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Nine New Year's Resolutions for 2009

Updated January 5, 2009 with bonus teaching ideas for the New Year.

Resolution Making New Year's Resolutions is a great opportunity for you and your students to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and set goals for the coming year.

Here are nine ways Scholastic can help you reach your goals.

For Your Students

1. Create a New Year's Resolution Time Capsule
In Beth Newingham's 3rd grade classroom, students complete a worksheet to make two PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT resolutions and at least two resolutions that involve FAMILY OR FRIENDS and SCHOOL. Students share their top two resolutions with the class before they put them in a “Resolution Time Capsule.” She then decorates a shoebox with New Year’s Eve decorations and has each student ceremoniously place their resolutions into the box. The box is not opened until the end of the year when students see if they have accomplished their goals.

2. Set Goals for the New Year
In Kechia Williams' 6th grade classroom, she brainstorms with her students about the issues or problems they encountered during the first semester. To help her students get started thinking about solutions, she shares her biggest problem -- not having enough time to complete EVERYTHING -- and asks them for advice. For homework, students write three goals and a plan for each goal. She then posts their goals in the classroom so they will be constantly reminded.

3. Start the New Year With a Healthy Habit
Use the clean slate of a new year to break a bad habit or take on a good one. Have your students share their resolutions on the Scholastic News Online blog. If one of their New Year's resolutions is to take action to help others, students can follow the example of Scholastic News Kid Reporter Ashlyn Stewart who donated her hair to Locks of Love.

For You

4. Top Eight in '08: List the Memorable Moments in Your Classroom
In looking back on the year, Alyssa Zelkowitz, our Special Education blogger, realizes that her most profound emotion is pride in her students: how smart, how capable, and how enthusiastic to learn they are. What are your top eight moments of 2008?

5. Take the Time to Learn Online
Our Tech Tutors Michelle Bourgeois and Gayle Berthiaume show how easy it is to meet your professional development goals by visiting tutorial sites to learn new technology skills or attending online conferences or courses to learn new teaching skills.

6. Tame Your File Cabinet
Chances are your file cabinet is overflowing with a semi-organized jumble of packed folders and teaching materials. Save time with these organizing tips.

7. Refresh Your Classroom Library
2nd grade teacher Elizabeth Mazzurco starts January by rotating the books in her classroom library. She has so many series books that she can't fit them all at once in her library. By January, the students have grown so much as readers that she puts away the easier books and adds more challenging series books.

8. Earn Extra Cash
Sign up for a free sellers membership on TeachersPayTeachers.com. The best selling teacher has already earned more than $18,000 selling her literature guides on TeachersPayTeachers.com.

9. Dust off Your Resume
Search School Jobs Now for teaching opportunities throughout the country. Visit the resource center for help updating your resume and cover letters and brush up on your interview skills.

Happy New Year!

Bonus Teaching Ideas For the New Year

In Jennifer's 2nd grade class, her students will spend the week celebrating the New Year by writing New Year's Resolutions and "Top 10 Lists". This can be done individually, in small group or as a class.

Patty Blome, our High School Teacher Advisor
, reminds us that this January will be a momentous month: a new President with immense historical significance will be sworn in a day after we honor what would have been the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s  80th birthday. Read her blog for amazing teaching ideas for the Presidential inauguration and Dr. King's birthday.

Andrea Spillett, one of our English Language Learners bloggers
, brainstorms ideas on how she plans to implement her new iPod as a teaching tool to increase fluency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in her ELL classroom.

Rob Southworth, one of the Strategies for Arts Integration bloggers, announces a new way for artists to share their work: the Online Evidence of Teacher and Student Learning (ETSL) Database.


Dorit Sasson

I like the idea of encouraging students to contribute to setting their own new year's goals. I especially appreciate asking them for advice on how to ensure that we are following-through with our goals. Sometimes we don't give students enough credit for what they know and many times, they have interesting and sound ideas.

Thanks so much for this list. I'll be adding it to today's blog entry.

Happy New Year!

Dorit Sasson
The New Teacher Resource Center
"Helping You Become a Successful and Confident Teacher"

Comments are closed. Please see Classroom Solutions, our new blog for the 2009-2010 school year. And stay tuned for Teaching Matters with Angela Bunyi and Beth Newingham.

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