Managing Student Learning Goals

As educators, our job is to help our students reach their highest potential. However, not all students are created equal. They all have different needs. Some need to grow academically more than others. Some students need to grow their personal independence. Some just need to get through a period of time on task. And many of MY little sweeties need to learn to tie their shoes on their own!

WHAT'S A TEACHER TO DO?

As educators, we need to help our students work towards achieving goals that are meaningful to THEM! 

How do we tackle this task?

FREE student goal cards

I have always struggled with helping my students set and follow through with individual learning goals. I would usually start off strong and then as the year progressed, it would fizzle out. I would forget to follow through with them and before I knew it the next reporting period had come and gone. 

UNTIL NOW.... I saw this great idea, first, on Instagram from @misswestbest. She has her student goals on their name plates. I LOVED the idea but wanted to change it a bit to meet the needs of my second graders. My students have their names on their supply boxes already. I wanted their goal cards to stay at their desks and be a constant reminder for them.

learning goal cards

I know what you are thinking....This is all great, BUT how do I get my students to buy into this? 

1.  GOALS NEED TO BE REALISTIC 

Before we wrote our first goals, we had a class discussion about what a realistic goal would be. Many students wanted to write: "I will get 4s on all my tests." While that is a great goal, it's not realistic. We discussed picking a specific test they wanted to do well on. This narrows their focus and gives them something specific to work towards.

free student learning goal cards

2. GOALS NEED TO BE MEASURABLE

I had to guide and help my students understand this concept. I had students who wanted to write, "I want to do well on my math test." What is "do well?" This little guy wanted to get all his IXL math problems correct. While this is a great goal, I wanted him to feel successful. We talked and decided 85% accuracy was a realistic goal he could achieve. AND...it's measurable.

student goal cards

3. GOALS NEED TO BE CELEBRATED

When my students reach one of their goals, they earn a brag tag to celebrate their accomplishment. They hand me their Post-It note with their goal and the date they met the goal. I put the Post-It on a sheet of paper in their portfolio folder. Everyone claps and cheers for the student! It's an amazing site! Students beaming with pride!

student learning goal cards

Note: After a few weeks of setting and achieving goals, my students were able to manage their goals themselves. They write their goal on their individual white board and put it on top of their desk. This let's me know they need their goal checked by me. If the goal is appropriate, I hand them a Post-It and they write their goal on it and place it on their goal card. I usually adjust or guide my students into a goal that I want them to focus on improving without them realizing it.

There is no pressure to achieve a goal by a certain date. However, if I see a student hasn't met a goal in a few weeks, I ask them to rewrite it or make it more realistic and measurable. I want them all to feel success within a reasonable amount of time.

Ready to get started? Grab your FREE set of learning goal cards by clicking: HERE.
*Please note: You must have PowerPoint to open and use this file.

I love to hear from my readers. Leave a comment and share how you help your students manage and set their learning goals too.

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