A new year is a great time to create goals for yourself and your students. Finding attainable goals that don’t get forgotten by February can be a challenge. Here are 20 ideas and inspirations that can be used throughout the year to help you and your class achieve your 2020 goals.
Although this one is on everyone’s list every year, being organized helps you be more efficient and reduce stress. A new year provides a great opportunity to organize your classroom in a more effective way. Organize forms, printouts, or student files for easy access in a file organizer and store classroom library books and teaching materials in storage and organization bins. Through organization, you will be gifting yourself more time in the future—and that’s a goal every teacher can appreciate for 2020.
New Year, New Expectations
It’s a new year and expectations are naturally evolving for everyone. Create new classroom resolutions with your students. Engage your class by having them brainstorm ideas, discuss the suggestions, and finalize the classroom expectations for the new year. Write and hang the classroom resolutions in class. Don’t just keep them hanging. Review the resolutions throughout the year to see how the class is accomplishing the goals it set.
Make an Honest Assessment
Half the year has finished, and half the year is left. Now is the perfect time to assess what has been working and what has not. Create a plan that incorporates the effective tools you’ve used and create new plans to tackle areas that have not worked as well. Teacher Resources is a great tool to support your teaching and help you meet your goals.
Teachers know better than anyone that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Refresh and renew your skills with a wide range of professional resources written by expert educators that will not only help you sharpen your teaching toolkit but show you how to drive student achievement. You can also sign up for our Teacher Newsletter to receive teaching ideas and classroom activities right to your inbox.
Bring FUN to Fundamentals
Learning is meant to be fun! Incorporate games that can inspire students while they study the fundamentals. Book BINGO is a great game that can encourage your students to read more. Give students a BINGO card with spaces containing different subjects and genres of books (e.g. mystery, historical, graphic novel, fiction, etc.) filled in. Leave a few blank spaces where students can add authors’ names or book titles of their choosing. When a student finishes a book, they mark the space on the BINGO card. Once a student gets BINGO, they can be rewarded with a new book or a classroom privilege.
Collaboration is key in the classroom. Every teacher needs another for help, as a lunch buddy, as an ear to listen to, or as a resource to get new ideas. What better way to start 2020 than by dedicating to help a fellow teacher? If you’ve been teaching a while, become a mentor to a newer teacher. If you’re newer to the profession, seek out a mentor. Grab lunch or coffee together at least once a month and discuss any hurdles that you may need help clearing or strategies that worked well. Having a fellow teacher support network will work wonders for both mentor and mentee.
Inspire a Love of Reading
Create a Mystery Book Box filled with read-aloud titles. A book is blindly selected from the box and then shared with the students. The Mystery Box only appears a couple of times a year which helps to preserve its charm with students. The 39 Read Aloud Favorites Book List has awesome titles to start any Mystery Book Box. Discover more ways to create a culture of literacy in your classroom.
More Interactive Lessons
Studies have consistently shown that students learn more through active learning rather than traditional lectures. Scholastic Classroom Magazines engages students with powerful articles, timely topics that interest them the most, and one-of-a-kind stories that capture their attention. Interactive reading tools, videos, infographics, maps, and more will support and enhance their reading experience. By subscribing to Scholastic Classroom Magazines, your students get a years’ worth of print issue and access to our digital platform, inspiring them to read independently and continue learning beyond the classroom.
Refresh Your Classroom Library
Review your classroom library. What books have been loved a little too much and may need a refreshed copy? What books have not been touched? What nonfiction subjects are students clamoring for? What reference resources do they need to help complete their educational goals? By refreshing your library, you can introduce students to new authors and new topics helping instill a positive attitude towards reading. Discover more ways to improve the way your library works with these fundamental elements.
Social Media Resourcefulness
Social media is a great resource for finding teaching ideas and inspiration. By following teachers, organizations, and companies that support educators, you’ll find a lot of professional development tools and useful ideas from your fellow education community. Scholastic Teacher’s Facebook and Pinterest pages are great resources to connect to for information and inspiration.
What teacher doesn’t want to save time in 2020? A Scholastic Teachables subscription is a great tool that can save you lots of time. With fun ready-to-go lessons, packs, and other time-saving materials, you can easily engage students in every grade and subject and at any skill level. There are more than 25,000 teacher-approved printables, differentiated collections, mini books, and skill sheets to choose from all year long. Sign up today and get Scholastic Teachables FREE for 30 days!
Have a check-in with students for a few minutes once a month and get some honest feedback. Students can fill out a feedback form. How are they feeling? What did they enjoy learning about this month? What would they like a future lesson to feature? By getting consistent feedback you can help improve both you and your students’ performance.
Decorate and Educate
As humans, we’re visual learners and that’s especially true for children. Add fun decorations to your classroom that also inspires education in your students. Decorating your classroom door encourages learning from the moment your students enter your classroom. When under a time crunch or not in an especially crafty mood, there are lots of classroom décor options that brighten up a room while providing a learning experience for your students.
Make Time for Mindfulness
Self-care is key, especially after a holiday break when the second half of the school year takes off. Re-energize yourself by taking a few minutes each day to focus on yourself. Take a walk, concentrate on your breathing, sit down to eat lunch, or meditate. Taking a few minutes to do what’s best for you will help you be your best for others.
Be the “I” in Kind
Model the kindness and compassion you’d like to see in your class. By showing a caring classroom, you can help create a caring classroom. The inspiring How Full is Your Bucket? is one that students will review over and over again throughout the year. While the story focuses on an invisible bucket, you can create a classroom bucket that you fill with your students’ acts of kindness throughout the year.
Go Ahead, Move It
Take a break and get your class up and moving! Letting the energy out can help your class (and you) stay more focused for the rest of day. So, get up and jump, stomp, clap, or bounce. Get the wiggles out of your class with these entertaining read-alouds.
Mix Up Your Routine
Sometimes you need to mix things up to create excitement for you and your students. What better way to get students excited about a topic than by watching a video about it? Scholastic’s Watch & Learn Library gives you instant access to more than 200 nonfiction videos for grades PreK–3 with real-world footage on engaging science, social studies, SEL, and ELA subjects that help you launch new lessons and meaningful discussions.
Level Up Your Readers
Guided leveling charts are a great tool for finding and organizing your classroom library books. They can also help create leveled book lists tailored to your students’ needs, setting them on the path to reading success. Discover everything you need to know and how to effectively use guided reading leveling charts here. If your library isn’t leveled already, using Book Wizard can save you lots of time—and help fill any gaps in your classroom library with expert recommendations.
Build Math Skills
Math skills for students can vary drastically. Setting up math stations can help add structure while creating small groups of similarly skilled students helps readiness. Scholastic MATH and DynaMath provide more fun ways to build problem-solving skills through engaging topics and real-world math and you can try them FREE for 30 days.
Achieving goals for your students and yourself is hard work. Whether it’s an afternoon coffee or tea, a yummy snack, or listening to your favorite songs or podcasts, take time out of each day to treat yourself. You’ve earned it.