Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Student Goal Setting and Reflections - #21stedchat Feb 17, 2013

Sunday evening's #21stedchat ended at 6pm PST, but I was almost 500 tweets behind on Twitterfall... There was such amazing depth to the discussion and such a wealth of resources being shared, I felt like I couldn't gloss over anything.  This chat is what finally convinced me to start a blog - to be able to organize my thoughts and my resources coming out of this chat and all the other amazing conversations I'm participating in this year, and keep it all somewhere organized.  

A few overarching themes rose out of the Goal Setting and Reflections #21stedchat:

(1) How / What kinds of goals we help kids set

Kids and teachers should collaborate on setting *learning* goals, not focused on "grades" or numbers.  It's important to have school-wide language and culture to support goals.  Besides reflecting upon goals, students should re-articulate their goals... goals change! Many schools use SMART goals as a framework.

(2) How/when we help them reflect

Reflection should be embedded in the learning process, and include examples of work ("data") and feedback about *how* the work shows progress.  Reflection requires (and gives) much more ownership than just setting goals.  Taking the time for embedded reflection is harder than just setting the goals... Google sites, blogs, and electronic portfolios are excellent ways for students to reflect.  Exit-tickets can give quick, solid reflection at the end of a class period.  "Learning is as much about the process as about the product."

(3) How formal conferences w parents play into student growth, esp student-led conferences

Student-led conferences are NOT yet ubiquitous.  See the amazing video of a 1st grader leading her conference.  Parents see their child through a different lens, and children have to reflect deeply to show their learning to their parents.

**We should start a resource of videos of our own student-led conferences!**

(4) How "grading," teacher and peer feedback, and in-class conferences can support student growth

Number and letter grades do NOT convey learning. Feedback - from teacher, peers, and self! - are all vital for understanding how work demonstrates learning. 1:1 conferences during classtime to discuss work, and "inter-rater reliability" on assessments are both key.  Teachers struggle with how to support students who aren't able to accurately assess their own learning... That "inter-rater reliability" piece can help!

(5) How student-directed learning can support deep thinking

Project-based learning gives kids truly informative data on their own learning. #geniushour, passion time, and "Google 20%" projects are making great headway in supporting student-driven learning.  Public publishing of work online increases student ownership, desire for excellence! ("Everyone is gonna see it!")

(6) Structures needed in the school day to support all of the above

Goal-setting and especially reflection take TIME!  If all classes are subject-specific and no "overarching" class (like advisor, homeroom, etc), then when can students look at themselves from an overarching perspective?  We need to model effective goal-setting and reflection, and incorporate it into our everyday, school-wide language.

After the jump, I'll pull out highlights from the conversations and resources around each of those overarching themes.  Tweets are in chronological order, which is really confusing since they "fall" in reverse chronological.  Resources are highlighted in yellow.  Be sure to check out the "other stuff" section at the bottom for the other resources that didn't fit into the themes... How To Teach Like a Pirate, supporting students who have a hard time collaborating, and more.


(1) How / What kinds of goals we help kids set

I think the students need to make their own goals so they have ownership 

I have my students set 3-5 goals at report card time 2x per year. They do this after teaching skills. I give 2 goals as well. 

 Kids set "overarching goals" in advisor & look for evidence of need for those goals in tchr comments for first p/t/s conferences

 set student goals through individualized rubrics
 A1: Students & teachers should collaborate to create the goals for the class. Students should determine direction

 I wrote a blog post about this: . My students set test score goals and reading goals.

  We had students review their test data and set goals with the teacher and a parent

 So many goals. Academic, skill-oriented, behavioral

 Look up SMART goals. Some say "too corporate," but it's been effective guideline for us. 

 I think it's important to use achievement data and TEACH kids to set appropriate, challenging goals that push them beyond limits

Too many schools make the goals about "getting good grades" and "earning points." 

 we have school wide language objectives & required learning objectives 

 student goals need to not be only academic but cover all components needed to be a success in school

 A first step my 7ths take is id'ing all their "roles," and considering what top skills in each "role" are... then goals f that

 I use SMART goals during their conference times  

 Goals s/b S centered but they need guidance and steps to follow.

 YouTube has a few goal setting videos with kids as examples for whole class viewing

Seems a bit hard to many to set goals not related to numerical values. 

 Effective Goal Setting With Students 

 it need to be seamless not 'an add on' 

  great idea making goal setting collaborative in nature among all stakeholders gives it personal meaning

 At certain points in the year, have student write a letter to parents focusing on what's going well, and set goals for success.

  peer edits google doc allows seamless feedback.Especially preparing 4 publishing.All hands on deck 

How much of the control do we give students when setting goals? Teacher directed or student directed? 

 In the beg. set class task goals to build sense of community. Ss engage in collaborative discussions about their thinking

 I think in the beginning we need to guide them, but the scaffold it so by mid year they are creating their own goals. 

Ss need to assess their current reality and establish how to move beyond that reality. Teacher support required! 

 IMO, sudent goals should be fluid, continuously revisiting and adjusting. 

Starting class w/essential question sets goal for all students-finish class by answering question. 

Goal Setting A Teacher & Student Journey  

If we could teach students 2 understand their own learning better they would be more prepared 2   

BTW, wanted to share great goal resource we're piloting: (sez IEP, but we're using for all) 

  no doubt - how do we get past the "i want an A+" as the ubiquitous goal?


(2) How/when we help them reflect

10 Ways to Encourage Student Reflection  

 Students need time and opportunities to be reflective of their work which should then help them set goals to achieve success.

 Goals require reflection. S's need guidance on how to reflect in an authentic way

 I include a scale sometimes along with a reflection on Google Forms. 

