How do you set classroom goals? Do students set goals? What does that look like?
I'm asking for a friend and that friend is me.
I know goal setting is important in the classroom. I also think it's an area in which I can be stronger. What better time to think about setting goals than on New Year's Day?
The reality is that I have lots of good intentions each year in terms of student goal setting. When I am consistent, I see that it makes a big difference. When students set their own goals they are motivated and (mostly) eager to reach them. However, I struggle with the organization of student goal setting. I want it to be meaningful, and not just busy work where students are filling out charts and graphs of their own data. How do we, as people in the real world, set goals in our daily lives?
For me, I need a checklist. I am not known to love doing laundry, or vacuuming, or chores in general. So, I make myself a list and it helps for me to know what needs to be done. There's also something satisfying about crossing an item off that list. And, yes, I am that person who completes a task, realizes it wasn't on the list at all and then adds it just to cross it off.
I also like when I can see my progress towards a goal. For example, I just set my new Goodreads reading challenge for 2019. I like watching that percentage bar get higher as the year continues. On the flip side, I am not motivated by graphs and charts and picking apart details. I know people who love that stuff, but it's not me.
The moral of the story is that everyone is motivated differently. I think setting goals is universal, but getting to that goal is personal. As all of you teachers out there know, your students come from different backgrounds and have a variety of learning styles. What will make them tick? What will help them reach a goal whether it's big or small?
This year, each one of my students has a portfolio. It's in an old-fashioned folder and they can add writing pieces and other things that they are proud of. I also have some goal setting forms in each portfolio to help each child reach both reading and math goals. I'd share a picture, but I'm still on Winter Break, so deal with it!
I am truly asking for others to share what they do with their students in terms of goal setting. Do you have folders or binders? What works? What's frustrating? Do you have checklists and charts, or do some students thrive off a little healthy competition?
When I return to the classroom next week, I want to check-in with students on their goals. I want to help them see their goals to fruition and I want to be able to do that in a meaningful way. So, my own goal is to tackle setting goals.
What does that look like for you?
Teacher, reader, tea drinker, and dog mom.