We started off the new year by having our students write their own New Year's Resolutions. We (teacher and students) love Kid President, and we (teachers) love his framing of thinking about what we can do for others in the new year. So we watched his AWESOME YEAR Challenge and brainstormed ideas for what we can do to make 2017 awesome for somebody else.
Students had their own templates which included a section for brainstorming ideas. Next, they chose ideas they wanted to elaborate on, and used these sentence starters:
I resolve to…
I will do this by…
This is significant because… (So what?!)
We frequently include the "so what" section as it really pushes students to be reflective and think about a bigger picture instead of making a concrete or limited statement. We also ask our students to choose one resolution and think of two ways we (their teachers) can help them work on or achieve this resolution. This is a great way to make sure their resolutions are realistic and to remind them that support from others is an important tool.
Some of our favorite New Year's Resolutions from our students were:
"I resolve to think about others before I say something so no one gets hurt
I will do this by really thinking about the people it might effect before I say something. And if I think it won’t hurt anyone, think about if someone could interpret it wrong.
This is significant because impact > intent. And sometimes just thinking before you say could save you from really hurting someone. You don’t want to risk upsetting someone when you could have just thought before opening your mouth."
"Listen and pay more attention to what other people are saying."
"Be open to new ideas.. teachers can help remind me that different is good and so is being open"
We were impressed with our students' depth of thought and desire to listen to and be aware of others.
What are your New Year's Resolutions? Do you have students write resolutions or do any kind of goal setting or reflection for the new year?