Start with Hopes and Shoot for Dreams

One of the practices at Chadwick International I have really fallen in love with is talking with the students about their Hopes and Dreams for the year. This is usually done at the beginning of the year to get to know the students and to hear what they are wanting to achieve in a specific grade level. 

I understand the idea of wanting to play various instruments better or starting to play an instrument. These are usually tough to help support because of a lack of specific instruments, for example, violin or piano. There has to be some parent support to purchase new instruments. So this year I thought about how I could make this really important start to a new year even more meaningful and genuine by also relaying back to these dreams at the end of the year? 

I have fallen in love with graphs and charts lately, and I was just browsing the Internet and I saw this graph below. Add a few bitmojis for a little humor and BAM! I was on a roll.

I struggled with getting students to see the connection between how we were all connected to their success and how we all support their learning. This very simple graph allowed students to visually see that all of us can support their hope and dream for music. 

One thing about distance learning I have found to be extremely helpful is some students have a parent at home. This allows students to immediately discuss their work and ideas and how a parent might be able to support their learning. This allows for all stakeholders to immediately be involved in students learning as well as the construction of realistic and personal hopes and dreams for the year. This was really helpful for some friends and for the friends whose parents were not home. It gave students some time to really think about what they would want to ask their parents for help on.

Below are three examples that I thought really showed a level of deep thinking and understanding of one’s need to be successful. 

Hopes and Dreams for 3rd Grade

This student wanted to improve their xylophone technique and gave each stakeholder a task that they needed for her to be successful. 

This student wanted to improve their cello playing and what they believed would help them was listening to strong examples and attending events to hear melodies. 

One student simply wanted to improve their ability to play music with a steady beat and get feedback from parents.

I was extremely excited to see how engaged and thoughtful the students were in this type of activity. Getting all stakeholders involved in how best to support learning and how students can best grow. I can’t wait to go back to these at the end of the year and reflect on how well we’ve made our hope and dream a reality.

What other beginning of the year activities do you do with your students? Are there any that really just blow you away? Please share below! 

If you’d like to use this template, you can find it here in Seesaw. Please tweet it out and tag me at @leviallison_42 and let me know what you think. 

Continue sharing your learning! 



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