New Years Goal Setting and Re-establishing Classroom Routines

Helping students get back into the school routine after a holiday break can be challenging. Check out these great ideas for goal setting and re-establishing your classroom routine from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

New Years Goal Setting and Classroom Routines: The new year has officially begun, and we had an excellent discussion on our Tuesday night #2ndaryELA chat about helping students with setting realistic goals and on how to re-establish classroom expectations and routines. I have curated the best ideas below in a Storify.  Please leave any ideas or resources about this topic in the comments below.

Q1: How do you re-establish classroom expectations after the holiday break?
  • The first day back- we go right back into work mode. Routine is everything. Luckily that did the trick this year. 🙂
  • I do procedure teaching again – reinforce bell ringer behavior, getting supplies, etc. Sometimes give a procedure “pop quiz”
  • Play a quick Kahoot game with questions related to PBIS expectations: behavior, materials, lockers, etc.
  • We wrote a reflective journal and then got right back to our regular routine. It worked!
  • Sometimes we Kahoot the class rules, other times we do a team building activity. I’m more concerned with class culture, to be honest
  • Routine is definitely key. I work with small groups and we get right back into learning
  • Definitely do all the normal routines. Ask students what we do next. Access prior knowledge. Rebuild engagement
  • New classes, so class procedures, first-day stuff
  • In 7/8 science I gave a few mins at beginning of class to share with me before jumping back into a routine. Use question of the day to kick it off


Q2: What do you students struggle with the most after being away from school? How do you support them? 
  • Students seem to struggle with chattiness. (They might not have seen their friends over break.) 5 minutes of free talk
  • Many of my students live in Mexico, so getting them back to English is tough. #ConsistencyIsKey Nonverbal activities help too
  • My students seem to struggle with sleep!
  • I just try to keep things as lively as possible!
  • Morning classes are sooooo sleepy!
  • They really want to be apathetic. They test my resolve. Test the boundaries. They struggle w/ caring
  • Students can’t stop chatting or struggle with staying on track. We do short spurts moving activities first weeks back to re-engage
  • Students often struggle with remembering materials. Today, I gave students two sharpened pencils to use for the rest of their classes
  • Some of my students forgot to bring their school supplies back from home. I always have extras


Q3: What types of goals do you encourage students to set for the new year? 
  • We teach them good vs weak goals & set 9 different categories of goals. Here’s the free activity > 
  • Goal Categories = Family, School, Work, Health, Spiritual, Play, Friends, Giving, Attitude
  • We do SMART goals at the beginning of the year & revisit/revise in January
  • Set goals for the weekly assessments that they take with me. (RTI is a lot of progress monitoring)
  • We set reading level goals with NewsELA! Though this is the start of the semester more than the new year
  • Getting buy-in from students has been hard but they finally believe I’m trying to create a place where everyone wins!
  • We talked about a Stop, Start, Continue goal setting. I can never keep up official resolutions so I am trying this kind
  • What are you going to STOP doing because it does not benefit you?
  • What are you going to START doing because you NEED to?
  • What are you doing well at? What will you CONTINUE?
  • I try to get them to set goals that they can specifically achieve: “Check my grades once a week to get make-up work”
  • The big goal we talked about was respecting ourselves with the type of work turned in and our overall education
  • It depends on the grade level. Often what personal improvements – speaker/ writer
  • Students set goals of reading a certain amount of books, turning HW in on time, & not being absent/tardy from school
  • A goal for reading, writing, and speaking. Ex. reading goal would be page number for silent sustained reading, and W-ing a specific skill (intros)
  • Every week my #AVID students set three goals they can complete and write a reflection on Friday – what was challenging about them 


Q4: What goal-setting activities do you do with your students? 
  • For me – we are evaluating and looking at the work they turn in now. We make goals to push for even better quality next time.
  • Set SMART goals in each area – Ex: how exactly will they get to 250 pages in the quarter?
  • We do logs and journals. Dream flags are about dreams more than goals, but the visualizing helps and is fun!
  • Good goals = specific, measurable, & time-sensitive. They should know exactly when/if they accomplished it
  • We discuss how to divide big goals into believable chunks. We do more when we can see progress & believe we can do it
  • I’m quirky and like puns so we “toast” the new year with putting our specific goals on pieces of paper “toast”
  • I have charts hung that measure their progress and when they reach goal, rewards like lunch w/me, dance party w/friends
  • I am also trying a “Super Improvers Wall” to show progress towards our standards
  • I want them to “be here, now” focus on what is in front of them and not speed to a finish
  • It’s hard to follow the SMART rules but if you can get students to do it, they have better goals


Q5: Share some goal setting or classroom management resources that you find helpful.

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