This is one of my favorite lessons to do with my 6th graders at the beginning of the year. I have done it with middle school age children, high school students, small groups, and faculty at each of my schools- you really can't go wrong.
As students/teachers enter the room as I ask them to find a post card with a picture on it that describes how they feel about starting the new school year. I use clip art and random pictures I find and them print them on card stock- simply and free.
After students/teachers find a picture/post card they meet in small groups for 5-10 minutes and discuss why they choose their post card. Here are some pictures I found on Pinterest that I think I will include on my postcards this year and some examples of what a student might say (I feel all of these starting the new year!)
I think I took too much on!
Eh I am not so sure about this.......
OMG......talk about jumping into the deep end.
Let's make memories!
I might have a case of senior-itis.
I feel lost in a crowd. I am worried about the hallways being crowded and finding my way through the struggle.
This year is going to be the best year ever.
After each student shares in their small groups we ask for volunteers to share with the entire group. I like having them practice in small groups first, because it gives some the courage to speak in front of the entire class.
Next, they flip their postcard over and on the left side write down 5 goals they have for the school year- academic, personal/social, or career goals. They spend 5-10 minutes working individually on their goals. On the right they fill out the postcard with their home address. After this they again share in their small groups and then as a large group. It is a great way to share that not only are many of them feeling the same way, but also many have the same goals and can help each other reach those goals.
Last, at Christmas break or mid way through the year I mail the cards to
the students. I write little notes on them like "How are you doing
reaching your goal? What can you change to reach your goal?" or "Keep it
up and you will reach any goal you set for yourself." They are cheap to mail and worst case scenario you can leave them on their desks as a morning surprise.
So, share with us....find a picture and share you are feeling about this school year!