As we all know, the last seven weeks of school can sometimes feel like a slog to students and teachers alike.
There are lots of strategies I use to try to avoid that pitfall (see The Best Ways To Finish The School Year Strong, as well as a new addition to that list from Valentina Gonzalez at Middleweb, Ending the School Year with English Learners).
One four-day “unit” I always do at about this time is one focusing on year-end student goals. It usually takes about four days. I’m doing it this year in my Long-Term English Language Learner Support Class:
I introduce the idea of a goal-setting unit, and explain that we’re going to start off with a One-Sentence project (inspired by Dan Pink). I have lots of related information at The Best Resources For Doing A “One-Sentence Project.”
I first review this handout with students: ONE SENTENCE PROJECT
Then I show these three videos, with the only instructions being to pay attention:
Two questions that can change your life from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.
What’s Your Sentence?: The Video from Daniel Pink on Vimeo.
Next, students write their one-sentences. Once they are approved by me (students often need encouragement towards more specificity), they write it on a poster, along with an illustration.
We begin by having students share their completed One-Sentence posters in a rotation “speed-dating” style.
I then introduce the second part of the goal setting unit by explaining that now that they have an idea of what they want people to say about them forty-or-fifty years from now, they need to identify three goals that will help them get there.
I distribute this End-Of-Year Goals Sheet. They have to identify one goal each for Attitude, Behavior, and Academic areas, write an action plan, and decide how they think I can be helpful to them in achieving that goal over the next seven weeks.
Once I approve them, they create another poster that’s divided into those three sections.
Students share their second poster, again in a rotation “speed-dating” style.
I then introduce the final part of the unit – students will be sharing their goals, with a few additional comments, in a one-to-two minute presentation to the entire class.
I share and review this handout, which includes detailed instructions and sentence frames.
They prepare their presentations, and I assign a rehearsal “buddy” and they practice with that person one time prior to the end of the period.
Students practice one more time and then the class presentations begin.
During each presentation, everyone in the class completes an anonymous “I liked _____________________ in your presentation” which is collected and given to each presenter.
We then tape the posters on the wall, and students refer to them at the end of each week when using their Retrieval Practice Notebook.
This unit has usually gone fairly well and, as we approach the third day of the unit this year, things are looking good.
One added advantage this year is that all the students in my class have mentors from one of my IB Theory of Knowledge classes who meet with them once-a-week. The mentors will be able to provide an additional layer of support and accountability.
Let me know how you think this process can be improved!
I’m adding this post to Best Posts On Students Setting Goals.