Happy New Year! I just love fresh starts! I love taking this time of year to reflect on the previous year and get started setting new personal and professional goals.
We can help our students set goals, too! There’s a good chance that many of them have heard the word “resolution” from someone this time of year. You can share your own goals and ambitions you have for yourself with your students. It’s a great time to discuss with them why goal setting is important and how it makes you a better person. And once they see how you’ve set goals for yourself, they’ll be excited to set their own goals!
I’ve created some different ways you can incorporate kindergarten goal setting into your classroom for ELA!
Motivational Read Alouds
Before getting into your individual goal setting, I highly recommend introducing your lesson with a read aloud. This is a super relatable way for your students to start thinking about what it means to have goals, overcome fears, and be resilient! Here are a few short stories that your kids will love for kindergarten goal setting:
- Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolutions by Pat Miller
- Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
- After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat
- I Can’t Do That Yet: Growth Mindset by Esther Pia Cordova
- Whistle for Wille by Ezra Jack Keats
This will take a little extra effort in the 2020/2021 school year, but it’s great if you can find a way to meet individually with your students! Before you start creating goals for your students and/or the entire classroom, try to have a one-on-one meeting with each student to find out what kind of goals they have in mind for themselves already.
Not only will this inform you as the teacher about their passions and what’s pressing on their minds, but it will also give each student a sense of pride to know that they have a choice in what their kindergarten goal setting looks like!
There are many goals that you and your students can set related to reading. As teachers, we have the goal to create a passion for reading in our students and instill a desire to become a better reader. Try to stray from just checking off requirement boxes or assigning a goal reading level. Here are a few ideas:
- Choose to read a mixture of stories – fiction and nonfiction.
- Select books from a wide range of authors or topics.
- Share a favorite book with the class. (Each student could do this weekly or monthly)
- Talk about the main characters and their feelings.
- Point to words while sounding them out.
If you’re on the lookout for new mini books to incorporate into your kindergarten goal setting arsenal, here is my January mini book set! There are 5 books included that your students will love practicing reading to themselves and one another!
An area that students come so far in throughout kindergarten… writing! It’s easy to begin to feel like a broken record when it comes to reminding students about their writing. Here are a few ideas for what kindergarten goal setting in writing could include:
- I start every sentence with a capital letter.
- I add punctuation to the end of my sentence. (.!?)
- I use finger spaces between my words.
- I reread my sentence and it makes sense.
- I sound out my words before spelling them.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may like to try some of these Valentine’s Day Writing Center Activities with your students!
You might already have a way of tracking sight words with your students. Even if you already do, it’s a good time to remind students that they’re working toward knowing a certain number of sight words. An easily measurable goal for sight words is to say they will know “x” number of sight words by the end of the year!
If you need more activities to help students work toward their sight words goal, I always include a sight word activity in my weekly literacy centers. These January centers have editable activities so you can simply type your sight words and print!
If you’re interested in giving your students a way to record their ELA goals, sign up below for this simple, kindergarten-friendly goal setting page! It’s a Powerpoint file so you can print it, edit in Powerpoint, or upload it to Seesaw!
As adults I think it’s safe to say that we crave fresh starts every once in a while and the feeling of starting anew, and more than likely, your students crave it just as much, too! I hope you and your students find some satisfaction in setting your goals for the rest of the year and have all the confidence in the world as you set out to reach them!
How are you motivating your students for the new year in your kindergarten classroom?