Math PK-2

Systems Change
Math PK-2 > Strategies > Goal Setting

Goal Setting


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 their own 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 tackle difficult challenges and be successful.

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, maintaining them in their Short-term Memory.

  • 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. Learners feel more Motivation to tackle challenging math problems with the support of goals and micro-goals. For example, setting a 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 at least some of the goals personally. A potential framework to follow for giving learners this agency in setting meaningful, attainable goals for learners is WOOP: Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy

    Numeracy and Mathematics
    Social and Emotional Learning
    Student Background