It is winter break, and it’s usually a good time for teachers to recharge, organize, and prepare for the new year. It’s also a good time to remind your students of classroom and behavior expectations.
For many teachers, a main challenge can be student behavior and self motivation. The new year brings a new opportunity to help students be more successful in those areas. Thinking about what I want my students to accomplish made me realize that I needed to incorporate some more structured and self driven routines. I have come up with different strategies to help certain students gain accountability for their actions-academically, behaviorally, emotionally, and socially.
I had used behavior contracts in the past, but I was thinking about doing something that was more specific and centered around the student-their goal, their reward, their reflection. I came up with a Daily Goals Student Contract.
Students need to do 4 simple things.
1. Create a goal daily.
This goal can be a social, emotional, behavioral, or academic goal. I have students start with one goal, but if students feel up to it they can make 1 to 3 goals for the day. I always make sure students make attainable goals.
2. Choose an incentive.
Students can choose an appropriate incentive they will earn if they meet their goal. It our classroom it is a prize box card, extra brag tags, treasure box prize, treasure box raffle ticket, lunch with the teacher, special helper, etc. I let the student choose their incentive so they have more buy in and know just what they’re working towards for the day.
3. Sign the contract.
Students need to sign their name each day under their daily goal. I explain that their signature is an indication that they are promising to work towards their goal for the day. Their signature is a promise to not give up and to try their best.
At the end of the day, students reflect on their goal. They determine whether they were successful in attaining the goal, or if they need more time in meeting their goal. If students did not meet their goal, it’s okay! I have a special check box that lets the student know that they’re still working towards success. I help the student reflect by giving them some sentence frames to help guide their thinking. There is a daily reflection, and then a weekly reflection on Fridays.
One final thing I do with my students is keep a daily goal paper on their desk. It’s taped down by their name tag. I used packaging tape so we can use a dry erase marker to write their goal daily. This is a good reminder for students throughout the day.
Although this takes some time for the teacher, it is well worth the effort. It helps students become more aware of the actions their choosing. It also helps students gain self awareness and accountability. It is a consistent reminder that they are in control of the outcome of their day.
Find my Daily Student Contract in my shop.