Using Goal-Setting to Increase Reading Achievement
To introduce the topic of goals and thinking about the future, use Steve Jobs’ 2005 Commencement Speech (on both YouTube and TeacherTube) and the TedEd Talk/Lesson 8 Traits of Successful People by Richard St. John.
Start a class discussion on goal-setting and why we set goals. As a class brainstorm possible goals students might set for the year--what do they need to work on to be successful students?
2 Direct Instruction
Teach students how to write SMART goals. There are many different already created Prezis on goal-setting that you can “reuse” and make your own. Make sure to talk about strengths, weaknesses, the use of data and how people measure success in meeting goals.
For this lesson, have students think about setting either reading comprehension or reading stamina goals.
3 Guided Practice
Using Google Docs, students create SMART reading goals and brainstorm how to meet the goal- how are they going to measure success? Students share their Doc with their teacher, their parent(s), and two peers for feedback.
In addition, students brainstorm how they are going to meet the goal. They are going to be using LightSail to help them meet their goal so students should be familiar with the application and its possibilties for student support and student enrichment. So, knowing that they are going to use LightSail, a student might decide that she needs to read more nonficiton books or that she wants to work on the reading comprehension skill of citing several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. The student can analyse her responses during her LightSail reading to see if she is meeting her goal.
As a teacher, you might use tools such as Learn Zilion or Better Lesson if you have a group of students working on the same skill/standard.
4 Ongoing Goal Tracking
Once the goals have been created, the teacher enters the goals and metrics into GoalBook. The students, his/her parents, and all relevant teachers are able to see and comment on the goals in GoalBook. Students are able to track their own process toward meeting the goal(s), empowering them to take control of their learning. Students should reguarly enter data into GoalBook and use the comment feature to reflect on their progress toward meeting their goal(s).
As a teacher, I can see all the students associated with me and can send them messages (both private messages that are just between the student and me and public, which are shared with everyone associated with the student) and can upload files that become part of the student's message stream. I can also share "celebrations." Students can upload screenshots as evidence of meeting their goal or parts of their goal.
5 Wrap-Up Reflection
Using a Google Doc, students should reflect on their progress toward meeting their goal(s). Did they meet the goal(s)? What did they do that went well? What didn't work well? If they were to start over, what would they have done differently? Are they going to continue to work on the goal? Are they going to set new goals? How has the meeting (or not meeting) the goal affected their reading?
Ideally, students would reflect regularly but at least they should reflect at the end of the year, using evidence from GoalBook to support their conclusions.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.