Everybody Needs A Goal
*Our finished garden photo added 1/10/09.
Maybe it was Byrd Baylor's book, I'm in Charge of Celebrations, where the character says we should celebrate the new year in spring when things feel like they are changing and blooming, but I've never cared much for the whole New Year's Resolution "thing". I agree that it is just another cold winter day to me. All this said, this year brings new excitement, and I would like to share a quick, cheap twist to writing out New Year's Resolutions with your class.
~Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
~free rocks around your school
~a small box
~sharpies and/or paint
1) Read Byrd Baylor's book to your class.
2) Talk about the process of selecting the perfect rock and give your students time to go outside to find one (size regulations may be needed, depending).
3) When students have quietly selected a "just right" rock, they bring it back into class.
4) Show pictures of rock garden examples and inform the class that they will be making a rock garden together.
5) Ask students to think about some realistic goals for the year or grading period. Using the book, you can spin the concept with everyone needs a goal. Then share that research studies show a direct link between goals and enhanced performance in both sports and academics. You can also talk about accountability with making goals known to others.
6) Share your goals.
7) Invite students to decorate, then write their goals and names on their special rock.
8) Create a class rock garden.
9) Find a special location for your shared rock garden.
10) At the end of the grading period, allow students to take their rocks as a symbol of accomplishing their goal. If it is a six week goal like my class, this can become a new six week routine for your class. As you hand the rock to each student, proudly say, "'CUZ YOU ROCK!". Oh, I am too funny.
Our rock garden rests happily on a bookshelf. Goals range from becoming a better reader or writer, earning higher grades, and listening more carefully.
Continue sharing Byrd Baylor's wonderful books with your class. If you haven't read I'm in Charge of Celebrations, it is one of my all-time favorite picture books. It just might make you think differently about the New Year as well. For me, I'll create my larger goals in the spring when things really are blooming, life is happening, and I can lay in the grass and look at the clouds with my son. That sounds about right to me.
I wish the best to you this 2009 school year. My next post will be on incorporating some government lessons and activities this month.
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