How Setting Goals Jump-Starts Student Achievement

These great recommendations for goal-setting came were recently offered, and we thought adding to them would be beneficial here. Feel free to pass these ideas along to your teachers or instructional teams!

How Setting Goals Jump-Starts Student Achievement

The visible learning research shows the importance of helping learners “see” their learning. It also helps learners reflect on their own learning strategies.

Goal-setting is one powerful way to make a big impact on learning. Here are a few ways to think about goal-setting.

Teach Students How To Set Their Own Goals

Keep the goals to 2-3 and keep the time frame fairly short. What is short? This depends on the age of the students, of course.

Some students need 1-4 weeks for their goals. Students in middle school should have goals for 3-6-week terms. Secondary students need a mixture of short-term (this year) and long-term (next 2-4 years) goals.

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Focus on Mastery, Not Performance

The discussion on impact vs. performance vs. mastery is so important. We know performance is behavioral and may/may not result in learning.

Help students understand the difference and show them how to align goals with learning, not just scores or performance.

Teach 360 Goal Setting

What is 360 goal setting? This includes social, health, and well-being. It also includes character development. It’s about the whole child.

Academics aren’t everything, and goals need to consider other aspects of life. Doing so can help student perform better on academics and lead a happier life!

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The Goal-Setting List

There are other aspects to goal-setting than the goal. It’s not just writing a goal. It’s important to guide students in these areas too.

There are many important goal-setting habits to develop, such as:

  • Use community accountability in groups or in classrooms.
  • Chart or track progress toward goals.
  • Reread goals frequently.
  • Use SMART goals.
  • Goals should be related to/support success in school.
  • Help students create action plans toward reaching their goals.
  • Set goals that challenge, but don’t frustrate.
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