Student Goal Planner

Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Usually, when the end of a break rears its head, I get that feeling of dread way deep down inside. Not dread about going back to school in general, nor about seeing my students again - these are both things that actually keep me smiling the whole weekend before a break is over.

Rather, the dread comes from figuring out what on Earth I am going to teach those first couple days back that will be meaningful, push our curricular calendar forward, AND ease my students back into the mindset of being students.

I've tried a TON of different types of activities to address each of the needs above, and they all seem to fall short in one way or another - art projects, mini book clubs, research presentations, and so, so many more!

What each of these different types of projects have in common was that they were heavy on the front end (i.e. lots of set-up work for me), didn't quite hold student attention after having been home for a long break, AND added significant grading to my already well-piled plate.

My solution, you ask? Keep it simple (stupid). [That last bit was just to make you giggle...]

But, seriously - just keep it simple! A quick journal entry or bell-ringer is all it takes to get students ready to start class on any other day, so why should the week after break be any different?!

I decided that I would like to start our week back from break with some goal-setting to help my students remind themselves why they are in school in the first place and what they intend to get out of their time in my classroom. All it takes is a printable (HERE), some scissors, and a handful of thought-provoking bell-ringer prompts...

Here's what it will look like in my classroom... (We will spend roughly 5-10 minutes at the beginning of each class with this activity.)

MONDAY - I will distribute the Student Goal Planner to students for them to cut & fold, decorate, and glue into their composition books. Next, students will address the first prompt in the according space on their planner...

TUESDAY - WEDNESDAY - THURSDAY - Students will complete one prompt per day, recording their answers in the according spaces on their planner...

FRIDAY - The final prompt is the one-word prompt, and its answer goes in the center square of the goal planner. Students will then share their one word with small groups and/or the entire class.

THE PROMPTS - (in no particular order, other than ONE WORD being last...)

  • LEARNING/ACADEMIC - Reflect on your academic achievement or specific things you have learned so far this year. Where do you want to go next? Are there specific classes you aim to focus on? Are their certain concepts you look forward to learning about? Are there certain topics you wish you could learn about in your classes? Explain.

  • ACTIVE/CREATIVE - Circle the word with which you identify the most. What about this word makes you identify with it over the other? What are your strengths in this area? What are certain skills you would like to work on in this area? Explain.

  • RELATIONSHIPS/CONNECTIONS - Reflect on the status of your relationships with your family and close friends. Which aspects of these connections are going well and which you will foster further? Which aspects of these connections are in need of work? Explain.

  • SELF GROWTH - List the top 3 words or phrases that are true about you and your personality. Now, list 2 words or phrases you wish were true about you and your personality. What are some steps can you take to make those things true?

  • ONE WORD - Now that you have set goals in most major areas of your life, look them back over. Are there any similarities or trends you notice? Choose ONE WORD to sum up all of the goals you have set for yourself and write in on the line provided. Next, explain in the space provided why you chose that word, what it means to you, and how you will shape the choices you make around that word in the immediate future.

{Download the Student Goal Planner HERE!}

I can't wait to get this started with my students and see what they come up with!!

Please remember to tag @thecaffeinatedclass on Instagram when you do this with your students so I can see what they come up with, too!

*Coffee cheers!!* Until we meet again!!

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