It can be hard to come back to school in January. After all the excitement around the holidays have passed, it feels like there’s a long slog through the winter slush and lots of homework — for both students and teachers.
Don’t let winter get you down. You can start your class off right with some fun, motivating New Year’s resolution activities. These projects will help your students think of a goal and how to achieve it, and you can put some extra oomph in their efforts to accomplish their dreams. Choose one of these fun projects below to get started:
Making goals and resolutions public is a great way to get results. By declaring their intentions to the rest of the class, your students make a deeper commitment to stick to those resolutions. Harness the power of publishing by creating a class bulletin board where each student declares his or her goal in writing. One fun way to do this is by having students write a bold headline and newspaper article about their resolutions, leaving space for updates as the year goes on.
You can also brainstorm together to come up with a class goal instead of individual ones. You might decide to read 1,000 books or take one million steps by the end of the year, or you could decide to design and complete a service project for your school. Whatever you choose together, you can publicly track the goal with a fundraising thermometer or an interactive graph to chart progress. You can also celebrate your success at the end of the school year with a class pizza party!
Turn New Year’s resolution-making into a game. Have each student write a generic resolution on an index card (“I will eat a serving of vegetables at every meal” or “I will read for 15 minutes each night”). Drop them all in a hat and have students draw a resolution. You can keep up with student’s progress during morning meetings or with a class blog to post reactions and results.
Dear Future Me
For a more private take on self-improvement, have students write themselves a letter stating their resolution, explaining its importance and offering encouragement. Have them seal, stamp and address the letters to themselves; your only job is to mail them at the end of March so students can check in with themselves about their progress.
Have you done something similar with your students that worked really well? If so, please share them with us below.
Happy New Year!