Student goal setting instills a leadership mindset in young children. As teachers, we can prepare students for a successful future by helping them discover leadership qualities within themselves and taking realistic steps towards achieving these goals.
FREE Quarterly Goal Setting Sheet
Do you want to start tracking quarterly goals with your students? Try out this free goal setting tracking printable PDF. Also includes SMART Goals breakdown that elaborates on how to set SMART goals with your students.
Why is Student Goal Setting Important?
Here are five reasons why setting goals with your students and building student leadership is important.
1. Students feel a sense of purpose and drive when they know they are the leader in their own academic journey.
2. Establishing goals helps students visualize the connection between working hard and accomplishing something significant.
3. Students become self-aware of their strengths and skills, boosting their self confidence along the way.
4. A leadership mindset prepares students for real-world situations.
5. Students learn about accountability and can turn ‘dreams’ into real action plans.
How to Start Goal Setting in Your Classroom:
Using Student Data Notebooks
Student leadership data notebooks are the perfect way to start goal setting with your students this year. These data binders are used by the students. Their purpose is to help students set and achieve academic and personal goals. They reflect on previous quarters, set new quarterly goals, and track their academic progress throughout the months. Additionally, leadership notebooks are a great place for students to graph in their assessment data. With this tool, they will monitor their areas for growth and areas in which they demonstrate strength.
Implement Student-Led Parent Conferences
Once your students are independent enough to understand their progress, they’ll be able to share it with others through student-led conferences. Student-led conferences are designed to encourage kids to speak about their progress. Students will share their leadership data notebooks with their teachers, parents, and/or guardians. They are the leader in their academic journey. As a result, students will be able to showcase work they’re proud of. They’ll discuss academic and personal milestones and elaborate on their goals.
Goal Setting as a Whole Class
However, some students perform better when they’re held accountable as a whole-group. Aside from individual leadership notebooks, I also incorporate data tracking posters in the classroom. We talk about taking ownership over our learning and how we can track assessment data as a whole class. Each week, two student leaders help fill out the class average for our reading and math assessments. We also track our iReady lessons!
Class Data Posters
Student leaders graph the class average for reading and math assessments each week. These class data trackers can also be used to set quarterly goals and track iReady progress.
Goal Setting Writing Prompt
The ‘Dear Future Self’ writing prompt is great for a new year activity, but can also be used as an end of year writing prompt. Before writing, we discuss how we envision ourselves in ten years. We talk about personal and career goals. Then, students then write a letter to themselves which explains what they believe their life will look like in ten years. Some students go home and create a time capsule for their letters. They put keepsakes inside from the current year and store it away to open in ten years. (This can turn into a whole class new year activity as well!)
FREE Dear Future Self Writing Prompt
Have students set goals for their future selves with this fun writing prompt!
If you’re looking to instill a student leadership culture in your classroom this year, these activities will help you get started.
Want to learn more about building classroom community? Click here to read all about building leadership through a strong classroom culture!