A Goal-Setting and Reflection Activity for the Secondary Classroom: A digital and free activity

A Goal-Setting and Reflection Activity for the Secondary Classroom: A digital and free activity

When the New Year starts back up again, and school resumes after winter break, I want to take a couple of days to ease my students and myself back into the school routine. To do so, I plan on taking a couple of days to focus on reflecting and setting goals.

Since I am returning to remote teaching, and since we've been entirely remote this entire school year so far, I know that I'll need to motivate my students as much as I can. Distant learning is challenging, and they were hoping to return to in-person instruction in the New Year. After all, the last day they set foot in an actual classroom was Friday, March 13, 2020.

To ease my students (and myself) back into the school routine, I plan on spending a couple of days focusing on setting goals for the New Year,

I will use this free 2020 digital Goal Setting New Year Activity with my students. I will assign them each their own copy to complete, and I plan on using a series of TED Talks and discussion-based questions in Canvas (you can also do this in Google Classroom) to engage my students. Please note, I have shortened class periods for the first week back, so I plan on accomplishing all of this in a 30-minute block. If you are looking for even more activities to start the year, you might want to check out my New Year's Sticky Note Activities resource and my Growth Mindset Writing Prompts.

NEW YEAR'S CLASS ACTIVITY DAY 1:

Discussion question posted in Canvas: Do you set New Year's Resolutions? If so, what are some resolutions you've set in the past? What is a resolution you made for yourself this year?

Watch: After students engage with one another in a discussion-based forum, I plan on talking about how getting good sleep is essential for whole-body health. Self-care is so important, especially now, so after we talk about sleep, I feel like this TED Talk will be an excellent video to share with my student.

Then, we will discuss the difference between short-term and long-term goals. To do so, I will show them this quick video.

We will conclude the class by having students complete Slides 1 and 2 in the digital Goal Setting New Year Activity. I will ask my students to come up with at least one short-term and long-term personal and academic goal.
A Goal-Setting and Reflection Activity for the Secondary Classroom: A digital and free activity

NEW YEAR'S CLASS ACTIVITY DAY 2:

Discussion question posted in Canvas: What is one goal you set for yourself for this year? You can share either a short-term or long-term academic or personal goal. Why is this goal important to you?

After the discussion question, I will talk about a personal goal that I set for myself. When I used to run marathons, it was a goal of mine to break four hours. I ran my first marathon in 4:24 and my second in 4:36. For my third marathon, I really dedicated myself to my training. I had dedicated days when I did speed work. I did temp runs. I even purchased a new trashcan, filled it with ice, and took ice baths after my long runs, even during the winter. It was freezing. But let me tell you, all of the work was worth it. I crossed the finish line of my third marathon at 3:56. I did it.

I will share this story with my students to model how I set a goal for myself and how I changed my training to achieve this goal. I will talk bout how achieving goals takes time, effort, dedication, patience, perseverance, and even pain. I will also talk about how achieving this goal took months of daily effort. It didn't come easily. Then, I will show them this TED Talk about how to get better at things you care about.

To wrap up the class, I will have my students complete slide 5 of the digital Goal Setting New Year Activity by listing as many actionable items they can think of to accomplish all of the goals they set for themselves.

NEW YEAR'S CLASS ACTIVITY DAY 3:

This will be the final day of us easing into the new semester after winter break. I plan on having my students write their goal reflections on Slide 6 of the activity and then share their goals in small breakout groups with their peers.

I also plan on instructing students to add one more slide to their presentation to create a vision board filled with images, inspirational quotes, and words of wisdom. For their vision board, I will ask my students to fill the slide to visualize what they'd like their 2021 to be like.

As a fun way to share their vision boards, students can download the final slide of the presentation as a picture or take a screenshot of it and upload it to a class Padlet.

If you are looking for more of a writing-based approached to goal-setting, you may also be interested in my New Year's Goal Writing Essay.
A Goal-Setting and Reflection Activity for the Secondary Classroom: A digital and free activity

1 comment

  1. I'm very excited about this. I had to learn how to do discussion boards (finger's crossed) but I do think the students will like this. I changed day one's Ted Talk to this one: https://www.ted.com/talks/shai_marcu_the_benefits_of_a_good_night_s_sleep?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare
    I just liked it better.
    I am confused about your slide 1 and 2 assignment. Should it be slide 2 and 3 as slide one is the title page? Otherwise there is a missing slide to finish.
    **I teach English 9 - 12 and am doing this in every single class. I am using a Ted Talk graphic organizer for students to keep engaged though. Thanks again!

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