Goal setting is an important way to focus time and energy on improvement and a lifelong skill that can assist students to achieve their ambitions. Make sure you introduce the handy acronym ‘SMART’ goals and discuss examples (and non-examples).
- S – specific
- M – measurable
- A – achievable (or attainable)
- R – realistic (or relevant)
- T – timely
This Kids Health site has five great tips for goal setting. I like to provide some guidelines to students and suggest 3 academic goals, 2 skills and a personal goal for improvement. We also created a rubric based on the “You Can Do It!” framework – Confidence, Organisation, Persistence, Resilience and Getting Along. Students rate themselves from 1 to 5 for each of these attributes and then choose a couple to work on. Again, it is useful to give examples, such as 1 = I talk to a special friend about my ideas, 3 = I can speak to small groups of about 10 people about my ideas, up to 5 = I can confidently speak to a room full of over 50 people about my ideas.
1. Use Padlet or Linoit for students to create a wall of goals
Each student posts their goals on a ‘sticky note’ on the wall. You can save this wall embedded in a blog or wiki to return to at the end of the term, semester or year.
2. Create a form in Google Drive
Again, this way you can save and store all your student’s goals for review in Semester 2 or at the end of the year. Students also need a copy to refer to, so make sure they have saved them.
3. Create a poster or infographic with your goals.
4. Create a video about your goals.
Repeating goals out loud and recording them are powerful ways for students to remember and solidify their goals. Investing time and energy into creating a video about their goals assists students to make them authentic, relevant and purposeful. As simple as recording a student reciting their goals or as imaginative as creating an animation, this task is open enough to allow students of all ages and abilities to get engaged.
5. There’s an app for that!
Of course there are hundreds of apps that can be used to support goal setting – whether your goals are to break a bad habit, get fitter, lose weight, read more or whatever. This is a comprehensive post for free and paid apps that can assist. The top free apps for goal setting are “Way of Life – the ultimate habit maker and breaker” and “Everest – live your dreams and achieve personal goals”.
What are your tools, strategies and ideas for student goal-setting?