Wednesday, January 1

Powerful Goal Setting in the Classroom with 5 Easy Steps

Goal Setting in the Classoom

Back to School is a popular time for setting goals and making resolutions. I always feel fresh and ready to take on the world at the start of the new school year!

January can be a good time to help students create some goals for their learning too. Setting a goal to work towards is one-way students can take ownership of their learning.
Here are 5 ways to help students set goals and work towards them.

#1- Keep goals simple, attainable and measurable.

When I set goals with my students, we start with everyone having the same type of goal. I usually start with reading level growth because it is huge in my state. (I want to be clear here! I felt very much like this was a necessary evil! I strongly disliked setting reading level goals!) I met with every child one on one and we talked about where they wanted to grow and how many levels they thought they could grow. Then we split it into blocks for the 9 year and set mini-goals for each nine weeks. For example, if a student thought they could grow 4 levels, we would set a goal for one level growth per 9 weeks.

#2- Create an action plan or specific steps students can take to work towards the goal.

After setting each student's goal, we worked together as a class to brainstorm a list of things students could do to help them meet their goal. In the above example, we would list the following steps- read for at least 30 minutes a day at home, complete my comprehension journal homework every week, pay attention and work hard in small groups, listen to my book buddy when they read to me, ask someone to read me a story, etc

#3- Look at, discuss or read the goal regularly- possibly daily.

Each students goal was written down in their data notebook. We looked at the anchor chart with the brainstormed list of steps students could take. Any time they were assessed (🙄) we would conference about where they were in terms of meeting their goal. Every week, I would ask students to pick ONE of the action steps to focus on. In the beginning, I did a lot of leading but after a few weeks, students were able to pick one step for themselves.

#4- Track progress towards the goal.

Students had a sheet in their data notebook where they tracked their progress. For reading levels, my students had a page that looked like a bookshelf. I wrote letters on each book to represent their reading levels. When students passed a level, they would color in the book on their shelf.

#5- Celebrate progress!

Since I really, strongly disliked that students even had to worry about reading levels, we celebrated ALL.THE.THINGS! My favorite ways to celebrate are with impromptu dance parties, reward tags given out during morning meeting and phone calls home to share the good news.
Are you looking for something to help you get started goal setting? Take a look at this Kindergarten Goal Setting resource in my store.



I created this when I was teaching Kindergarten, but I used the open pages with my Second Graders too!
My favorite part of this resource is the reflection sheet. When I taught Kindergarten students, they would color the face and I would help them write their next step. Most of my Second Grade students could complete the reflection sheet with little help.
The goal-setting pages are available in a guided format and an open format and with a variety of themes.
There is even a tracking sheet available!

If this looks like something that could help you in your classroom, click here or on any of the pictures!
Do you set goals with your students? I would love to hear how it goes for you! Drop me a note and let me know!

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