Give your students ownership over their learning through goal-setting activities
Happy New Year! With school back in session and a new year upon us, why not use this time as an excuse to take a deep breath, reassess your goals, and refocus on what you and your students are striving to achieve?
As your students are creating their typical New Year’s resolutions of being nicer to their siblings, being more creative in their twitter posts, and vowing to clean their room at least once a month, why not encourage academic goals? When given a chance to take ownership over their learning, perhaps students will be more committed to the steps needed to achieve in the classroom.
There are plenty of goal-setting apps available that allow you to name a goal and provide a checklist for when it is achieved. But before this step can be taken, students need to understand the process of how to create realistic goals and identify the incremental steps needed to strive toward achievement. Encourage risk-taking and set the stage for success with exercises geared around self-assessment, motivational thinking, and process-oriented goal-setting. Here are some ways to use goal-setting for personalized learning.
What we’re Reading:
1) Personalized Learning and Student Goal-Setting
This brief blog post from Educational Aspirations provides five actions of integrating personalized learning into your classroom. Although it mentions doing this at the beginning of the year, this acts as a good checklist for any reassessment in your approach to becoming more of a student-centered educator. The third action listed here is student goal-setting. You can link to another blog entry highlighting this topic and providing a short rationale of why goal-setting with students is important.
I find these two posts to provide a much needed refocusing on goal assessment and academic achievement as we enter the second half of the school year.
2) Google Doc Survey and other ideas
Now that you are all geared up to promote and provide an activity for your students to take some ownership over their learning, here are some ideas for tools to use in setting the stage.
Try creating your own Google Doc Survey! This will allow you to personalize the questions that you pose to your students. Asking questions that create a creative and motivational mindset will help your students think about, admit to themselves, and hopefully articulate what they really want to strive for in their educational experience.
For assistance, watch this short tutorial on how to create your own Google Doc Survey.
For other worksheets and ideas to spark the inner motivational mindset, here are some links to example worksheets for students:
- Approach to School (Enhanced Learning)
- SMART Goals Worksheet (University of Redlands)
- Grit School “Setting SMART Goals” (edutopia.org)
3) Success Wizard App
Once your students have identified their academic goals, use this app to ensure that they keep their goals right on their tablet, as a reminder. This app will give daily reminders and tracking, allow you to share your goals, and has separate sections for notes, a journal for observations, schedules, etc. There are plenty of other free apps out there for tracking success and tasks, however, this apps allows for focusing on the process of achieving goals.
What we’re Watching:
Set the stage for your goal-setting activity by showing your students these two motivational videos. The first is a cartoon depiction of the goal-setting process and the second is a “pep talk” from Kid President.