Happy 2015! We hope you are all enjoying a relaxing holiday break before jumping into a great new year of teaching and learning.
One of our family traditions is to spend January 1st brainstorming predictions for the new year. What will happen in our family? What will happen in the world? How might we grow and change? Who might we meet? What things could become our new favorites? Making predictions is also an important reading strategy teachers use to build reading comprehension and enjoyment. Predicting is much more than just figuring out what happens next in the plot. It involves using the evidence we already have to ask new questions, recall important facts, form hunches, infer, and draw conclusions. Making predictions builds our investment in the story we are about to jump into, just as it encourages us to be invested in the adventures of a new year. Consider kicking off this new year in your classroom drawing each student back into your classroom community by making predictions about 2015. What objectives might be important in the coming months based on what they have already learned? What service projects might the class participate in? What books might they read? What field trips might be planned? What changes might be on the horizon for the classroom or school community? Follow up this group activity with some personal reflection, predicting, and perhaps goal setting. There are many New Year's prediction recording sheets to be found on Pinterest to enhance this activity. My favorite example is from Michelle and Karen at Layers of Learning. (Click through to their site to download the printable version of their graphic below).
Let's kick off 2015 with the "I JUST CAN'T WAIT to see what is going to happen next" feeling!