I can’t believe we are in our final quarter of the year! Report card time always gets me a little nostalgic…I think about what we have accomplished–but also what more I really want my students to do before they leave me!
I really believe that goal setting is important–but I also think that it’s really hard for students to set meaningful goals. They are so broad with their thinking….”I want to get better at reading.” simply doesn’t do much! They also don’t always REALLY understand some of the more subtle things–that reading isn’t just about how long the book is or how “hard” it is. Because of that, I work hard all year on trying to help them realize how complicated reading is…and how it can be broken into all sorts of different strategies, skills, and behaviors.
We had a community circle chat today about what we really hoped to accomplish in our last quarter together…I told them some of the ideas I had for class goals…improving our written responses to reading, making sure that we add sufficient details when we elaborate, writing ALL genres with good conventions, and making sure that we are using vivid vocabulary.
I then explained that we each have PERSONAL goals as well–and that we need to make sure we always know what we need to do to get better–whether it’s baseball, making cupcakes, or reading and writing! We then spent some time browsing my reading target flip books to remind ourselves of SO many of the mini-lessons we have explored this year. We used these a lot at the beginning of the year, and I use them in intervention groups, but it’s been a while since we dug into them. We had some great discussions, and I had students working in small groups to discuss them and do some self-reflection.
After a while, I asked them to think hard about one or two goals for reading and writing and to record them on these adorable pencil notepapers…
I told them that they could use the exact targets from the flip books if they wanted, but they could go off on their own as well. I encouraged them to think about the processes we use when we read and write–so not to write goals like, “I will read more books.” but to really get to the heart of learning. They turned them into me and I had a quick chat with each student as they did so.
I hung them all up as a visual–and our next steps are to do some planning. HOW will we work toward these goals? What steps will we take? Finally, in a few weeks, we will add an “update” sticky note to show our progress.
We had some great discussions–and I think it will be a fun way for us to keep these ideas very “present” in our last 9 weeks together. We’ve come a long way–but we still have a ways to go as well!
Want to see where the learning target flip books came from?
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