Archive of ‘2018-2019’ category

Goal Setting in the Classroom

This year I’ve been really focusing on real-world learning and cross-curricular planning with the help of 3 amazing teachers I’ve been co-planning with. Personally, I’ve been working on myself and creating the life I want through goal setting. I’ve been using Powersheets by Cultivate What Matters to set purposeful, meaningful goals. I see the benefit and advantage of setting these goals and know my students would too.

I met with my colleague, Tammara Smith and we decided to get our classes together to learn about this together. We decided to start with some brainstorming about our lives and then watch and sketchnote some Ted Talks to encourage and inspire our students.

Here is what we have worked through so far.

* A quick note: We would always watch the videos 1-2 times and then discuss what we learned from them, what the main message was or the students’ connections or questions.

  1. Dream Journal Introduction
    1. What is Sketchnoting
    2. Pep Talk with Kid President 
  2. What can adults learn from kids
  3. There’s more to life than being Happy
  4. Dream Journal Creation
    1. Each student gets a journal which they put their name on and name it something like Dream Journal
    2. Draw/Sketch/Brainstorm What’s important to me?
    3. Draw/Sketch/Brainstorm Interests
  5. Living Beyond Limits by Amy Purdy
  6. Want to Change the World? Start by being brave enough to care by Cleo Wade
  7. The Skill of Confidence by Dr. Ivan Joseph
  8. Setting Goals that Matter by Samantha Kris
  9. Free Goal Book from TeachersPayTeachers
  10. Choosing the Right Goals Article
  11. Goal Setting Groups
    1. The Key to Progress: Mini-Goals Article Read Aloud
    2. Students share their Main Goal on Padlet
  12. We grouped the students into goal groups and got the groups together to get specific about what they want to get better at/learn about…
    1. fitness
    2. art
    3. subject improvement
    4. career
    5. babysitter’s
  13. By getting more information about exactly what the students wanted to get better at.
    Names What do I want to work on? How am I doing now at this? What is my plan to get better How will I know/show I’m getting better.
  14. Every week are giving students time to practice and work on their goals. They needed to show each week what they were working on and how they spent their time. We also created time for students to check in with their goal groups to help support each other and discuss the struggles they are having.
    1. Select 1-3 specific goals that you want to get better at.
      1. Prepare your “Before” snapshot via picture/writing/video to show that talent you already have
    2. Find “how-to” youtube videos/resources for your specific goals.
    3. Find a “mentor”/role model that is great at what you want to learn
    4. Practice
    5. Document your “After” Snapshot via picture/writing/video to show that talent you have learned
    6. Repeat.

Have you tried goal setting in the classroom? What has worked for you? Do you have any other Ted Talks you would recommend?


Co-planning makes Teachers Great

I’m always trying to be a better teacher. Always reworking my plans, reading new teaching material, and questioning what students really need to learn about.

As a newish mom, I was in a teaching slump. I was still trying my best and teaching well but knew there was better out there.

I decided to reach out to other teachers to help me teach better and I’m so lucky to have connected with 3 amazing teachers in 3 different subjects.

Luckily this year, a teacher who I knew at teacher’s college came to work at my school and teach the same grade as mine. We decided immediately to team up and plan a spiral math curriculum together.

Also my school is in it’s year to get a lot of new technology for its students. Luckily for us, that comes with training from our board’s technology coaches. They presented at our staff meeting and that sparked an idea. Why not ask one of the coaches to help me plan the way I want to. I’ve met with Louise several times now to plan Science units and luckily for me she is helping me plan using Overarching Inquiry.

I’m also working with another teacher and we are joining our classes together to work on a ‘Dream Journal’ with our students. The ‘Dream Journal’ is working on creating the life we want through reflecting, goals and learning from experts.

Co-planning is great for so many reasons.

1) Keeps you accountable

Teaching is a demanding, busy and draining job. We all have days where we want to take it easy and relax. By co-planning with a colleague you have to keep on track to keep up with the other teacher and class. Of course, if you are meeting your students where they are you are going to differ slightly but you’ll for the most part keep up the same pace.

2) Helps you problem solve

Don’t worry alone. You aren’t solving any problems all by yourself.

When you are co-planning you, of course, try your best to plan for all your students but nevertheless something comes up to throw you for a loop. If you’re planning together, you are going to check in on each other and ask each other questions about how that lesson worked or didn’t work. As a team, you can easily problem solve together and even reflect on how the unit went and makes notes for the next time you teach it.

3) Makes you happier

When planning with a colleague, you feel a sense of teamwork. We, as teachers sometimes feel really alone in our classrooms because it is just us with dozens of kids. We need to plan with other teachers so that we can feel supported. When we feel supported, we feel better and we do better.

4) Less stress

If you are making time each week to plan together, you are planning in advance. You know exactly what to do next and you can easily plan for that day or week. This makes you stress less as you know where you are headed, you know you have help, you know the big picture idea of what you are trying to cover so you know what you’re trying to accomplish and can easily adapt.

5) More willing to try new things

If you have a strong support system you feel more comfortable to take risks and try new things. This year for science my class and I learned about and tried out microbits. It was a new idea that I’ve never considered before and my students loved using them! And I loved learning with them too.