Creating and Achieving Classroom Resolutions in the New Year
A new year is a great time to refresh, refocus, and get yourself back on track. The same could be said about your class as a whole. After a long winter break, chances are, your students will be ready to tackle new classroom goals! Now is the perfect time to create New Year’s classroom resolutions for 2018.
Brainstorming Classroom Resolutions
Since you’ll be working together as a group to keep your classroom resolutions, you should also work as a group to determine what those goals will include. This is an excellent opportunity for your students to sharpen their brainstorming skills.
Provide students with these simple guidelines for group brainstorming:
- Show respect for others
- Remind students that there are no “wrong” ideas
- Take risks
- Record all ideas
- Resist the urge to evaluate ideas in the brainstorming phase
After a set amount of time, discuss the listed ideas and decide on three to five that, as a class, you feel you can achieve during the remainder of the school year.
If you need help kick-starting your brainstorming session, suggest these general ideas for students to build upon:
- Show more kindness
- Read more books
- Clean up the school
- Try new online tools
- Be healthier
Incorporate a writing exercise into your brainstorming sessions by asking each student to select one of the agreed-upon classroom resolutions and write about what he can do to help the class succeed.
Keep Your Class Accountable
You may have heard the statistic (or know from personal experience) that over half of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned after the first month. Don’t let your class get off track! Here’s how you can assign measurable and achievable goals to your classroom resolutions.
Let’s say your students chose “Read More Books” as one of their resolutions. It’s pretty vague and you don’t have a way of tracking what “more” is. Try restating the resolution to say: “Reading 250 books as a class by the end of the year.” (That’s 25 students x 2 books per month x 5 months of school. If you think that’s a realistic goal for your kids, go for it!) Now you have something you can actively track and a concrete end goal.
From there, you can create check-in points to track your progress:
- Read 50 books by the end of January
- Read 150 books by the end of March
- Read 250 books by the end of May
Looking for an easy way to stay on track? Here’s a great example of a Classroom Contract that you can create and have each student sign. Revisit your contract over the months that follow as a reminder of each student’s commitment to the classroom goal.
Don’t Forget Personal Resolutions
Setting personal resolutions can also be beneficial for your students. This New Year’s Resolution Tab Book is a fun activity that students can complete during a class party. Have each student choose four personal or academic goals for the coming year.