Gooooooooooaaaaaaal!!

Each year, I think it is a good idea to have the students think about their goals while in my classroom.  Thinking about what they want to accomplish as a student and how they are going to do that seems to me to be a good way to begin the year.  I mean, I do the same thing before the start of a school year.  I set out my plans in my head, I set goals for the new things I want to accomplish, and reflect upon what I did before to make that better.  So, it would make sense that having the students do the same would help them to focus on the year ahead.

But, asking the students to simply list their goals was...boring.  A few years ago, our first unit in Language Arts was Cooperation and Competition.  I took a sports twist to this theme, and I found the magic formula for the kids.  Add a few ball shapes into the mix, and you could get them to eagerly do anything!

We started out with thinking about our goals for 5th grade.  How did we want the year to go?  What about our friendships?  Our home working?  On a soccer ball template, I had them fill all of this in.  (and, silly me never took a picture of that!  So sorry!)


education, teaching blog, upper grades
Then, with the rules, I had them discuss the rules and make goals for behavior with them.  One rule per page, with goals for each rule.  They really enjoyed this because it was done with a football them.  Then, once the booklets were done, they cut a piece of brown paper overtop of it (in the same shape) and ended up with a shape booklet of their rules/behavior goals!  Made a nice little board.

mrs. moorman, 5th grade blog
Another thing we did, which is my most favorite thing EVER, is create a baseball card with our goals and reflections as the "stats".  First, we discussed how our grades are determined by ourselves and that we can achieve whatever we want based on our own effort.  So the students reflected upon that and where they wanted to go throughout the year.  I created a little "stats" sheet for them to fill in, and then had them get to the fun part.  Each student drew a baseball field on a piece of paper.  I then took a picture of them in baseball gear, holding a bat or glove.  The students cut the picture out, overlaid it on top of the field, and then glued the stats on the back.  It was a baseball card, to go with our theme, complete with goals and reflections.  I LOVED looking at them.  LOVED!

I also wanted to get some actual writing into these goal setting activities, so I did two different things.  First, you all know about the Strengths and Weaknesses project I did (click here if you want to see it again).  Then, I had them create an "I Am" poem focused more on goals and reflection than the traditional poem.  I was really a guided writing, as I really wanted the students to think about each line of the poem and I found that if I did the "I Do, You Do" model, they were being far more reflective.  Then, each student created a basketball jersey with their classroom number and favorite colors.  I had them write the final draft of the poem on velum tracing paper and lay it on top of the jersey.  When they were stapled together, you could see the drawing through the tracing paper...it was so cute!

So there you have it.  Some of the things I did to get my students reflecting and thinking about how they wanted their year with me to go.  These activities really did set up a more reflective and goal oriented classroom, and I really think the students enjoyed them. They also were great for the bulletin boards, so I was set with some great quality work for Back to School Night!   I put together all of these ideas, with bulletin board suggestions, lesson plan ideas, and all the templates you need in my Goal Setting and Self-Reflection Pack, which is available for $5 in my store.
teachinginroom6.blogspot.com

















BUT, as always, I will be giving a copy of this away.  Just leave me a comment about the types of goal setting activities you use, and I will choose one (using the Random Number Generator) to send my new pack to. Please be sure to leave your email address.  I will be picking the comment at 9pm PST tonight (7/16), so hurry up and comment away!

And the winner is #5...Mrs. Gosla.  Amy, I am sending you the pack as we speak!  Congratulations!!

