Strengths and Weaknesses Display

At the beginning of they year, I think it is important for the students to take a look at themselves as learners and reflect upon those things they do well, and areas on which they can improve.

In order to do this, I have the students write two paragraphs, one about their strengths, and one about their weaknesses.  Using a divided circle map, the kids list everything they excel at as a learner, and all of the things they need to work on.  They then, using a communication guide (as I have low EL of our district focuses are on communication guides) write two paragraphs, one for the strengths and one for the weaknesses.

Now here is the fun part.  I have the kids go outside and hold a broomstick over their heads.  One side is slightly lower than the other.

They then write the final draft of their paragraphs on paper shaped like dumbbell weights.

good goal setting project for the beginning of the school year.
The students cut the paper out, glue it onto their picture, and, viola, an instantly cute display!

I have them back it on a blue piece of paper to serve as the "weight lifting mat"...just so the people look like they are standing on something!

upper grades   5th grade
All together, the board looks like this ----------->

I do this each year and really, it is such a great way to get to know the students as learners, as well as have them see that we all aren't great at everything!  All of the templates for this can be found in my Back to School Goal Setting Pack (and 4 other complete lessons as well). 


  1. Freaking adorable!!! Please remind me of this in August!!!

    My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher

  2. This is really cute!! I wish my first graders could write these. Although.... I'm sure I could modify it down! Thanks for the idea! :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  3. I love your idea! This would be great to use as a writing activity at the end of the year and things that they improved on. Thanks for sharing!

  4. omgosh! I love it = I'm stealing it! lol...and I totally pinned it!
    The Teachers’ Cauldron

  5. of course, I'll have to change the writing part to fit my 2nd graders though..:)

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  7. Awesome! I am so doing this with my class - thank you for the inspiration!

  8. This is great! I can't wait to try this idea in my classroom this year.

  9. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! It's going on my list of things to do with the kiddos when we get back after break!

    Mary Pitner's Potpourri

  10. My classroom theme is extreme sports and I love this idea! THANKS!


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