Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Goal Setting & Monitoring

Goal Setting & Monitoring


Setting overall goals with actionable steps for achievement can help students feel more confident in their skills and abilities. Since literacy instruction is often embedded in disciplinary classes in the upper grades, creating literacy-focused goals can help students focus their literacy development while learning in content classes. Goal setting can also help students strengthen their self-efficacy and Motivation as they build their capacity to successfully tackle difficult challenges. For Composition in particular, setting specific goals for the content and audience of the piece leads to improvements in the overall quality of writing.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch how this sixth grade teacher infuses goal setting and monitoring during reading instruction. She shows how she combines group work, individual conferencing, and reflection to help her students achieve their specific achievement goals. Through this process, students are able to reflect on their learning and goals and revise them to meet their needs during the year.

  • Teachers can support students by helping them create individualized goals for learning based on personalized feedback and reflection and by helping them monitor their progress towards these goals, developing Self-regulation and increasing focus. For example, during the writing process, setting small, achievable goals may help students feel more in control of their learning while managing longer and more complex writing tasks that can sometimes feel overwhelming.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    See how products, such as Toodledo, allow learners to create tasks or lists of goals and self-monitor their progress. With functions like reminders and shareable lists, learners are able to stay more accountable to the goals they set.

  • For developers, creating a platform where teachers can incorporate milestones or goals that are realistic and pertinent for specific tasks can be highly motivating for learners. For their work to be relevant, learners must also have the opportunity and agency to set some goals personally. Integrating the ability to communicate with others about their progress towards these goals can increase accountability and create a collaborative workspace for students. A potential framework to follow for giving learners this agency in setting meaningful, attainable goals is SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Based, and Time-Bound.
  • Resources

    Below are additional examples, research, and professional development. These resources are possible representations of this strategy, not endorsements.

    Factors Supported by this Strategy