On the first day of school students see their names written on a leaf that is hanging from a tree in our reading center. The quote, "Turning over a new leaf" is written on the board and we brainstorm ideas as to what it means. Once the children have an understanding of the quote, they then write me a letter that begins, "This year I am turning over a new leaf. Last year I.....and this year I want to...." Many students wrote about grades, and others wrote about wanting to change their behavior. Students feel better after we have discussed that they are indeed turning over a new leaf because they are starting the new year with a clean slate!