A New Year's REVolution

My students and I came up with New Year's REVolutions to celebrate the start of 2012.  We started by going through this Prezi I made titled Resolution vs. Revolution.

Most of my 4th graders had heard of resolutions.  They had seen their parents try to lose weight or quit smoking.  If parents only knew half of the things their children say about them at school...  We dicussed how a revolution is different.  It's not just a solution to a problem.  A revolution is a fundamental change in thinking.

We began listing problems, issues, or unsatisfactory things in our lives.  One of these would turn into our goal.  For example, one irritation I have is that I read too many books concurrently.  I get started, but rarely finish.  I'm emabarrased to say, but I rounded up all the books I started, but didn't finish in 2011.  It was close to 30.  Whoops.  My goal is to only read one book at time.

The revolution comes in my change of thinking about this problem.  I'm not just going to solve this problem (resolution), I'm going to change my thinking about it.  This happens by outlining a few process steps.

Next, my classes and I wrote three action steps that we could take to make sure this goal was reached.  These steps are critical.  I told them each step needed to be do-able and start with a verb.  Here are my three:

1. Commit to only reading one book at a time
I promised myself I would keep this up.  I actually modified it a bit to include two books- one novel and one non-fiction.  I figured those are different enough.

2. Make a list of books to read later
This will keep me from panicking that I'll forget a title I want to get.  I'm going to keep this as an Amazon wish list so I can get to it easily from my phone while I'm out.

3.  Write a review on Goodreads when I finish a book
This is a little treat for completing something.  I only get to write a review on my Goodreads page when I finish a book.

So far, so good.  My current novel (that I started in October, by the way. Yikes.) is Catching Fire, and my current non-fiction is Notebook Know-How.

Be sure to check out all my students' revolutions on The Bloggers' Guild.  Wish us well!