When I was a student, often the last week of school was spent watching videos and goofing around. My peers and I loved every minute of it, but looking back, it’s easy to see that this was not a productive use of our time.
To keep students motivated and self-reflective, I like to have them complete goal-setting worksheets throughout the year—but you can certainly implement them at any point in the semester, even if you only have a few weeks left of school.
This activity comes from Larry Ferlazzo, but over the years, I’ve made a few tweaks to the original lesson. Here’s what I do:
Start by having students read an excerpt from Michael Jordan’s book, I Can’t Accept Not Trying. After students finish reading, ask them to pair up with another student and write a one-sentence summary of the information.
Next, students get together with another pair of students to compare their summaries and work together to develop the best one-sentence thesis/summary they possibly can. Once groups finish, I like to have each group write their sentence on the white board. Then, as a class, we review the strengths and weaknesses of each summary and work together as a class to create the most accurate and concise one-sentence summary that we can.
After completing the worksheet, give students the opportunity to share their goals with their partner. Following this, I collect the worksheets, make copies and return their sheets to them the following day. Until the end of the year, we will review student progress each week.