Math PK-2

Goal Setting & Monitoring


Setting overall goals, as well as smaller goals as steps to reaching them, encourages consistent, achievable progress and helps students feel confident in their skills and abilities. When learners create math-focused goals, plan out steps to achieve them, and check their progress against these steps, they strengthen their self-efficacy as they build their capacity to successfully tackle difficult challenges.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch this fifth grade teacher use SMART goals with her students. By sharing examples of her students' goals, this teacher provides a concrete overview of what makes up a SMART goal. Through this process, students are able to reflect on their learning and goals.

  • Teachers can support students by helping them create goals for future learning based on what they do well, what they are excited to learn, and their target areas, then help them monitor their progress towards these goals, developing Self-regulation. Learners feel more Motivation to tackle challenging math problems with the support of proximal and moderately challenging but attainable goals and micro-goals, since students are less skilled at thinking about a distant future until middle adolescence. For example, setting a math goal of counting 10 higher each week can help a student feel confident that they can work with bigger numbers.
  • Design It into Your Product

  • For a developer, incorporating milestones or goals that are realistic and pertinent 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. A potential framework to follow for giving learners this agency in setting meaningful, attainable goals is WOOP: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan.