Tagged: goals

Week 2: Goal Setting

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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?

Why is it important to teach and learn Science?


Unfortunately, I missed the most recent #scichat on Twitter about “Assessment in Science”, which included discussion about rubrics, portfolios, “open journal quizzes”, “performance labs.”, oral tests, addressing misconceptions and content vs process. Two of the comments that resonated with me were “shifting away from thinking of students as future scientists to students as future citizens” and “providing an authentic audience”.  This was a timely discussion, as we are finalising a curriculum document at our school at present, and I have been thinking carefully about why it is important to teach science in schools. This is what I have come up with:

As a science teacher I aim to:

1. Improve students levels of scientific literacy to enable:

  • informed debate about scientific and technological issues that appear in the popular media
  • active participation in decision-making policy on a range of scientific issues, including environmental matters (for example: stem-cell research, genetically modified organisms, climate change, immunization)
  • consumer confidence based on rational, scientific thinking

2.  Encourage students to become enthusiastic about learning and about science (increase motivation)

3. Develop student’s confidence in their ability to achieve their goals (in science and more generally)

4. Foster an appreciation for the natural environment and the develop the knowledge and skills to contribute to a sustainable society

5. Develop students knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Why do you think it is important to teach and learn about science? Please leave me a comment if you have any more ideas.

Goal Setting with Year 9’s

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This afternoon Year 9 students worked on writing comments about their progress towards the goals they set at the begining of the year. First they completed a survey, identifying areas that they were successful and areas that needed improvement, under categories such as confidence, leadership skills, persistence, tolerance, resilience, organisation and team work. These are based around the “You Can Do It!” program. After identifying areas for improvement, each student was asked to set five goals – three academic, one skill (eg. sporting, martial arts, driving, etc.) and one attitudinal/friendship goal. Today students were asked to reflect on their performance over the first semester and write a few comments on each of their goals and how they have felt they have gone towards achieving those goals. Many students have found this a difficult activity and need assistance to identify their successes and otherwise.

This terrific post from Angela Maiers, “Classroom Habitudes Lesson – Perserverance: Failing to Succeed” includes a PowerPoint and five anecdotes about people who achieved success after considerable perserverance – five stories that may surprise you! Angela has 16 different “Habitudes” posts that discuss different habits and attitudes that lead to success.