Thursday, January 2, 2014

Streaks, Goals, Resolutions

Well we have arrived at a new year and there is much talk about New Year's Resolutions.  Many people attempt them, but few succeed.  I, for one, have had many resolutions not make it through.

I just completed Runner's World's Holiday Run Streak.  I ran at least a mile from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day.  I ran in all kinds of weather: rain, sleet, freezing rain, snow, winter weather advisories, sun, dark, and too many sub-zero days.  I ran in the morning, after school and after I tucked my kids into bed.  I had to plan ahead for my runs and for my clothing!  I don't have a treadmill, so besides the 5 times I ran on the indoor track with my 7 year old, the other 30 days were outside in the elements.  I had never ran outside in the winter before, but was intrigued by @newbiechronicle's positive experience with it and had to attempt it.

I began on Thanksgiving and proceeded to grow my support system through Twitter.  I even encouraged another of my favorite PLN members @melwellnitz to give it a go.  It was very rewarding to enter in my runs following the #rwrunstreak hashtag and see what other streakers had encountered running that day.  I liked that I could run as far or as little (1 mile) as I liked everyday.  As long as I had 15 minutes, I could get my run in.  I had to borrow my husband's hunting balaclava and headlight and he had to install screws into my shoes to keep me from sliding on the snowy roads.

At the completion of the streak, I hopped into my rarely used jacuzzi for some well deserved relaxation and reward of completing a goal I had set out to do.

What does this have to do with my students?  As I was ending the end of my streak, I started pondering how this could relate to my struggling readers.  We are shooting for a goal of reading 40 books much like @donalynbooks does with her kids, but am I giving them the support they need to get there?  I think we all need support, guidance, and small steps built into our goal system to succeed.

This leads me to ponder how I could help my students reach their goal.

  • Could I encourage them to start a reading streak of their own? 
  •  Maybe they could read every day and the minimum could be 10 minutes or maybe a chapter?  
  • Could they log their reading in a blog, or google spreadsheet?  
  • Could they tweet about their experiences on our class twitter page @tasslersreaders?
  • What is their reward in the end?  Is it all intrinsic?
I will be discussing my streak with my students and sharing how I think I can help them reach their goals.  I look forward to hearing their response on how we all can help each other succeed.