This time I would like to share with you my ideas for the first day after this winter break. Rather than 'getting tough' on kids, I do my best to take advantage of their energy and excitement at the New Year and use it to my advantage! These are the activities that I have in mind.
Each new year, I start the lesson by asking my kiddos to brainstorm the benefits of making long-term goals and the advantages of "documenting" or writing them down. I ask the students to list their motivating ideas on the whiteboard and pick some of their favorites and write down them in the "cloud" of the worksheet. The whiteboard or paint apps could be used as an alternative (I am trying it out this year. Also, I will ask to take the snapshot of their clouds and share on the class blog). So, this is the way we start to discuss "resolutions" with my kiddos. Most of them they are really excited and enthusiastic to share their opinions.
Then we move to actually "documenting" their personal with school, family and friends related resolutions. It is surprising to me how mature they are at this age. The majority knows exactly what they want and how to get it. I simply love the moment when they start sharing these goals with me and sometimes we even discuss how we could help each other to reach some of their goals.... mmm... (feeling nostalgic). The time just flies.
Frosty Winter Break Collage/ Newspaper Homework
I like to start the year with homework assignment that let their creativity to "shine". I ask my students to create a frosty collage/ newspaper of their favorite gifts and winter break moments. It should be no bigger than A4 format paper size, colorful, and have a title. When they present the homework to me, I ask them to comment the photos and the other specific details of the collages. In my opinion, this way they learn to share their thoughts and feelings out loud or at least one other person and to show appreciation for special, most likely, family and friends related moments.
Note: If you are planning to try these activities yourself and you are a lover to showcase your student's creation on the bulletin board, make sure the kid feels comfortable with you doing it. Sometimes the student feels sharing his/ her goals and personal memories with you but not with her/ his class-friends.