Common Sense Review
Updated April 2015

Goalbook Toolkit

Set tailored targets with pricey but worth-it kit of tools, strategies
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • From the homepage, users can access the “Goal Wizard,” “Repository,” their saved goals (“Library”) as well as UDL strategies.
  • The immense goal database (Repository) is easily searchable using subject, grade, CCSS, and other filters.
  • Create individualized goals for students based on their needs.
  • Build Common Core Standard-aligned and specific, IEP-ready learning goals.
  • Access various strategies aligned with Universal Design for Learning and tied to specific pathways for learning.
Pros
The extensive database of specific learning goals (and well-explained interventions) will wow any teacher hoping to differentiate.
Cons
It doesn't connect to student information/management systems, so goals created for students aren’t automatically, easily accessible to all involved.
Bottom Line
You pay for quality with Goalbook Toolkit, including access to clear, well-crafted learning goals and strategies that allow for far easier differentiation.
Christie Thomas
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

A rich collection of learning objectives and strategies combined with functional search engine and breezy Goal Wizard make matching students with goals easy. Complete edit-ability allows tweaking to craft just the right target.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Specific, measurable, and individualized goals across areas from writing to math to transitions will make IEP-writing, 504-planning, and general differentiation fully manageable and CCSS-connected.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The site is pretty intuitive, and a short, screenshot-based tutorial on the home page (when not signed in) gives a great overview. Still, many users would appreciate a video, FAQ page, or even a “help” button.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Goalbook Toolkit is all about creating differentiated learning goals: Search the database for a content area, standard, grade level, or other criteria, and browse suggestions to support diverse learners. If teachers want a new way to teach a skill or concept, the UDL adaptation ideas can come in handy, too.

For teachers with large caseloads or overlapping Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals between students, Goalbook Toolkit can cut down on repetitive paperwork. Save goals in the Library and refer back to them later on, and copy/paste them into official documentation. Similarly, ESL, gifted teachers, and guidance counselors responsible for 504 Plans may find Goalbook Toolkit especially productive. 

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What's It Like?

Goalbook Toolkit is an online source for Common Core State Standards-based (CCSS) learning goals and teaching interventions. Users can select the Goal Wizard or browse the Repository to find clear, editable learning targets. The database search engine is excellent, with filters for grade, CCSS, and subject (Math, Speech, Occupational Therapy). Special Education and English as a Second Language teachers will find some goals also align with state/WIDA standards.  Once found, goals can be stored as-is or edited and saved in the user’s Library. 

Each of Toolkit’s grade-level goals has pre-made language supporting different levels of learners. This differentiation relies on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategies, which are also helpfully explained. UDL info and a UDL Wizard (available from the homepage) are identical to resources found in Goalbook Pathways, a parallel site focused on instructional pathways (vs. goals).

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Is It Good For Learning?

Goalbook Toolkit is hands-down good for learning, despite the fact that students don’t interface directly with it. It hosts an amazing stockpile of pre-made learning targets -- each usefully differentiated and also fully editable, allowing educators to find and tweak goals for any student. Further, each goal is tied to teaching interventions that are clearly explained (even illustrated), so any teacher new to differentiation or wanting to refresh their instruction can find support. 

Logistically, there are a few snags. Goalbook Toolkit’s system doesn’t interface with student information systems, so updated goals aren’t automatically accessible across an educational team. My Library goals can be shared with others via links, but they aren’t editable by colleagues, nor is the shared information streamlined enough to make it useable by most parents.

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See how teachers are using Goalbook Toolkit

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