Responsive Classroom: Kindergarten Hopes and Dreams

By Megan Power on August 27, 2009
  • Grades: 3–5

Goal setting is important no matter what age you are. Goals are something to shoot for and something to keep you focused. So often goal setting is done with older students, when our youngest students are more then capable and can benefit just as much. You just have to simplify. Here is a fun, developmentally appropriate way to start goal setting at the beginning of the year adapted from the Responsive Classroom’s The First Six Weeks written by Paula Denton and Roxann Kriete.

The First Six Weeks shares the ideas of having teachers, parents, and students create “Hopes and Dreams.” These are learning goals for the school year. Many teachers create beautiful bulletin boards to display these goals. Our class turns that same idea into a simple class movie. Here is a sample of our class Photo Story.


Here’s how we did it!


Ask the simple question- What do you want to learn about or get better at this year?


Here are the steps:

This program really walks you through the process so go ahead and give it a try. Your students will LOVE it!

  • Take a picture of each child.
  • Download Microsoft Photo Story.
  • Follow directions to import pictures.
  • Place in the order you would like.
  • Add effects if you would like.
  • Type in student responses.
  • Record the students’ voices or you reading their response.
  • Add in music from their library or your own.
  • Save and share!


If you feel more comfortable with Microsoft PowerPoint you can do a similar project by creating a photo album.

  • Click insert.
  • Click new photo album.
  • Insert your pictures.
  • Add text.
  • Add music and transitions if desired.
  • Save and share!


Children at this age find themselves at the center of their world. They love talking about themselves and drawing themselves in pictures. So, naturally they love seeing themselves in a class movie. This activity is a great way to make the hopes and dreams come to life.


Parent Extension:

At Back to School Night take a picture of the parents and ask them to write their hope and dream for their child. You can add these into the class Photo Story by placing the parent after the child’s hope and dream. The students will love the added piece to the class movie and their hopes and dreams will be memorable to work on them!


I hope you give this idea a try and write back to share your experience. Even if you are a beginner with using technology, this is a great class movie that you can do. If you get stuck or need help please comment and I would love to assist you! We would also love to hear your wonderful ideas with students goal setting throughout the year!

Comments

I love your video here! I'm applying for a grant to buy a few supplies so I can start making movies in my classroom too! :) I also teach Kindergarten. I was wondering if there were any lesson plans that go along with your movies. I hope to hear from you! I can't wait to make our own movies!

This is so exciting to hear! You will be amazed by what the students learn and are able to do even at this young age. In the blog posts called Making Movies with Students I map out some steps I use when making movies. Please click on my picture on Scholastic to see wome of our other movies including our "No, David!" written by David Shannon. If you would like some further details about maing movies please let me know. Keep in touch. I would love to help you as you start your journey of making movies with your kindergarteners! Smiles, Megan

Love this idea. I am a tech specialist and am always looking for ways to incorporate technology into the curriculum!! This is great for the beginning of the year but also think how much it would work for MLK day when we also talk about our hopes and dreams for the world!

That is another great idea! You have a neat job. Have you tried Crazy Talk yet? I have been using it for 2 years and LOVE it. I am sure I will be blogging about it in the future. It is a software that you use to animate and make objects talk. Check out the site and my student's video on the site explaining how to use it. I will be sharing a lot this year on intergrating technology into the curriculum. I would love to hear more from you this year!http://education.reallusion.com/ ( We are the 1st class) Smiles, Megan

Megan, Love the idea of making movies with the kinders and the simple steps it takes! Can't wait to try it! Love your blog!!! Andrea

Andrea, Thanks so much! It is so much fun to create things like with with my students. Let me know if you need any help and I'd love to hear more from you! Smiles, Megan

Thanks so much for sharing your Hopes and Dreams video. Our school has been working with the Northeast Foundation for several years and most of my colleagues have been trained in RCI and RCII. We have worked hard to establish CARES in our school and a school wide goal this year is to concentrate on teacher language. Although I teach 2nd grade, I look forward to visiting your site often.

Melissa, I am glad you stopped by my blog. I taught 2nd grade for 4 years and had a lot of fun. It's a great age group. It sounds like your school is doing some great work. I have also done some work with RCI and teacher language. I find the teaching language is so important for our students. Please stop by often and I am looking forward to hearing about some more of what you and your school is working on! Smiles, Megan

Love the idea! I also love the picture effect that you did. Is the "drawing" look an effect in Photo Story?

Kari, Thanks! I am glad you liked it. My students had so much fun with it. Yes, the drawing look takes just "the click of the mouse" because it is an effect in Photo Story. Hope your beginning of the year is going well! Megan

Really great idea! Love how you give the steps to do this activity! Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer, Thanks for your comment! I am glad that you found this idea helpful. The students love it! I always show this at Back to School Night and the parents adore it as well! Please continue to comment and contribute to our blog! Megan Power

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