both PDF and digital format. Grab this resource via this link.
Additional Resources For New Years Goal Setting and Re-establishing Classroom Routines
- I found this article Establishing Routines for Remote Learning from edutopia as a good resource for teachers that might need to teach virtually due to school closures or inclement weather.
- Middle School Goal Setting Lesson
- Lesson Plans For After Winter Break
- Classroom Management Strategies For Middle School