5 Teacher Classroom Goals to Break Through Your Stale Routine

These brilliant teacher classroom goals will totally change your year!

Well hello there!  Last week I talked to you a little about your teacher classroom goals when it comes to active learning. This is Pam and my number one priority when it comes to classroom instruction, especially with the littles. We understand it can be challenging and that it will take you outside your comfort zone, but the benefits you reap will be so worth it. To read more about applying this in your classroom CLICK HERE

Now here are some can’t miss teacher classroom goals to reset you and psych you up for the rest of your year!

1. How strategies for active learning lead to powerful results.

If you haven’t discovered this little gem yet, active learning is a super cool way to do things with your students. CLICK HERE to read this lovely little PDF about the basics of active learning. In its simplest form, strategies for active learning involve student participation. Rather than being the person in charge, the teacher takes the role of facilitator. If you’re not sure where to start, try one of these:

Have students role-play

There is no better way for students to explore what they are learning than to have them act it out. Young students especially love this and it is a tremendous addition to your collection of activities for social emotional learning. 

Add a math game 

In this article in Edutopia, Harry O’Malley states,” Game mechanics are useful in teaching math because they heighten emotion, engagement, and attention at each phase.” When your students go into shutdown mode, games are what activate them! 

CLICK HERE to boost student confidence, encourage deeper learning, and provide more reliable results.


These games are spiral math review games that will help keep their math skills sharp. There is a printable game and a digital Boom deck in this blended approach. 

This is such a fun and simple way to shake things up in your classroom. There are 3 key reasons learning with math games will motivate your students differently. CLICK HERE to read why math games are the key to your students’ success.

You can begin with our FREE 5 Day Scoot Challenge! Inside this challenge, you get a FREE Scoot to try, along with 5 days worth of activities to do with one resource. Ready to check it out?

CLICK HERE for all the value you can possibly get out of a single resource!

Add music in the classroom

Why is music in the classroom so important? This Johns Hopkins study summarizes it for us. CLICK HERE to read the study. It tells us that…

Music helps us learn because it will– establish a positive learning state, create a desired atmosphere, build a sense of anticipation, energize learning activities, and countless other benefits.

Imagine taking a cluster of important vocabulary words from one of your units. You create a song or poem using those words and use it every day of your unit. Remember that music doesn’t have to be melody that is sung. While the research states that melody builds stronger connections, chants are also very valuable. The most important part is to engage your students in the musical process.

Each day, highlight a different vocabulary word. Talk about what it means, different phonics features, and how it relates to other words in the song. Your students will have a richer understanding not just of the vocabulary, but of the subject itself! 

Try this word cluster to get you started for the New Year: CALENDAR, ENCOURAGE, BEST. QUALITY, HABITS, RESOLUTIONS

Want the vocabulary done for you with resources to match? CLICK HERE to see our Reading Comprehension Bundles!

Try some movement

Kinesthetic and tactile learners really suffer when material is only taught through sight and sound, ie: the teacher teaches or the student reads. 

This fabulous article from Educational Innovation 360 mentions three awesome strategies for active learning when you are presenting your lesson content. 

  • Whole Brain Teaching. There are 7 main components that involve student participation, students teaching one another, and learning through movement. 
  • Total Physical Response. This is my absolute favorite. It uses a number of the kinesthetic features of Whole Brain teaching and aligns directly with well-researched approaches for vocabulary instruction.
  • Mnemonic Devices. These are simple connections the brain makes in order to process and retain information. 

Want more on active learning? CLICK HERE to read the post!

2.Get breakthrough solutions when students set goals in the classroom

Just pause and have a brainstorming session or Q&A forum with your students.  Think about a subject they’re not fully understanding.  Tell them you’re going to talk about it and see what questions they have.  I advise sitting in a circle for this as it will make for a more familiar, open, and comfortable platform.

Pass the mascot

If you have a class mascot, like we have with Quentin the Quality Penguin, you can pass it around and they can take turns asking questions or explaining why they don’t understand.  You may even find that one of your academically stronger students has an answer you haven’t thought of.

Ask their opinion

See how your students might like to add interest to the day.  You can start the morning by telling them they are in charge for the day and they will be like the teacher.  See what is feasible given your schedule and try to incorporate as many ideas as possible.