37 comments

  1. Marcie (mscoloradogal@gmail.com)July 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I'm a new teacher this year and looking for a creative way to set goals the first week of school! Being in sports crazed Texas, this would be perfect :)

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  2. I have not previously done this type of activity, but I would like to incorporate it. Thanks for the suggestions.
    jkmatuch@aol.com

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  4. Love your ideas. This is something I want to do this year with my 5th graders. I have tried to do it in the past, but without much success, because, honestly, I did not have a clear cut plan such as this one. I need to try it in a more structured way. Thanks for sharing so many awesome ideas. joann.johnson@robeson.k12.nc.us

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  5. I got two different ideas from two great educators last year and combined them to make one New Year's resolution goal setting activity for my third graders last year. I used Laura Candler's idea by using "Futureme.org" to send emailed letters home and Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade to think of one little word (OLW) to be the students' focus (goal)for the remainder of the year. Your ideas look marvelous, and I would love to incorporate them this year. I'm impressed with your organization and how much you already have done!

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  6. I forgot to add my email the post above.
    agosla@amphi.com
    Thank you,
    Amy Gosla

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  8. I love goal setting! My students build electronic portfolios and use rubrics to evaluate their growth. Thanks for sharing some fresh ideas on how to incorporate this at the beginning of the year. Kimberlyalison79@gmail.com

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  10. We do goal setting at the beginning of every quarter. I have the students write down their goals. I then photo copy them and put them in an envelope and give the other copy to them to keep in their notebooks. Half way through the grading period, they take out their goals and do a quick evaluation. Answering a few questions, which are then put in the envelope with the goals which were collected earlier. Then at the end of the quarter I show them their grade sheet and we open the envelope and discuss their goals and what worked or did not work. This envelope is then sent home with their report cards. (This allows them to know what their grade is before report cards are sent home.)
    I am inspired by your idea to modify it! THANKS!
    bnrayburn@gmail.com

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  11. As a MS teacher, I have students write their goals after they write about their feelings towards math on an interest survey at the beginning of the year. Then, we revisit those goals during conferences a few months later...parents are always curious to see their child's goals from September! :-)

    Amy - teachertalkamy[at]gmail[dot]com

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  12. We do goal setting for the Reading Counts program in our classroom. We set goals for how many points that we want to earn each month with an incentive if their points are met. :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure
    fsuteach81@yahoo.com

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  13. We do goal setting every grading period. I also have the kids issue a "challenge" for the class. The class challenge has usually been for the year, but it hasn't been that successful. I think because they aren't quite mature enough or haven't internalized goal setting enough for it to be that long term. The grading period goal sheet also has a self-evaluation sheet that incorporates "always/usually/sometimes/never" kind of statements. They must check the appropriate statement. For example, "I usually turned in my homework on time." "I often did not turn in my homework on time." Ideally these are done with a parent. At the end a parent, the student, and I sign off on it with us all pledging to support the child in his/her goals. I haven't had the time over the last few years to really give it the attention I'd like. (I'd love to buddy them up according to their goals and/or have class meetings. I actually used to confer with individual students.)However, it is an important life skill that deserves some attention. Thank you for sharing your goal setting activities!

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    1. OOH! I forgot my email address too--in case I win!! (I hope I win!! haha) LAURIEG_1@comcast.net

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  14. I wanted to do something new this year and this incorporates everything. Thank you for sharing. I think it's really important for my students to set goals.

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  15. Last year I did a hopes and dreams activity with my students in the beginning of the year. I love how your activities incorporate so many different aspects of goal-setting, rather than just focusing on academics.

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  16. I teach 5th grade and I do goal setting a lot throughout the year. In the beginning I have the students create mini T Shirts, but it didn't really incorporate the goals aspect as much as I would have liked. I love your ideas! Thanks! :)

    lindsrose@gmail.com

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  17. This goes really well with my sports theme. They can set goals for math, reading and behavior. Thanks for all the hard work. lisa.heiser@rcs.k12.il.us

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  18. I had my students set goals with their summer packet that I sent home to them at the end of school. I have summer reading with them once a week in our local park, and we discuss their progress toward their goals each session.

