The school year is nearly over. Take a look across your classroom. Do you see students’ Leadership Notebooks®? What’s going to happen to them when the school doors close for the summer? If you already have a system that empowers students and keeps Leadership Notebooks alive over the summer, great! If you don’t and you find yourself lost about where to go next, try some…or all!…of these ideas for tapping into students for the answers.
Create a “Highlights” Page
What if Leadership Notebooks moved up with students? When students advance to a new class and new experiences, their Leadership Notebook can help them start off by reflecting upon and reviewing all that they accomplished the year before. Sharing a “highlights” page, created before school is out, is a great way to begin the next year with their new teacher, Accountability Partner(s), and classmates.
In the last few days of school, invite students to write a letter to themselves to be opened on the first day of the new school year. They could include plans for the break, reflections on the current school year, and hopes for the next year. This letter forms the basis of the highlights page. Ask students, “How do you want to remember the current school year? What do you want to celebrate? What do you hope to improve next year? What will you include on your highlights page?”
Celebrate the Top Five Leadership Moments.
What if we all selected our top five “Leadership Notebook moments” and added them to the Celebrations section? Everything else can go home at the end of the year, and those top five moments become a way for students to introduce themselves to next year’s teachers—and then become the beginning of next year’s Leadership Notebook.
Invite students to deepen their learning and leadership by reflecting on why they chose those top five “leadership moments” and what they represent. Students could write letters to next year’s teachers or their families, talking about the choices they made for what stays in the Leadership Notebook and what goes home. This option is pretty powerful for growing student voice and showing what’s most important to individual students.
Feeling Bold? Try This…
What if the class developed a bucket list with Leadership Notebook activities to carry them through the break? Yup. Students would take their Leadership Notebooks home and use them to keep the learning going all summer!
Tasks might include journaling in the My Self section, tracking a personal goal in the My WIGs section, or keeping a reading journal in the My Learning section. Ask students how they want to keep their Leadership Notebooks alive even when they’re not in school. This is a great synergy-session opportunity!
Leadership Notebooks are a tool for student empowerment—even when school is out! What’s your approach to tapping into student voices when it comes to Leadership Notebooks at the end of the school year?
Watch this video to learn more about Leadership Notebooks:
Refresh your knowledge in this Leadership Notebooks eModule.
Use this Leadership Notebook handout to think about how students could get the most out of their Leadership Notebook—and the learning that goes with it—in the summer months.
“You have to water the flowers you want to grow.” Stephen R. Covey