Have you ever wondered how to help your students begin with the end in mind? Today, we read the second story in 7 Habits for Happy Kids. In the story, Goob the bear decides on some goals he wants to achieve that will take some money. He makes a list of his goals, so he can figure out how much money he needs to raise. He meets up with Jumper the Rabbit, and they decide to start a lemonade stand. They split $20, and Jumper quickly loses his $10. Goob wisely spends his $10 and is able to achieve all of his goals. We discussed ways we could plan ahead. This week I handed my students a take-home project related to volcanoes since we had read Will it Blow? about Mt. St. Helens. We discussed how they could plan ahead to get their projects done by the due date.
We also started our book club books today. Some of my students will be reading My Side of the Mountain and the other half will be reading Island of the Blue Dolphins. Since we are discussing the Native Americans both of these stories really reinforce how people have to adapt to the climate and natural resources in order to survive. These are important foundations for History. My students have calendars in their planners. They met in their book club groups today and planned out with a calendar exactly how many chapters they would read each day. They all had to agree to the amount and write it down on the calendars in their planner. They will have assignments they will complete while reading the book.
I have found this strategy to be much more effective than if I assign how much they have to read. It gives them ownership. When I assigned how much to read each day, some read too far ahead and some never finish the book. Giving them ownership can help your reluctant readers finish a book. You also could apply this same strategy with projects, science far, or even individual choice books. Make your students plan ahead how to finish something by a due date. How do you help your students begin with the end in mind?