When your young charges return from winter break in January, it is time to help them set goals for the remainder of the school year. After discussing the meaning of resolutions, tell your students that there are several things you would like to see all of them accomplish as individuals and as a class before the end of the school year. Assure them that you have a plan to help them accomplish these goals by using teamwork. Here are four New Year’s resolution ideas that will help your students develop necessary skills.
Resolution #1: Learn to Tie Shoes
Many children do not come to school knowing how to tie their own shoelaces. Although you want your students to have tied shoes, it is a big time waster for a teacher to stop what she is doing to tie multiple pairs of shoes. Of course, it is appropriate for a teacher to show a student how to tie his shoes, or even spend some one-on-one time teaching a child a tying technique that will work for him. However, I have found that students who already know how to tie shoelaces are the best teachers when it comes to helping other students keeping their laces fastened. Enlist the help of willing students to partner up with children whose laces have come untied and need help learning how to tie. Reward students who learn to tie shoelaces with a certificate and the responsibility of helping others learn to tie their shoes.
Resolution #2: Remember to Use Good Manners
Teaching students how to use the words “please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” is a starting point to polite behavior. Remember to model the word “please” when making requests of students. Always remember to use “thank you” yourself when a classroom task is completed. Follow up with “you’re welcome” the next time a child says, “thank you.” Practice these terms with role-playing games among partners. For fun, put a tally mark on the board every time you hear students using these words appropriately and reward them with extra recess time once they have achieved a specified number of tally marks for polite words.
Resolution #3: Master Addition Facts
Give your students time at the beginning of math instruction to practice math flashcards with a partner every day. Commit to letting them play addition math games with decks of cards or dice. Students are motivated to learn basic facts when they can expect to have fun while doing it, and are given the time and chance to practice with a friend.
Resolution #4: Write Your Name and Date on Your Paper
If you are like many classroom teachers, you usually remind your elementary students to put their names at the top of the paper. At the beginning of each instructional time that requires a worksheet, model your own name and date on the board in the upper right hand corner. Ask children to put a star, smiley face, or a dot in their favorite color next to their names on their papers. Allow children to “check names” before the assignment begins with a partner or the person sitting next to them, telling the partner to put a dot next to the other child’s name if the name was written. These are gentle reminders which can be phased out once the habit of name and date has been mastered.
Elementary teaching experience