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We say things like "do your personal best" and "make good choices" to our students all the time, but do they really understand what we are expecting of them when we say these things? Do they even know what these words mean? We need to TRAIN our students how to recognize what good choices feel like, sound like, and look like and what it means to do their personal best. This packet is a collection of many fun beginning of the year/after break activities to help your students become more self-aware of the choices they make. These activities will encourage them to put forth their best effort all year long!
In this packet, you will find:
A Letter from Penelope: Students will receive a letter from Penelope. Penelope is having a hard time at school. Her teacher keeps telling her to do her personal best and make good choices, but she has no idea how to do that or what that even means. Penelope writes down her daily schedule in the letter and asks for advice from the class. Brainstorm class definitions of the words “personal best” and “good choices.” As you are reading each part of Penelope’s day, stop and discuss what she is doing. Discuss, as a class, what Penelope could do to make each situation better.
A New Schedule for Penelope: Your class will receive blank schedule cards for each time of the day that Penelope shared about in her letter. Students will work together in pairs, bundles, or as a whole group to come up with solutions to help Penelope make good choices. They will "send" the schedule cards back to Penelope so that she can begin to make changes in her day.
Penelope's Writing Samples: Penelope also sent over some writing samples. Brainstorm a list of things that Penelope could do to ensure her work is completed and done to her best effort. Just a Note: I know that many students come at the beginning of the year not able to write much; however, it is still VITAL to expose and help students recognize what writing that lacks effort looks like! Hang these writing samples in your classroom for students to refer back to all year long! These will act as great models of what NOT to do!
Four Star Effort: As a whole group, you will share different character cards. Students will determine if the characters on each card are putting forth “4 Star Effort” or “Not Quite.” This activity could be completed as a whole group or in small groups (if you are feeling brave). You could even have students act out each scenario. They will think this is hilarious and fun! Hang these cards up all year long. Have students who need a little extra push? Direct them to the chart!
Good Choice or Not? - These cards focus on the BEHAVIORS of different characters. These can be used to discuss what good choices look like, sound like, and feel like. Students could act out these scenarios, as well.
The Best Me I Can Be Booklet: Create a “The Best Me I Can Be” booklet for each student (all materials are included in this packet). Each of the sheets in this booklet reinforce the importance of making good choices and doing your personal best. There is a little contract at the end of the booklet for students to sign.