Goal Setting to Raise Achievement January 07 2014, 0 Comments

Tuesday Teaching Tip for Math Education: Setting SMART Goals for your students
Setting SMART Goals
The new year signals a fresh start, a chance to reflect on the progress you made in the past year while making plans for growth in the year ahead. Similarly, this is a great time to encourage your students to reflect on their academic, social, and emotional achievements while choosing areas they can improve upon. As a teacher, I understood the importance of including my students in the goal setting process to give them ownership over their own learning. Goal setting activities can be general, where students choose any area they want to improve, or modified for a specific subject area, such as math or reading. One of my favorite types of goals are called SMART goals:                                                                                                                                                                                                            
S: specific (What do I want to measure?)
M: measurable (How will I measure it?)
A: attainable (Is this a reasonable goal?)
R: realistic (Can I reasonably achieve this goal?)
T: timely (When will I reach my goal?)                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Here are examples of SMART goals for the classroom:
1) By the end of the month, I will publish one fiction story that includes a description of the setting, five examples of dialogue, and a problem/solution. 
2) To improve my fluency, I will increase my reading speed to 120 words per minute by February 1st. 
3) On the next math quiz, I will answer 90% of the mental math addition and subtraction questions correctly. 
4) I will raise my hand to participate in classroom discussions at least 3 times today.                                                                                                                                                     
In my experience, students not only love to set their own goals and track their progress, but it also motivates them to improve academically. Students can engage in goal setting activities as early as elementary school and certainly all the way up through high school. You can choose whether to conference with students individually or in small groups to set their goals or whether to make this a whole-class activity. Of course, after students choose and record their goals, you'll need to schedule classroom time to review their goals periodically and set new goals, whenever appropriate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Here's an example of a worksheet you can use with your students to help them set individual goals:                                                                                                    
Luminous Learning math workbooks for special education students.