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Goal Setting with Students

Our students go back to school from the holiday break this Monday (January 7th). I suspect that most teachers talk about setting goals throughout the year (MAP goals, reading goals, etc.) but coming back in the New Year is a great time to reiterate the importance of goal setting and talk about why we should do it. Teaching students now how to set goals helps them to develop a growth mindset and gives them skills they will need as they get jobs later in life. 

For myself setting goals (big and small) helps me to stay focused as well as encourages continued learning. I can't image having a day, month, or year without some goals list! Some of my goals are organize my closets and drawers and others are fun like try and match one pinned outfit a month.

January's Pinned Outfit Match Goal Achieved

When I was younger I made it a goal to be able to do a handstand. I practiced outside for HOURS until I could do it. My son wanted to learn a flip skateboard trick and I watched as he spent an entire holiday break with his friends in the driveway trying to nail it (and watching YouTube videos that helped him learn it).

I recently read this article on We Are Teachers about goal setting with students and loved some of the ideas. My favorite is having students complete "WOW" goals (goals that can be done "within one week"). Students need to understand that small goals can add up to complete a big goal (and to be realistic most children need immediate gratification and success in order to see goal setting is worth it).

The article mentions some books that would be good for students in relation to goal setting but I also put together a list of videos that could be used as well. They aren't necessary about setting goals but rather kids who had to set goals in order to achieve what they wanted. 

Achievement -…/148-hall-of-fame
Mo’s Bows -
Ballet -…/152-ballet
Rube Goldberg –
Double Dutch -
Darci Lynn Ventriloquist -
Singing -…/154-grace-vanderwaal

You can show a few of the videos and have student pair up and come up with a personal goal they would like to achieve...complete a handstand, get to the next level of a video game, learn how to draw a horse. Keep it away from school goals to begin with...that wouldn't be nearly as fun to discuss.

Give students this Newsela article Celebrating Kids Who Did Amazing Things in 2018 and have them pick one of the children and have them make a list of three goals that child probably had to set in order to reach their BIG goal. The article can be accessed with a free account. They also offer another article about Setting Goals, and Keeping them, for the New Year .

Then have students come up with three goals: one personal, one home, and one school and have them list the small goals they need to achieve them.

I liked these goal displays I came across on Pinterest. I always feel that if a goal is "public" you are more likely to complete it.

Blog Post

Blog Link

Blog Post - Reading Goals

If you have any other great videos, books, or ideas for goal setting please share them in the comments section or share on Twitter tagging @atechcoachlife.


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