Friday, August 7, 2015

Hopes and Dreams for a New School Year

This summer I worked as the Head Wilson teacher at the Tufts Center for Reading and Learning Research. This program is for struggling readers and many have been diagnosed with dyslexia. In the near future, I'll be sharing some of the supplemental Wilson activities I created, but today I want to share a Responsive Classroom approach for the beginning of a new school year.

Being new to the the Responsive Classroom approach, I was very excited to try out any strategies our director suggested. One of these approaches related to sharing our hopes and dreams. As this program was related to reading, our hopes for the summer were pretty specific to this content area.

I modeled that our hopes should be realistic and attainable. I went the silly route and said that being able to swim 100 miles by the end of week five was unlikely since I'd be spending my time teaching reading. I assumed I would have to provide more scaffolding for this step as I was working mostly with emerging second graders, but this was not the case. They came up with some very realistic and individualized goals for the summer. 

Here are some student examples of the template I created. There are four options available in the pack. The variations are based on font (one is specific to dyslexia) and the border (stars or bubbles). You can find them for FREE in my TPT store.

Having students reflect on their hopes for the school year also lends itself nicely to classroom conversations about expectations and how we're going to help each other meet our goals. I'll be sharing how to create a class constitution together later as well.

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