One of my favorite activities to do during the beginning of the school year is to write our hopes and dreams for kindergarten. It’s so much fun to see what my students want to learn in kindergarten. I also love that we use this as a way to connect with our families. We involve our families in our goal writing for kindergarten. This is such a huge hit with the families each year. This year, many families wrote sweet notes thanking me for taking the time to ask and involve them in this great activity!
We kick off our hopes and dreams by reading the book Big Plans!
I love love love this book. It’s a must-have for every classroom. Unfortunately, the book is no longer in print BUT no worries! Mr. Greg has you covered! There is a YouTube video of Mr. Greg reading the book!!! Check it out!
Another great book for this lesson is There’s No Dream Too Tall by Amie Dean!
And if you look closely at the first page of the book, you’ll see a familiar teacher!
After we read the book we talk about how we have BIG PLANS for kindergarten. I share my big plans for us to become readers and writers and mathematicians and scientists and friends. Then we brainstorm all our hopes and dreams (big plans) for kindergarten.
The students share all the things they want to learn in kindergarten. As they share, I record their answers on our circle map.
As they share, I write down everything they hope to learn. It’s important to remember not to censor their dreams. If a student shares a hope and dream, it’s their goal for kindergarten and we honor that (even if we know it won’t happen!) One thing I’ve learned from doing our hopes and dreams is that you never know when their hopes and dreams might spur a fun new lesson or unit! TRUE STORY! I use the hopes and dreams of my students to plan the year. Look for ways to incorporate their desires into your lessons! For example this year we want to build a rocket! Guess what? We build rockets with Alka Seltzer and film canisters!
We turn 1 hope or goal into a sentence using a predictable chart.
As we are working on these activities in class, I send home a note to the families asking them to share their hopes and dreams for their child in kindergarten.
(click the letter for your freebie)
Display Your Hopes And Dreams
Then we take the hopes and dreams of the students and their families and create a puzzle that displays all of our hopes and dreams for kindergarten!
I LOVE how our display turns out each year! It’s so bright and colorful just like our class! The puzzle speaks volumes to the fact that there are many pieces that make our class successful and we need every piece to work!
Now, what happens to students whose parents don’t send back their hopes and dreams papers? Simple. Mr. Greg writes his hopes and dreams for that child. That means every child has their hopes and dreams and they have a grownup sharing hopes and dreams for the year!
Reading the hopes and dreams of the families can be an eye-opening, tug-at-your-heartstrings experience. I’ve found that my perception of my students changes when I read these hopes and dreams. It really does inspire me to work harder and be the best teacher I can possibly be!
I love this project so much! It makes that connection between school and home concrete and visible. We leave the display up all year and at the end of the year we talk about our hopes and dreams and whether we achieved those this year!
For more information for the beginning of the school year, check out these posts: