Student Goals

I really don't like to have my time wasted or do things just for the sake of doing them. If I am asked to do something, I want to know what the purpose of doing it is! I have found that even though students will sometimes do things "because the teacher says so" when they are given a purpose, they are much more eager and focused when completing the task.

This is why I love giving my students goals to work towards!

Here is an example of my literacy goals at the beginning of the year. 

As you can see, each goal has a special icon that goes with it. I use these icons 2 different ways. 

The 1st way I use the icons is to label my workstations:

This way I can tell students, "You are working towards the goal of producing letter sounds. I want you to work towards that goal by choosing a workstation that has the letter B with the bear."

I also use the icons to help students track their progress. On this binder ring, each student has an "iPad" with their picture, that shows different things that "iCan" do.  

I used to track their goals on large ant cutouts (we are Mrs. Alexander's Ants) and display them on the wall. I like doing it better this way for 3 reasons: 

1) I covet my wall space and if I have 22 large ants hanging up, that is less room for student work! 
2) having each student on a different page that I can flip to when I am working with a particular student, helps them to focus on what they are trying to achieve instead of seeing what their friends have or have not achieved.
3) When meeting with parents, I can show them what their child has achieved without making comparisons to his/her classmates.

 Here is a student who has met many of their goals already. Each time they can show me that they have met a goal, they get to add another little icon to their page. 

We usually add icons to our chart on Fridays but if I see a student who has been working really hard to meet their goal during the week (and they show they can independently practice this skill during workstations or in small group) we add the icon right then and there! 

One more thing, the goals listed above are not necessarily the same goals for all students all year long. As students meet these goals, I add new ones. There is always something new to learn! If a student is working hard but still really struggling to meet these goals, I will break down some of the larger goals into smaller chunks. For example, if it is October and you still only know 1 letter, 26 seems pretty daunting! A new goal for that child might be to learn 5 letters, then 10, then 15, and work their way up! 

I love this system because it connects the abstract concepts of what we want to learn, how we can learn it, and our achievement of gaining new knowledge to something that the students can actually see. The fact that my principal loves it too is just icing on the cake! ;)

Think this would be helpful in your classroom? You can find everything you need to set this system up and have it work for you all year long here!

Goals and Icons

Have any suggestions? How do you help your students track their progress? 

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