Doesn’t the title of this book just sum up what we hope for as teachers for ourselves, as well as our students? That each year will be better than the last? That we’ll all learn more from ourselves, our peers, and even our students?
One of the biggest thing that I hope to instill in my students each year is self-confidence. The following projects touch upon just that:
“Hopes and Dreams” – I purchased This School Year Will Be the Best, by Kay Winters, last year and found that it fits in so fluidly with a project I’ve done for several years now:
Much like the “heart map” that I talked about in my previous post, “Hopes and Dreams” is a lesson passed down to me by many other teachers. This School Year Will Be the Best is a fantastic read aloud about a class on the first day of school. Each page a different student tell what they hope will happen in school this year. Some are silly, some are realistic, but it gets the students ready to express what their hopes are. This year I had the students write their hopes on a kite and decorate a picture to look like themselves to go along with it. The students were all so excited to see their kites and little versions of themselves hanging out in the hallway:
“Our Class is Amazing…” – Another self-confidence booster I love to utilize is “What make us amazing?” I ask the class this question as I read aloud the story Amazing Grace. About a young
girl, the book touches upon being able to do what we put our minds to, even if others tell us we can’t. After the story the students complete an activity where the put their names after the word “Amazing” (like Amazing Jennifer). They include a sentence and a picture to show what makes them amazing:
Some other read alouds that I love to use in the beginning of the school year include:
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont ~ I’m Special, I’m Me by Ann Meek and Sarah Massini
It’s a fantastic feeling to see these first grade students thriving with all of the thoughts they have about what makes them unique and important!!