How to Help Your Students Set Goals for the New Year

Getting back into the groove is hard, especially when it comes to a classroom full of elementary students who have had the last couple of weeks off of school. So, let’s use the New Year as a way to help our students set goals and establish some positive practices and routines.

Brainstorm Ideas Together

Anchor Chart for New Years Resolutions, interactive activity connecting goal setting and new years, elementary

First, you want to talk about what “resolutions” are. Initiate a class discussion about what a resolution is, what things they may want to “solve” or “work on,” and how to set resolutions for themselves. Remember, resolutions are action steps, not necessarily goals. Create a simple anchor chart and list some of the realistic, achievable resolutions that your students come up with! These can be school or academic resolutions, extra-curricular resolutions, personal or home resolutions, it is up to you. See the examples below.

I will:

  • read 20 minutes every night.
  • practice piano every day.
  • complete my Reflex activities each week.
  • organize my desk at the end of each day.

Allow Them to Goal-Set for Different Parts of Their Lives

Next, set your sights on goal-setting. Using color sticky notes and a T-chart, have students set a goal for home and school. Gather and discuss your students’ goals and tie these back to your discussion of resolutions. If students have certain goals, their resolutions can help them achieve those goals! I like to have my kiddos record their goals and resolutions on a sticky note and place it next to their name tag on their desk. This will keep the goal in sight and as they achieve their goals, they can set new ones!

Bring in a Reading Activity to Tie in New Years and Resolutions

Finally, tie in some reading and writing! This New Year’s Reading Flip Book has students read a comprehension passage about New Year’s. Then, they can answer questions, complete a sorting activity and write about their resolutions. It is the perfect, low-prep, engaging activity for back to school. Plus, you can display their finished products in your classroom or in the hall!

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