Ask your student his/her "resolutions" for the new school year! This fun activity can be done with an individual student as an O&M or VI lesson or with the class.
Discuss what your student did to prepare for the first day of school. Ideas might include shopping for school supplies, clothes, shoes, lunchbox, backpack, etc. Other ideas might be packing a lunch, deciding what to put in your backpack, and making plans for after school care, pick up, or bus ride home.
Discuss what you (the teacher) did to prepare for the first day of school. Discuss how the start of a school year is new and exciting – with new things to explore and exciting opportunities. If desired, relate to New Year's (the start of a new year) and New Year's Resolutions or plans on how to be the best you can be.
Take your student for a walk outside to find acorns (or provide acorns in the classroom). Ask your student to find the cap of the acorn and explain that you want the student to wear his/her “thinking cap” just like the acorn. Ask your student to share some ways that he/she wants to explore, learn and/or grow this year. If this is an O&M lesson, focus on O&M-related goals, such as learning the playground, independent routes in his/her neighborhood, exploring a new store, learning to use a GPS-type app or being a fearless (confident) traveler. If this is a lesson with a TVI, the goals could be tech-related such as learning a new device, independently using a specific app, or being able to problem-solve. For the classroom teacher, the goals might be more general such as making new friends, reading, or being ready to learn.
Depending on your student’s level, ask your student to record his/her answers using an app such as Audio Memos, use dictation in a word-type app, or simply typing his/her goals. The goals can be clearly written out or simply listed as bullet points.
If desired or if done as a class, the student can print/emboss his/her goals and add them to construction paper cut out in the shape of an acorn. (Or, take brown paper bags, cut into an acorn shape, and crumple the bags to provide an interesting texture!
Turn these acorn goals into a bulletin board titled, “We’re Nuts about ___ !” (Fill the blank in with – “O&M”, “Tech”, “3rdGrade”, “Learning”, etc.
This is a great activity to do before Back-To-School Night when parents visit the classroom!
Later in the year, review the goals with the student. Has the student met his/her goals? If not, make a plan to accomplish these goals.