A couple of weeks ago when school started back in session we kicked off the spring semester. Spring semester in my studio begins in January and goes through mid-May. This was the first year I implemented a spring semester kickoff. I do a fall semester kickoff each year, but around this time last year, I realized that for the same reason students needed a fall kickoff, they also needed a spring kickoff.
WHAT IS A KICKOFF?
In short, kickoff is exactly what you think it might mean. It’s an event that celebrates the beginning of something. For fall kickoff, it was celebrating the beginning of the school year but also what students accomplished over the summer (no matter how big or small) and to introduce what is coming that semester. It is a time to celebrate music and each other.
Spring kickoff has a different focus in mind. Just like the New Year, I wanted to focus on goals and reflection. This is something I have my students do anyway, but I thought what a perfect time to come together as a group and do this with each other!
I began by having my students fill out the New Year Goals and Reflections worksheet. (You can download this for free)
I had them hold off on filling out the whole worksheet at once. I wanted them to fill out the reflection questions first.
After they filled those out, we sat in a circle and did a “hot potato” style game with our reflection “cootie catcher” aka “fortune teller in the middle.
Inside of the cootie catcher was more reflection questions to answer. When the music would stop on a student, that student chose another student to answer the cootie catcher reflection question. And the game would continue as normal.
Once everyone had a chance to answer at least one question we went back to the table to set a new music goal for the spring semester. Hopefully, some of the reflection questions that we went through in the hot potato game helped them reflect on what could be a good goal.
It’s not enough to just write down a goal. It’s important for students to have action items on how they will achieve that goal. So after students figured out their goal and how they were going to achieve it, we sat in a circle, but this time with the goal cootie catcher, which had specific questions in regards to the goal that they had just made. This is another step for them to reflect on that goal and how they were going to accomplish it.
I enjoyed seeing the process students went through when they were reflecting and making their new goals. Our spring semester kickoff was a success and something I will definitely do each year going forward.
Another thing I like students to do when creating goals is to set them up the S.M.A.R.T. way. You can download the S.M.A.R.T. worksheet for free. Interested in the cootie catchers? You can find them here.
Have you watched Music Teacher Tips #1 and #2 yet? It is on goals and reflection! They aren’t long, be sure to watch and then fill out the form to share your tip!