The new year is a great time to have students reflect on the past and plan for the future. It’s the perfect opportunity for students to recognize their growth and achievement, while simultaneously making goals for the future. The new year brings a renewed optimism for the future and a desire to work just a little bit harder. I have 5 (free) activities that you can use in your classrooms to promote reflection, goal setting, and determination.
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1. Time Capsule: It’s always fun to look back on the person you were to see how far you’ve come. A time capsule is a great way for students to record their thoughts and feelings in the moment and then reflect on where they are when they open them later.
Have students fill out strips with information about their favorite things. Then, have them draw a self-portrait and a picture of their family. Place them inside a plastic container, baggie, or water bottle to view one year (or another set time) later. They will love looking at what they wrote down!
2. Wishing Wall: A wishing wall helps your students think about something positive they’d like to have happen in the coming year. This can be something for them personally or for their family, the community, or the world. Have students write their wishes onto sticky notes and place them around the sign. Then you can check back later in the year to see if any of them have come true!
You can also have them take their sticky notes back after they’ve been displayed and glue them in their journals. They could write more about what they wished for, why they wished for it, and what will happen if their wish comes true!
3. Writing Prompts to Promote Creativity: Our students love to write creative, imaginative stories. Using a writing prompt to help scaffold our struggling (or reluctant) writers can help them creative a fun story they love.
4. Reflect on Past Events: Reflecting on the past is just as important as planning for the future. Giving students ample time to think about what they’ve accomplished, things they’ve enjoyed, and things they’ve learned, can be powerful in promoting meta-cognition, gratitude, and a positive attitude. Use one of the pages below to help students reflect on the past.
5. Make Goals for the Future: Helping your students plan ahead can be a powerful motivator. It can also help foster a growth mindset and create a sense of determination and pride. Having each student write down their resolutions or goals for the year can give them a road map to follow in the coming months. You can also glue these into their journals and have students refer back to them throughout the coming weeks and months.
Your students will love working on any and all of these activities to help ring in the new year!
PEACE, LOVE, AND STICKY NOTES