 Tracking goals requires them to take ownership, not just setting them 

 1 of my struggles is kids who think doing awesome, but aren't. Self-reflection just not accurate. How to move on this?

@millerg6I think Ts have to support Ss in early years to set appropriate goals. Works for us anyway. by 4th they are in charge

I used to have students set a weekly goal on Monday and reflect on it in writing to close class on Friday 

 Setting goals is essential to learning, but celebrating the success of reaching those goals is just as important.

if students set goals they also have to track progress and identify strategies to help them meet goals 

 What is reflective learning? New term to me.

yes, student goal setting & reflection take time. but "covering" content the students feel no connection to is a waste of time

 My Ss recently set goals by reading Ts assignment specific comments & comparing Ts & S performance evaluation grids. Insightful!

Student's can track their learning through blogging with teacher supervision, allowing parents to see their progress. 

 find i'm great at finding time to have students identify and write about goals, but terrible at returning to them 

  agreed - using google sites to create individual student portfolios with docs, forms, etc. 

 We have to be careful not to "punish" those who don't reach their goals by excluding them from "rewards."

 I use blogging as a digital portfolio. Great for reflection and assessing goals.

 I like idea of having students share with classmates successes in reaching goals & frustrations how they worked through those

  It is all about teaching Ss to be reflective of their experiences. 

 documenting struggles and learning how to struggle effectively is key when reflecting on goals.

Ss need a clear understanding that the learning is positioned between current reality and future goals. Reflection required!

easy 4student reflection on collaborative work: fill out pie chart divvying up how work load was shared & explain 

 My Ss have data binders, where they keep pre/post tests and complete reflection pages. 

   Students need a model of "quality work" and time to reflect on how to get there 

Reflection techniques I use with my students: 

RT    Stus need a model of "quality work" and time to reflect on how to get there


(3) How formal conferences w parents play into student growth, esp student-led conferences

Ss need to participate more in conferences with parents present. 

 Student lead conferences are amazingly powerful…trying to prepare myself to conduct them next year.

  A 1st grader, leading the conference through her digital portfolio 

Student led conferencing where Ss have to reference their goals and data on progress is HIGHLY EFFECTIVE practice 

 Student led conferences w/ the parent presence helps me see the Ss with a different lens. So powerful!

 Jerry's Student Lead Conferences Page -->… Thanks 

 for S led conferences, S choose samples of work that show areas to improve & areas need to improve.

  My Ss do S-led conferences in Nov & Feb. Prepare Keynote to share progress in every subj + writing sample 

  Privacy issue. :-( Maybe we should start a tumblr (or something) for teachers to post conference vids!


(4) How "grading," teacher and peer feedback, and in-class conferences can support student growth

We want students to be able to judge for themselves whether a piece of work is excellent or falls short of their expectations.

 individual conferences are a fab of mine with middle schoolers using surveys and interest collection 

Students have to understand that all work is subject to revision & suggested changes don't mean they failed the first time.

Students need to spend more time reading directions & knowing its ok to fail, as long as they learn from it 

 Any ideas on how to approach offering positive feedback? 

  1-1 conferences def ideal. I give written feedback, but not always personal, verbal. Need to slow down!

  conference 1:1 and lead them into a direction that is more challenging but with the support in place all ready

Students should realize that revising a project, collaborating, and even starting over are natural parts of real-world work. 

I need this! RT : Portfolios are great to track goals; hard to deny prog (or lack) in tangible examples in front of you 

 True! Half the battle is encouraging Ss to preserver and adjust deadlines. It is a journey not a destination! 

 -- We highlight inter-rater reliability. Students self assess and then a partner assess. Then they see how close they were.

In my opinion, the only value of letter grades is a point of comparison for soccer moms. They don't show growth 

Looks like an interesting PD "Degrade the Classroom" 

Students Grading Their Learning? You Bet! My latest post on student directed learning    


(5) How student-directed learning can support deep thinking

Allowing students different options for creating/sharing their final product gives them ownership but keeps them on target.

  meaningful activities are essential to support their goals & to differentiate so students reach their max potential

after our  presentations Ss give thoughtful, respectful feedback to the presenters Ss reflect on their learning 

   posting projects on web & publishing can bolster quality of work a student bring to table

RT “: Imagine if every class was equipped w/a "submit for publication" button. With today's technology, it's possible.

  so true; authentic work for a real audience has a REAL goal 

  no doubt - how do we get past the "i want an A+" as the ubiquitous goal?

Student choice, passion-based learning, 20% projects/genius hour - all naturally include goal setting. 

When students take ownership for what they create, they try harder to make it better. Especially if their work has an audience.

try out the  wiki by   for 20% ideas 

Here is a workshop I led about Genius Hour - we call it Passion Time:  

Had a  T have S chose from a list of stds & document how they met the std for final exam. Awesome to read 


(6) Structures needed in the school day to support all of the above

Ts are sometimes reluctant to use class time for goal setting and discussion. 

 It is also important to remember that success and what reaching a goal looks like is different for every child.

 What if you don't have an advisory period. Where do we do these goals.

 Teachers need time to look or assess the data to discuss the results with students and make goals.

 the more we model process and give value more students will as well, creating that passion and desire critical to success


Other stuff that didn't really fit into those categories, but caught my eye:

Should I Teach Problem-, Project-, or Inquiry-based Learning? | | via ,

  Couldn't agree more, John. Tech doesn't make up for poor pedagogy. 

 you all should join  as he leads a "Teach Like a PIRATE" book study starting next Sunday! 

RT : 20Tips On How To Work With Students Who Have a Hard Time Collaborating  via  

No comments:

Post a Comment