Friday, April 1, 2016

Writing Student SMART Goals

Having students write a goal is easy, but following through on the goal, and determinging the steps that students need to take to meet the goal is the difficult part. So I have struggled for the past 3 years with this process until I found something that worked for me. Yes I have been making and testing processes in my classroom until I found something that worked, was manageable, was successful, and the students understood the process. After testing various processes I found something I could manage and provided me with data that was reliable. 

I broke my thinking down into parts so that it would make sense.

This was the problem...

I needed to find a way in which students took ownership of their learning. I needed a way for students to see that their actions impacted their learning. I needed a way to display this information so that the students constantly saw this information. 

This was a lot. I have assessments, but how do I solve the problems to the above?

This is what I ended up with.

1. My students were given a pre-assessment and it was graded based on a point value. For example the test might be worth 20 points. The assessment is also scaffolded so I can easily find out what they know and don't know. A student might earn a 2/20 on their pre-test. 

2. Next I take my test and divide it into 4 areas. The areas are called exemplary, meeting, developing, and emerging. So a student who earned a 2/20 would be in the emerging range. I also create the poster shown below and this is posted to my data wall along with the standard/s that are being taught and my anchor charts. 

3. Students are given their pre-test back along with a "My SMART Goals" sheet which I created for my students. Students go through their test and find out what they know and don't know and then write goals.

It might look like this...

Template to write student goal:

Goal: I will earn _____ more points on my math post-test by taking the following steps.

Step 1: I can learn how to…(students write down what skill they missed from the pretest). You need to write down the problem # and the skill so students understand what they missed. by...

Step 2: I can learn how to…students write down what they missed by...

Step 3: I can learn how to…students write down what they missed by...

I want students to realize that their behaviors impact their learning and for them to take responsibility for their learning these are actions they can choose to do. If they don't, it might lead them in a different direction. 

  • ·      taking good notes
  • ·      paying attention to the lessons
  • ·      doing my best on my homework
  • ·      doing my best on my classwork
  • ·      participating in the lessons
  • ·      doing my best during small group math
  • ·      doing my best during small group reading
  • ·      doing my best during math chats
  • ·      leading lessons with my peers
  •    doing my best when I work on differentiated lessons 

   This is what my board looks like when we go through this process. The information below is what I model for my students so they understand what they need to fill out on their SMART Goal Sheet. 

   These are the sheets that I created to help my students with this process. Students also color code their stars to reflect the area they are in for their pre and post assessment. I copy these in black and white and staple the goal sheet to the front of the pre-test. After the post test it is attached to the back and the results sheet is on top of the goal sheet. You could also place the results sheet in their student data binder and keep it separate. I keep all the results together in their data binder. 

Click on the link above to get this for free on Teacherpayteachers

The sheet on the right I use after the post test when students analyze their results and reflect on what they might do differently next time. I love hearing the conversations that take place. 

Overall this is a huge process, but in the end it works. I can differentiate instruction for my students that understand the material and I can teach those that need to learn it. The best part is the pay-off in the end when my students are asking if the tests were graded. They are so focused on their goal versus their grade. It's great to hear what they say and I have yet to have a student fail. It's all about the GROWTH!