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SMART Goal Setting

Setting SMART Goals with Your Student

A new school year calls for new school-year resolutions! Resolutions offer a great opportunity for teachers, parents, and students to discuss prior years and reflect. What were the highs? What were the lows? How can you work together to make this school term the best is can be?

Setting realistic goals is an easy way to establish expectations and self-discipline in your student for the upcoming year. Also, goals are a great way to track growth and progress throughout the year. Whether they’re academic, social, or extracurricular, the best goals have to be SMART!

SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. By establishing SMART goals, parents/teachers can work with students to develop the necessary action plans to achieve them. The students need to come up with their own goals, but parents can assist by asking in-depth questions that align with those SMART objectives.

Specific goals are focused and exact.

They should answer the questions of what, when, where, and why. For example, rather than saying, “I want to read more books,” you could say, “I will read 15 books before winter break”.

Measurable goals can track growth and progress to know when the goal is met.

The goal can be measured using quantifiable variables to guarantee a clear and precise intention. If the goal is to read 15 books before winter break, it is advantageous for the student and parent/teacher to document each book leading up to that 15-book goal.

Attainable goals should be challenging but not too hard or too easy.

It is important to set a goal that can be achieved by the student. It would be rather difficult and nearly impossible for a student to read 100 books between the beginning of the school year and winter break.

Relevant goals are important to the goal-setter.

The goal has to be worth the time it takes to meet it. Why does the student want to reach the goal? Does the student want to read more to be a better writer, to spend less time playing video games, or to read the most books out of anyone in the class? The motive behind the goal makes it relevant.

Time-bound goals give a time frame in which one hopes to accomplish the goal.

Having a time-sensitive goal can make a student more motivated to succeed since they have a target date in mind.

A great thing about setting SMART goals is that this method can be used for any type of goal setting, ranging from something like aiming to read a certain amount of books as a child, to more difficult tasks like saving up funds to pay for a study abroad trip in college.

Goal: I want to read books

SMART Goal: I will read between 15 and 30 books in the next 5 months because being a good reader will help improve my writing.

A new year offers students an excellent opportunity to challenge their minds with new books that brings them on a new adventure, spark curiosity, build vocabulary, or create beautiful memories. Here are some challenges to get your readers started this year: read a book about a planet, read a book that takes place in Orlando, read a mystery by Carole Marsh, read a book about a historical female figure, read a book about dogs, read a book with your family, recommend a book to a friend!


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