New Year’s Resolutions are hard. Well, keeping the resolutions are… I always have high aspirations at the start of the year with big goals and dreams and then fall short of the goals about a month into the new year. I repeated this pattern for years with my students as well! I would have the students make goals for themselves and then we would drop the ball on the accountability of those goals by the end of January.
So, I changed it up and it has been amazing! I have started to have just one word be my focus for the year. I make a poster or buy a sign and have it up all year to remind myself of my goal for the year. This year I will focus on the word CHERISH. When I see it, I am reminded that I will CHERISH the small moments and I will find something to CHERISH in the moment.
I spend a lot of time contemplating my word for the year because I want it to be meaningful throughout the whole year and exemplify what is important to me.
With my students, I also want them to brainstorm and have a word that is meaningful to them. So, we spend some time brainstorming some of the things that they want to change from the last year. We also talk about some of the goals they have for the upcoming year. I give the students a list of a lot of words, they take time to highlight words that stand out to them with my brainstorming sheets.
After they pick out some of their favorite words, I have them take some time to talk to their peers and articulate why some of the words stood out to them. Then, they will finalize their favorite word or the word that they want to be their focus for the year. Finally, I have the students think about the definition of their word, what are some of the synonyms, and why is it so meaningful to them.
We put it all together by making a sign or poster to create a bulletin board of all our words of the year. It makes a great decoration in the classroom and they can use it after as a poster in their home, locker, or in their binder. You can get the brainstorming and bulletin board set here – JUST ONE WORD RESOLUTIONS
What is your word for the year? How do you keep your students accountable for their goals throughout the school year?