Innovation: Education

Cross-school goal-setting for PLPs

Motivating students around goals by connecting schools

providing support for goal-setting in a PLPMany Vermont students have worked hard this year establishing personal and academic goals as an important part of developing Personal Learning Plans (PLPs).

But when we speak with some of them or listen to teachers reflect on the process and progress, many share the need for additional motivation to keep these goals and their achievement active and present.

What can goals motivation look like?

One simple way to motivate students around their goals is to make the goals visible daily as Peoples Academy Middle Level’s 7th grade team has done. Goals stickers adhered to each student’s device means they literally see them every day.

Another source of motivation comes from students sharing and learning from each other. Maura Kelly describes how 5th grade students at Peoples Academy Middle Level in Morrisville, VT partnered with 7th graders to help them identify realistic goals connected to transferable skills. Read about the project and the process as described by Maura on the PLP Pathways Blog.

Connecting students at two different schools around goal-setting

Impressive to me as well is how the 5th grade team at Peoples Academy led by humanities teacher Bill Fishell took this partnering to a new level. Bill reached out to Marc Gilbertson at Lamoille Union Middle School in Hyde Park, VT to set up a similar goal-setting partnership across schools.

goal-setting for PLPs goal-setting for PLPs

Check out these students getting to know each other during their connection:

Both Fishell and Gilbertson took a few minutes to describe the project from their perspectives, below.

From Bill Fishell’s PAML 5th grade perspective:

From Marc Gilbertson’s Lamoille 7th & 8th grade perspective:

 

What cross-school partnering can do for goal-setting

With ready access to technology, educators can now engage learners, families and community members as partners in planning learning pathways to help students pursue challenging goals.

All parties involved in this cross-school partnership agree: social learning via connecting students as they discuss goals and learn from each other both increased motivation and made the schedule complications, the inevitable tech hurdles, and the energy output worth their while.

Susan Hennessey

Susan Hennessey is a reformed librarian and current professional development coordinator with a particular interest in digital credentials and scavenger hunts. She's addicted to flavored almonds, salty, crunchy snacks, and Google Hangouts.

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