Level Up Your Students’ Goal Setting and Tracking

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Goal setting and tracking as an adult can be very overwhelming, can you imaging being a kid and setting goals? Here are four things you can do to help your students set and track goals in your math classroom.

#1: Introduce SMART goals to your students.

Goal setting and tracking is quite overwhelming for adults, let alone students. Sometimes we dream too small and need a reminder that we can do what we want to do, as long as we work hard towards it. 

SMART goals are an excellent way for students to set appropriate goals to work towards. In case you’re wondering what SMART stands for:

Specific. Goals should be as specific as possible. This will help students to really narrow down what needs to be done in order to reach the goal.

Measurable. In order to track progress towards the goal, it needs to be measurable. Simple saying, “I will pass my math test” is not enough. Students should put a specific grade to work towards so that they can measure their progress.

Attainable. This piece of the puzzle helps us to put things in perspective. We need to remind students that although getting 100 on a math test would be lovely, they should set a smaller, more attainable goal first. Eventually, they can set that goal to get 100 on their math test, but it might take them some time and many small wins first. This is why it is so important to create attainable goals. 

Relevant. If your student wants to be a famous YouTuber when they grow up, that’s great, but irrelevant to math. It is important when writing goals for the rest of the school year that students use that perspective. Goals should be relevant to their lives at the moment. By having relevant goals, they will be more motivated to work towards them.  

Timely. By making goals time-bound, it gives students more motivation. Giving a deadline for things makes people work that much harder towards it. It will also give students accountability towards achieving their goals. 

#2: Use Google Sheets to track student goals.

I love using Google Sheets for all the things! Why not track student goals with Google Sheets also? To help you do this, I created this template that I would love for you to have. Click here to head to my TpT store to grab the template. 

Basically, each student has their own Google Sheet with their goals listed. They track when they have check-ins with you and then log it. You have access to all students’ work to track their progress towards their goals as well as a class list monitoring students’ goals. 

There is even a tab for you to track the goal check-ins that you have with your students to monitor their progress!

#3: Visualize the end-goal.

Teach your students to visualize what they are working towards. Ask them questions like:

  • What will it look like when you achieve your goal?
  • How will you achieve your goal?
  • What long term goal is this SMART goal helping you to achieve? 
  • How will you feel when you achieve your goal?

This will show students how to visualize a successful goal.

#4: Schedule goal check-ins with Google Calendar.

If you want to be really fancy, you can create appointments on Google Calendar for students to sign up for check-ins. This will help students take ownership of their education and give them accountability towards obtaining their goals. 

To do this, simply go to your Google Calendar in Weekly view. Click the “Appointment Slots” button and set the parameters! 

Screenshot of Google Calendar appointment slot set up.

Students can sign up for your appointment slots by copying the calendar appointment page and sharing it with your students. It’s as easy as that!

Try these strategies and I promise that goal setting and tracking with your students will be painelss! I hope these tips will help guide you and your students into writing and obtaining goals for 2021 and the rest of the school year! 

I want to know – what is one goal you have for the rest of the school year? Mine is to create and implement a morning routine that I can stick to for 5 out of 7 days a week. 



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Hi, I'm Alexandra!

I am a fourth-grade math teacher turned elementary tech teacher. I help upper elementary math teachers like YOU get organized digitally and engage students with digital tools. When I’m not teaching, you can find me taking long walks with my dog, Frannie, or travelling (especially to Disney World)!