Hidden Treasures for Sharing Dreams and Goal Setting

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On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King’s historic I Have a Dream speech in Washington, DC was crucial in bringing nation-wide attention to civil rights issues. His dream of equal rights for children and adults of all colors continues to inspire people around the world in their goal of peaceful coexistence of all people.

It is easy to do a quick Google search to find teaching resources related to this speech, but it takes a lot of time to sort through all of the responses and choose what you need. Instead, I’d like to share some of the many resources already available right here at TeachersFirst that save you a lot of time and frustration. In fact, these are some of the many free items found on the site that are part of what we call our “Hidden Treasures.

  • Bulletin Board Hangups – choose from many different motivational quotes ready to print and hang on your bulletin boards and classrooms. Scroll through to find topics of “Thoughts on Greatness and Achievement” and “Inspiration from Sports.” Just click on the PDF icon, print, and display!
  • CurriConnects – CurriConnects is a collection of curated booklists by topic. These booklists include ideas for books from preschool through adult reading level along with Lexile reading levels and more. Check out Books for Tough Situations, Civil War and Slavery, and Taking Care of Me to use for teaching about goal setting and accomplishing dreams.
  • Instructional Units – two of the fourteen instructional units created by TeachersFirst relate directly to Martin Luther King and his I Have a Dream speech. They Had a Dream Too is for grades 1-4 and is a complete unit on overcoming obstacles. Remembering Martin Luther King is another unit for grades 1-4 and includes math, science, and language activities built around the themes of equality and non-violence.
  • Reading Treks – Reading Treks takes participants on a virtual field trip based on a piece of literature using Google Maps. Check out the Reading Trek for March, Book One, the autobiography of U.S. Congressman John Lewis and his commitment to equality and justice.
  • Special Topics Collections – sometimes the number of websites and resources are just too overwhelming to look through. TeachersFirst editors have gathered their favorite resources for a variety of topics into special topics collections. These collections include 25-30 of the best resources for all grade levels. Black History Resources and Martin Luther King, Jr. Resources include many ideas for lessons, activities, and more.

Researchers have documented the importance of setting goals and working toward achieving dreams. This Harvard study discusses the importance of goal setting in education. In their findings, the authors outline the direct correlation of goal setting to achievement and motivation. They also take a look at goal setting by educators as an essential tool in guiding learning through sound pedagogical thinking.

It is still very early in the school year for most of us, in fact, some schools may not have started yet. Consider using Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech and these resources as inspiration for setting goals and dreams for you and your students for the upcoming school year.

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About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.


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