Happy New Year, teachers! It’s that time again—new year, new goals, and setting the stage for a year full of growth. Today, I’m sharing how to transform your classroom with the power of goal setting, using our “New Year Goals 2024” resource.
A Run Down Memory Lane
I was a competitive runner and competed for multiple years in the Junior Olympics. My goal was never about outrunning others; it was about shaving off my own time, second by second. I didn’t realize it then, but my goal-setting is what led me to be ultra successful. Not my shoes nor my talent.
This experience with grit and persistence is what I bring into my classroom when teaching students to set goals, and it lights my fire!
From Track to Teaching
What does running have to do with teaching, you ask? It’s all about the mindset of improving bit by bit—exactly what we want our students to embrace.
Start by Identifying Students’ Interests
I start by understanding each student’s shifting interests. We use online Student Interest Inventories once a quarter to help guide goal-setting activities.
You can grab these here. These are super easy to set up on devices in the morning or to assign during literacy centers (they’re reading and writing).
Practice and Purpose
Once we’ve pinpointed these interests, the next step is to connect them with real-world applications so we can give them a purpose.
🌟This is where the magic happens! 🌟
For example, a student fascinated by cooking and struggling with fractions can discover the joy and purpose of math in the kitchen.
Suddenly, fractions aren’t just numbers on a page; they’re essential tools for creating delicious recipes.
By feeding the data from our Student Interest Inventories into an AI tool and combining it with our curriculum standards, we create customized learning experiences.
This innovative method ensures that our lessons are not just aligned with educational goals but are also deeply relevant and engaging for each student.
Try This AI- Powered Prompt:
“Could you help me find a way to connect a student’s personal interest in [Student’s Interest] with the specific educational standard [Standard Reference]? I’m looking for ideas on how to integrate this interest into our classroom activities and lessons in a way that aligns with the curriculum goals.”
🤖 Sidenote on Student Privacy: When utilizing AI technology like ChatGPT or Bard in the classroom, always prioritize your students’ privacy. It’s essential to share only anonymous, general interests without disclosing any personal information. This practice ensures that while we harness the benefits of AI for educational purposes, we also steadfastly protect the identity and privacy of every student.
Hope and Resilience Are A Must for New Year Goals
But what keeps us going through the hurdles and hiccups? That’s where hope comes in. It’s the glue that binds interest, practice, and purpose together. Hope is what pushes us and our students when teaching them to set goals.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can teach your students to keep pushing through challenges:
- Share success stories of people who overcame challenges through persistence and hope.
- Teach students to set small, achievable goals that lead to larger objectives. Celebrate those victories!
- Encourage a growth mindset by praising effort and strategy over innate ability. More on that here.
- Encourage students to write about challenges they face and reflect on how they overcame them.
- Teach mindfulness and stress management techniques. I love ClassDojo’s mindfulness videos.
- Reflect on past experiences by reminding students of their past successes and how they’ve overcome challenges before.
Here’s How We Check In Daily with Our New Year Goals
Our “New Year Goals 2024” includes a SMART Goal Tracker, which students keep in their leadership binders or a dedicated folder. We make goal-setting a daily ritual. Every morning, students read their goals out loud, and during our last 15 minutes of the day—our “Ketchup, Mustard, Pickles” time—we check in on our progress.
The New Year Goals Graphic Organizer
You’ve got to check out The New Year’s Graphic Organizer. This tool is perfect for outlining student curiosities, potential mistakes, and new experiences they’re eager to explore. It’s a hands-on way to visualize their journey.
When Achieving New Year Goals, It’s All About Effort
Remember Angela Duckworth’s insightful words: “Effort counts twice.” It’s a reminder that the journey is just as important as the destination.
When we focus on the effort our students put into their goals, not just the outcomes, we teach them the value of perseverance and resilience.
It’s in the daily striving, the challenges they crush, and the small victories along the way that true growth occurs.
This year, let’s commit to nurturing goal-setting skills that emphasize effort, teaching our students that every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory in itself.
Here’s to a year where effort is celebrated and every moment of striving brings us closer to shaping a lifetime of achievement.
Related Blog Posts:
- “Student Motivation: My Secret Weapon for Success” – Resilience, goal-setting, and motivation? It’s like peas and carrots!
- “Cultivating a Growth Mindset to Boost Student Confidence: Tips for Success” – They both dive into mindset and what better time than the New Year to kick that into gear?
- “5 Reasons Why Games for Test Prep Outshine Traditional Worksheets” – Ties into the whole “make learning engaging and meaningful” vibe you’re going for.
Learn more about Angela Duckworth’s book GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (affiliate link) ⤵️