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  19. I haven't done goal setting with my 5th graders, but I have seen quite a bit of examples this summer on pinterest and blogs- so I have been saving any examples I can find. Our team also has a sports theme, so this is perfect! I would love to have your set.

    pebbles@pence.com

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  20. I have my students create 3 goals each quarter. At the end of each quarter, we take down that last quarter's goals and look them over to see if they accomplished them. At the end of the year, I hand all their goals back in a booklet.

    hdevany@gmail.com

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  21. I love your ideas. I haven't done a formal unit on goal setting before, but I was planning to do so this year. My classroom theme is baseball, so your ideas are perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    Laurie
    llmedley@swbell.net

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  22. I have not done this in the past, but I would like to incorporate it. These look like a great place to start.

    Crystal
    cforro3@gmail.com

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  23. At the beginning of the year we set our normal goals--behavior, grades etc. but my favorite thing is at the end of the quarter we revise our goals. It is done on a sheet that I have and it is just a fill in the blank type thing--takes little time--they reflect on the first quarter and if they were happy about it, how they feel others, such as their parents, feel they did and how they feel I think they did. This covers grades, behavior, friendliness etc. After some reflection some may choose to change their original goals or leave them to work for during the next quarter. This reflection process Great!! It is also great to pull out at conferences and share with parents--for some it is a real eye opener to see what their child is thinking. I love your ideas--new school this year and it is a sports theme throughout 5th grade so I would really love to have this to add to my ideas. thanks for sharing!

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  24. I forgot to give you my email--debra.l.rinaldi@gmail.com!

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  25. Last year was the first year I did goals. But they were very specific toward testing. Each student was shown their testing scores from the year before and they (with help and guidance)formed a reasonable goal for this year's testing. We then wrote what they would need to do to reach their goal.

    I really like the idea of goals for class work (as opposed to testing). I think I will try it this year! Thanks for the great ideas.

    Sharon
    sledelman@ca.rr.com

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  26. I love this pack! I usually read Oh The Places You'll Go to begin our goal setting discussion. I like this better since it can be used in multiple areas and is reinforced for the kiddos!

    Mross@pdsd.org

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  27. I like these ideas. I was thinking of an idea to use with Grade 5.

    rshlight@spiceisle.com

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  28. I would love to own this pack. I do a sports theme for my fifth grade room and the students really love it. We work on setting goals for many areas, but the one they seem to relate to best is their personal reading goals.
    cvezino@yahoo.com

    Thanks again for the great materials and ideas you share with all of us!

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  29. I'm so excited about your sports pack! We just came back from the Jostens Renaissance conference and decided to do a schoolwide theme of teamwork. Our kids come back in just a few short weeks and I can't wait to get started!

    angelas717@yahoo.com

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  30. I would love this pack! We work on setting goals throughout the year. I share the students' assessment data with them and then we talk about areas of improvement they would like to make. On each assessment, students write down a goal and then refer to their actual numbers frequently!

    Mindy
    mwells@ourwayschool.com

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  31. I just have a boring goals page that they fill out the first week of school. I know that I need to spend more time discussing it nd going over it in detail in order to get better results! I'm sure that's what this packet could help with!

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  32. I have not used an activity like this one in the past, but plan on using one this year. When I was in another teacher's classroom I did see that she had the kids write their goals for the year on a soccer ball, took a picture of them looking like they were kicking it and glued it and a soccer goal together. Obviously the ball was larger than the picture or the goal. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    mlsattele@gmail.com

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  33. In my classroom, we pick different goals each quarter and we have weekly reflections on them. This year I am thinking about having them post their goals in the classroom so they are reminded daily of them. I am hoping that this will hold them more accountable!
    valerietorres327@yahoo.com
    Thanks so much!

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  34. What cute ideas! I teach 3rd and can definitely use this in my room. I added the packet to my wishlist.

    Marlene
    I Heart Teaching Elementary

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  35. And we have a winner :) Thank you all for sharing your ideas with us!

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  36. I love this, but my favorite is the Dodger uniform pictures!

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

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