I am linking up with Marie from Once Upon a Classroom to "Share and Prepare" for the beginning of the school year this fall!
Each school year, before starting with classroom rules, I have my students start by identifying their "Hopes and Dreams" for the coming school year and for their future. From these hopes and dreams we then create our class rules by posing the question, "If we want to achieve all of our hopes and dreams, what rules will we need to make our classroom a safe and friendly place where hopes and dreams can be reached?" I have found by creating these hopes and dreams first and then having students think of rules that the class will need, it gives them a sense of ownership to the rules that are created.
So how do I get my students to generate hopes and dreams you ask?
While, before introducing hopes and dreams I use a treasure box full of items that show the class what they can expect to learn during their school year. For example, in my box this past year I had the following items:
- Butterfly wings from our Monarch Butterflies unit
- Clock from our math unit on measurement
- Writer's notebook from our Writing Workshop to discuss that we will be becoming authors
- Piece of animal skin to show the type material used to make clothing worn by American Indians from our social studies unit
- Baseball to represent Jackie Robinson from our famous Americans unit
- Weather vane used during our weather unit
- And much more!
After the box is revealed, I read the book Someday by Eileen Spinelli. I love this book because the main character has all sorts of hopes and dreams for her future but she does things each day to help her reach her future goals. During this book I begin discussing that we all have hopes and dreams for our future just as the girl in the story does.
Then we examine some hopes and dreams by using partnering cards and then student generate a list of possible hopes and dreams for our school year and their future. To conclude this activity students then write and draw about their own hopes and dreams from the pages in this product:
We display our hopes and dreams in the classroom the whole year on our back wall. This past year I cut out pictures of my students and had them glue it between the speech bubbles so that parents could see their own child's hopes and dreams on back to school night! The class loved looking at each others pictures and it also helped them identify students in the classroom since they are still learning each other's names early in the year.
My HOPE is that I gave you some new ideas to start your school year off this fall! I usually complete this activity sometime during the first week of school. My DREAM is that your students will love this activity as much as my past classes have!
You can visit my store to get a copy of this product HERE!
Happy share and prepare!