Sunday, August 1, 2021

Goal Setting With Students

Do your students set goals for themselves?  

In my classroom, we have weekly class goals. After we had a student trip over a chair that wasn't pushed in, we made our goal, "Let's push our chairs in every time we get up."

By having the whole class involved, this goal was easy to reach. I'd see kids motion for a friend to push in their chair or see them get up and push in a chair when needed.

A small goal but it solved a safety problem.

I find that my kids love these weekly goals as long as I circle back to them daily and they're purposeful. They need that auditory reminder as well as the visual Weekly Class Goal board. When we revisit their goals frequently- just for a minute or two a day, I find the goals tend to be reached. 

Now I have my class make monthly goals for First Grade!  Yep. They can do it! I like to make it into a small "book" and hang up (WITHIN REACH!) so it's a visual reminder and one they can reread and revisit.

Book on Goal Setting

I start off by reading them some books involving goal setting.  Here are a few I like a lot:

Realistic vs. Unrealistic or Not Yet Goals

Next, we talk about REALISTIC goals and what they look like.  I make a chart of goals I set and reached in the past year.  

Then I share some silly UNREALISTIC goals I made in the past.  Often these are silly goals BUT can also be NOT YET goals.

Before we make individual goals, I spend two weeks making class goals.  JUST TWO for each week.  We brainstorm the problems we're having and decide (vote) on the one goal we want to set.

I write it on the board and refer back to it several times throughout the week.  Each day, I reread it with the kids during Morning Meeting.  Then, I refer back to it when I see/notice our class working toward that goal.  "I noticed everyone at this table pushed in their chairs when we lined up for art. I'm so relieved no one tripped over a chair and got hurt. I'm so glad we picked that goal. (Then I'll motion toward the goal ot actually read it)

Making Our Own Goals

Then we make this simple booklet to display in the classroom.  Here's a peek at a sample:
Note: These two videos might not load on mobile.

Revisiting Goals Daily

Then, each day, I'll ask the kids to close their eyes and think about their goals they made for the month.
"Are you getting closer to reaching the goal?" "Is there something I can do to help you reach your goal?" "Is there a problem your having that surprises you?" "Did you reach your goal?" 

Then I have the kids share out sometimes with a friend, deskmate, or the whole class.  This takes 3-5 minutes a day but is essential to staying FOCUSED on the goal and keeping it in sight.

This year, I'm making the books a bit more "formal" like above so they can double as a room decoration! Why not?

It's been a goal of mine over the last year! :)

Happy goal making!

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