Its that time of year again……reflection, fresh starts, new beginnings and goal setting.
A New Year or even a new school year, is an exciting time to gather as a class community and to think about allthe dreams and goals that everyone wants to make come true. When we begin with this type of thing, it’s a great idea to just make a list of ALL those aspirations. Dream boards are fun ways to do this. I make one every single year! Dream BIG! Think beyond school! Just get them thinking forward.
Now, in order to make this list meaningful rather than a forgotten exercise within a few days, we need to encourage the children to turn those dreams into goals.
Dream boards or vision boards are simple and fun ways to just go ALL out and dream! Goals begin with dreams.
As adults, we know the importance of setting goals and creating an action plan that will help us to actually MEET those goals. As teachers, I believe it is a part of our responsibility to guide our students towards this all important part of self-reflection, self-management and life planning. The ability to set goals is a skill that can help children to develop a sense of responsibility and practice those self-management skills of prioritising and time management. Goal-setting can also build self-esteem by showing the child that they can accomplish what they’re working for. Setting goals can simply be a way for your child to understand what she wants, or what she wants to happen.
Below, I have shared a simple six steps to prepare your kiddos for a new year and new goals. And at the end of this post, I have a set of free goal setting activities that you can use to practice this process.
1. Create a Habit of Reflection
Whether its a brand new year or even a new school year, its important that we encourage the idea of a new start. It feels good to know that we can have this new beginning, this idea of a fresh start. Create an atmosphere that celebrates self-reflection. This begins with really getting to know who we are. After all, we have to know where we are before we can consider where we’d like to go. This is the first step to setting goals.
Reflective thinking is something that can be practised. I created a Reflection Journal for every stage of the IB PYP, as a means to build upon the skill of reflective thinking. Since the enhanced PYP, there has been a greater emphasis with on-going reflection. These Reflection Journals can be used daily or weekly. Focused around the Learner Profile the social, emotional and cognitive benefits include:
Improving self esteem & confidence
Improving decision-making abilities
Developing critical thinking skills
Teaching how to organise their time and resources.
Developing focus and accountability
Improving motivation, self-management and responsibility
Teaching dedication & perseverance.
Goal-setting for learning
Developing belief in the power of their own achievements
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