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Junior School Goal Setting

Cluster Goal 3: Schools develop a culture of goal setting, reflection and sharing.

Success Criteria: Students are highly motivated learners who set goals, measure successes and refine their strategies for further learning

Who are we?  Teacher Rochelle Jensen - Year 2 students at David Street School (Decile 5, roll 379 students in a contributing school Years 0-6) Morrinsville, Waikato (Three Rivers ICTPD Cluster)

What was the purpose?

• To positively reinforce the school values so that the students were in charge. 

• To narrow down the values to achieve one small step at a time.

• To directly relate their goals to where they are on our rubric.  

• To reflect on our learning and actions and to self assess.

* To encourage students to talk about their learning. 

How did it fit into learning?

• The concept (topic) was self-managing through the David Street School values.  

• The students worked their way up the rubric using the SOLO steps. 

• The students learnt the school values so they could move on the rubric.

• This allowed the students to be responsible for their learning.  

What we did?

After introducing goal setting and the school values the students wrote in their writing book a goal for them in relation to the David Street values. The teacher supported them by turning it into a positive statement  (as some children wrote goals like ‘don’t talk on the mat’) and discussed with them how it related to our school values. Their goal was then printed with their photo and displayed on the wall. At the end of each day we reflected on our goals and the student decided if they have achieved it. If they had, they placed a sticker on their goal chart.

The important part was talking about their goal at the end of the day. Each student had to state what their goal was and how they thought they had achieved it.

For example: Kate’s goal was to be responsible for her learning by getting her work done faster. She would say “ My goal is to be responsible for my learning by getting my work faster and I did it because I got my handwriting done in time.”

Goals were easily achieved by the children and after proving they had achieved their goal 6 times, they created a new goal. Kate had 4 goals in term one all aligned with the school's values.

Here are the photos of Kate’s first goals that she has achieved. 

At the end of the term the student added a video to their electronic portfolios about their achievement on their class values SOLO rubric. 

Next steps: (term two)

As term one came to an end the teacher took down the finished goals and didn’t put any new ones up. When term two started they explored their new learner quality, which was thinkers (specifically reflective thinkers). Students had to come up with a new goal to do with being a reflective thinker. The teacher felt this was more specific than their school values so this time gave them more chances to achieve this goal but made it for the term. The teacher didn’t realize how much the children loved their goals until they got the new ones.  When the goals were displayed on the class walls students were all so excited. This time they had to try to achieve this goal twice a week but got a chance everyday to prove it. 

For example:

Kate’s goal was “to C3B4ME to become a reflective thinker.” So if she didn’t have a problem that she needed help with on Monday then she could try again on Tuesday. Students particularly had problems to solve when the teacher was introducing something new on the computer and they had to ask another student for help.

Once again the emphasis was on talking about the goal. The students had to prove to the class that they had achieved their goal that day. Kate would say “My goal is to C3B4ME to become a reflective thinker. I did this today because I didn’t know how to rotate a photo on the computer so I asked Joshua but he didn’t know so I asked Kieran and he told me how to solve my problem.”

Their aim was to achieve their goal at least twice a week. This was a trial for the teacher because she wanted to know if the children were motivated about their learning and could achieve more if their goals were changed more regularly.  Already there is affirmative evidence from term one and reflection is ongoing in term 2 to see changes in student’s thinking and verbalizing their goals and how they are working towards and/or achieving them.

How it helped student achievement?

  • Students all knew their goal. 
  • Students were focused on their learning because they wanted to achieve their goal. 
  • Students were having difficulty relating their actions to the values - through setting goals they have been able to see an example of this. 
  • Students were confident discussing their learning and reflecting upon their day. 
  • Students were able to self assess and transfer this into others areas. e.g. students can now use the same strategies to reflect on their writing goals.