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August 27, 2009 Responsive Classroom: Kindergarten Hopes and Dreams By Megan Power
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!


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Susan Cheyney