When teachers and students return from Spring Break there is always a transition period. Most teachers even feel like it’s the first day of school all over again. In a way, it is. Classroom management plans need to be reviewed, classroom procedures should be discussed and practiced, and instruction needs to be engaging and meaningful in order to hook your students and keep their attention. Summer is not far off and your students can feel it, so can the teachers.
Besides reviewing expectations and procedures, there’s another powerful way to get your students motivated again to finish out the school year strong and that is with goal setting. Goal setting with your students is a powerful and important tool that should be done throughout the school year. But, it’s even more important when returning from a long school break. In order to show your students the importance of goal setting and how to use it to your advantage, I wanted to share three ways to implement it in your classroom.
1. Create a Class Goals Chart
Engaging your students in a whole class brainstorm and discussion about setting goals is a great way to get started after Spring Break. Students in your class have been working hard all year to master skills. This is the time to celebrate their hard work and also allow them to reflect on what skills or behaviors they want to continue to work on and get better at.
Using the term, Flowers in Bloom to describe things that they are already doing well in school first, is a powerful way to celebrate their success. As a class, you can brainstorm different flowers in bloom that each student has for themselves. When creating your class goal setting chart, take time to celebrate those flowers in bloom and guide students to brainstorm things they have already accomplished and are proud of.
After students have brainstormed and celebrated their Flowers in Bloom, now is the time to discuss as a class their Flower Buds or things they would like to do better before the school year ends. This is where the teacher really needs to guide discussion for how to set goals with their students. Modeling and thinking aloud different goals that students can set for themselves for the remainder of the school year is key here.
Set up your Goals Anchor Chart with post-its and individual flowers and flower pots to display student wins and student goals to help guide the discussion. This Spring Goals chart can be displayed in your classroom for students to continue to reflect on their goals and even change them if necessary.
2. Use Individual Goal Setting Worksheets
Once your students have celebrated their Flowers in Bloom or things they are already doing well and their Flower Buds, things they would like to do better, it’s time for them to write them down on their goal setting worksheet. These worksheets can stay in their folders, be displayed around the room or on a bulletin board, or taped to students’ desks, for easy reminders and check-ins.
What is important to note about filling out student’s goal setting worksheet is to allow them the opportunity to choose which goal is right for them by themselves. Teachers should discuss and brainstorm different goals they can have for themselves for the remainder of the school year but ultimately allow them to choose their Flower Buds themselves. This will give more power to their goals and motivate them more to work towards them.
3. Revisit Goals Every Week
It’s one thing for your students to choose a Spring goal but it is quite another to stick to it for the remainder of the school year. Carve out a day and time each week in your schedule that students can reflect on their goal progress. If students are keeping their goal setting worksheets in their desks or on top of their desks, allow students time to discuss with each other how they are doing and what steps they are taking to meet their goals. Laminate your Spring Goals worksheet to allow them to change out their goal or add to it on a weekly basis. These goals should be constantly revisited and discussed for them to hold their power and keep students motivated.
The importance of goal setting with your students especially after a long break cannot be reiterated enough. It will get your students back on track and provide opportunities for important discussions that will help keep them motivated to do their best before summer vacation.
If you would like to use these tools to set goals with your students after Spring Break, you can find the anchor chart pieces and goal setting worksheets in my Spring Goal Setting Activity Packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store here.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope these are helpful for your students!