We teachers often complain that we just don't have enough time to do anything extra in class because we have so much content material to cover. Unfortunately, this is true. Most teachers already feel the pressure that comes with trying to cover enormous amounts of curriculum material without trying to add self-image improvements to it.
However, when students feel competent and confident, they tackle the work with so much more enthusiasm and motivation that minutes of valuable class time are not lost each day. The few minutes that you spend on little motivational project such as this one will reward you in improved class efficiency and better performance from you students.
Additionally, too often we focus on the weakesses our students have. This will allow them (and you) to focus on your students' strengths.
This little exercise should only take a few minutes to complete at the start of class or even at the end of class in preparation for the next day. You can adjust it to meet the particular needs of your students or even of your curriculum. For example, if you are planning an independent reading project, the four corner adjectives could be ones that relate to your students' strengths are readers or independent workers.
Here is how to do this quick exercise that can lead to very positive results:
1: Have students fold a sheet of paper so that it makes a tent that can stand alone. While the size of the tent can be as large as you would like, a piece of notebook sized paper works well.
Step 2: Ask students to write their first name in big, bold letters on the front so that everyone standing near their desks can see what they have written.
Step 3: Ask students to choose one word that describes them from each column below. They are to write each word in a corner on the same side as their name.
Step 4: On the back--the side facing the student-creator--ask students to write one very important goal that
they have for the class. This constant reminder will serve to help them stay on task.
Column 1: dependable forgiving compassionate curious self-controlled
Column 2: flexible humorous resourceful enthusiastic organized
Column 3: positive honorable dedicated friendly courteous
Column 4: tolerant sympathetic confident sensible cooperative