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. For writing in particular, setting specific goals for the content and audience of a composition leads to improvements in the writing process.
References Goal Setting
American Psychological Association, Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. (2015). Top 20 principles from psychology for preK-12 teaching and learning.
Chevalier, N., & Blaye, A. (2009). Setting goals to switch between tasks: Effect of cue transparency on children's cognitive flexibility. Developmental Psychology, 45(3), 782.
Cohen, J. (2001). Social and emotional education: Core concepts and practices. In J. Cohen (Ed.), _Caring classrooms/intelligent schools: The social emotional education of young children _(Chapter 1). New York: Teachers College Press.
Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
McMahon, S. D., Wernsman, J., & Rose, D. S. (2009). The relation of classroom environment and school belonging to academic self-efficacy among urban fourth-and fifth-grade students. The Elementary School Journal, 109(3), 267-281.
Schroder, H. S., Fisher, M. E., Lin, Y., Lo, S. L., Danovitch, J. H., & Moser, J. S. (2017). Neural evidence for enhanced attention to mistakes among school-aged children with a growth mindset. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2017.01.004
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.