First, you want to get your students thinking about what kind of student they want to be. Initial responses are usually words like smart and straight A. But, you need to lead them to deeper, more specific adjectives and phrases. In the picture below, you can see that we used words like: determined, problem solver, and always improving. These are growth mindset words. They open the door to all students to become the student they want to be.
Table of Contents
A goal without a plan is a wish.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery French writer (1900 – 1944)
Specific…Measurable …Attainable …Realistic …Time Specific
To make this even easier for you and your students, I have Reading, Writing, and Math goal worksheets with sentence starters. These are perfect for primary grades and beginning 3rd graders.
As a bonus, this section works for the student and the teacher. They know what to work on and you know what to plan for small group or RTI.
Realistic goals are within reach and definitely doable. Why? Because we have a growth mindset! This is where the connection to What Kind of Student Do I Want To Be can come in. I like to have students choose a few of their phrases or adjectives to reinforce this thinking.
The 4 week graphs work really well for primary grades. It’s not too long nor too short. They can see their progress or if there isn’t any, you can adjust the practice or the goal.
At the beginning of this post, I mentioned how effective goal setting was for my third graders. Well, the proof was in what they would do without my input. I “caught” them getting post-it notes to write their goals on before tests. They would put the post-its on their privacy screens for a visual reminder. Isn’t that the best? Just when you think they aren’t paying attention! Did their post its strategy work? ABSOLUTELY!! I couldn’t get their tests graded quick enough for them! MAJOR growth mindset happening!!!!
Of course, achieving goals is celebration worthy! So, not only did we make a BIG deal when a student reached their goals – I gave them a certificate to take home and share with family.
If you want to help your students, whether primary or upper elementary learn to set goals and support a growth mindset, you might want to look at my resource Goal Setting for a Growth Mindset on TPT. Included are goal setting worksheets for reading, writing, math, AR Points, and math facts. Check out my preview for more detailed look at all of the resources that are included!
I love teaching my students about growth mindset because it is such a great life skill! I also use mini-biographies in my classroom to help kids see that people from all walks of life can grow and learn. If you would like to learn more about other ways I teach growth mindset, this post goes into more details: Teach Your Students How to Have a Growth Mindset Like These Famous People.
These tips of goal setting and growth mindset have been on my heart lately. Thank you for the great post and products.
At what point in the school year would you teach goal setting? During the first 30 days? Later? I’m new to teaching and know there are so many things to introduce the first month. I love all your materials and need to budget what I buy and when!
That’s a wonderful question! I think goal setting can and should begin when we find areas that need improving for our students – and each student will be different. Wait until you have some data from tests to begin goal-setting. That way you will have a baseline and can help students set realistic goals. Thanks so much for your question!