Student teachers

Have a student or group of students come up with a short project surrounding a subject you have been studying. They can present it to the class as a review before a test. BONUS! You can assess their knowledge as they teach the class. Google slides and other tech makes this beyond simple. Have them create a single slide, then talk about it.

3.  Transform your classroom with these transition strategies for active learning

Would You Rather?

Have your students answer a question like “would you rather have Summer all year or Winter all year?” Have them take it a little deeper by having them explain their answer. You can add a journal entry, comic book strip, or drawing to give them writing enrichment.(Idea from Teacher Karma)

What Am I?

Vocabulary: Students take a word from your word wall or a stack of vocabulary cards. Have the student speak as though they are the word. 

Here is an example from Teacher Karma:  I am something you do when you need to drop something off.  A mailman also does this too.  The word is deliver.

Math:  Students will come up with a number.  Give them boundaries to limit the amount of options so that their guesses aren’t way off the mark! 

Example from Teacher Karma:  I am a number between 17 and 44.  I am an even number.  I am less than 33.  I am 8 plus 10.  The number is 18.

Think Time

This is awesome because you can utilize it at any time during the day. Pam came up with it after the break was over and the kids were just being so loud. She said “ok, it’s think time.” This means the students have to quietly think about whatever subject she chooses. Her kiddos read their Daily Concept Builders™ books, look for the word of the day, and try to figure out the meaning on their own.

This is something you can do easily with your own reading books.  Simply copy the pages and have your kiddos highlight or circle the vocabulary words.  If you want something that’s reusable, laminate the copies and use dry/wet erase markers.

Another way to fill “think time” would be to present students with a hypothetical challenge or a difficult math problem.  Put a piece of a blown up image on the board and see if someone can guess what it is.  There are a ton of options.  The only 2 rules:

  1. Students have to be silent
  2. Think time is only about 10 minutes(otherwise they get squirrely).

CLICK HERE to read all 7 transitions!

4. Strategies for independent learning start with a purpose

Have you ever stopped in the middle of your routine after some time and just thought, “why is it that I do this?”  It is so easy to do this with routines because our brain becomes familiar and disengages.  It’s almost like muscle memory takes over or like we’re operating through our subconscious.  

There have been some days where I have gotten through the day and couldn’t tell you much of anything that happened.  Sound familiar?  STOP.  Think about what you do and why.  Keep the practices that bring value to your day and your students’ day.  Throw out the fluff, and replace it with something more meaningful or effective.

Here are some ideas:

  • Replace math drills with fun games.
  • Replace teacher talk with student talk.
  • Replace one-dimensional worksheets with interactive activities.

Here is where I will insert a teeny bit about our philosophy on worksheets. Worksheets can be very valuable for learning, time-saving, and having a hard copy for assessment. We think worksheets are great when used the right way. Instead of a fill in the blank, tracing, coloring type of sheet, consider a cut and paste, or something that encourages students to produce. It can be a writing prompt, drawing opportunity, etc. Our no prep vocabulary worksheets have a number of these elements and many teachers have found great success with them.

We found these amazing starter worksheets from Kindergarten and Clips for your emergent learners.

CLICK HERE for more out of your worksheets!

Need something for older students or more advanced learners?

CLICK HERE for our no prep worksheets that encourage deeper learning with content area vocabulary.

5. Ask another teacher about setting classroom goals

You know that teacher that seems to “have it all together?”  Their kids are perfect, their room is perfect, and they never seem to break a sweat.  You can’t stand this teacher because you can’t imagine how they just understand everything.  They can do everything and never seem to have issues.  As challenging as it might be, this is the perfect person to ask for advice.

Something they are doing works in the classroom.  You hate it, but it’s true.  Here’s the value to asking this loathsome person for advice:

  • It will go a long way toward quelling any bitterness you have inside, and it will be great for that teacher’s confidence.  You may even develop a quality friendship.
  • That person may be struggling with something you can help with.  You never know until you ask.
  • Reaching out and being more vulnerable helps you become more approachable, thus welcoming new relationships and making people more likely to reach out to you.  We all have the same goal regardless.  We want the kids to learn.

So there you have it! 5 slam-dunk goals to make sure your new year totally kicks butt. Have more suggestions? LOVE it! Share in the comments below or join our Sing, Play, Engage Facebook group and be a part of the conversation.

Tune in next week for why certain goals in the classroom may prevent student success.

Have an amazing week my friend, and keep taking steps toward your goals!

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