Goal Setting

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Method & Rationale

Setting a reachable goal can bring a lot of positive aspects in a classroom, especially in a difficult situation. It can be either individual or common goals or both.
Students have to reflect their own situation and have to decide what to do. All students have to and can think about reachable goals for the rest of a school year. Especially students with a lot of bad marks and no possibility to reach the next class, normally lose all motivation. They are not willing to follow the topics and start to disturb the lessons. Giving them a reachable and meaningful goal (e.g. reaching a certificate like ECDL) they are a lot more motivated and better to lead.
Students with motivation problems normally can be pushed to work harder, because they give a “promise” to them and to their classmates to reach the goal.


Best time to use this method is after the first round of exams in a semester or starting of second semester. Students should already know their problems and successes.
First step is to give students a short introduction of how to formulate a goal (see Power-Point). Afterwards students have time to find their own goals. At least one goal has to be in school context, other can be private or sports context too.
Next step is to write the goals on an arrow (or a sheet of paper with an arrow on it). When all students have finished this step, one after one is asked to leave his place, stand in front of his class mates and tell them his goals. He should use the starting words: “I will …. “ and not “I want to”. Pronounce a goal loudly makes it a lot more compulsory, not only to the classmates but first of all to the student himself.
Afterwards all arrows are fixed together in the classroom. At the beginning all arrows should look same direction and be horizontal.
 Every week students are forced to align the arrows. Up means I am reaching my goal, down means I remove from my goal. All arrows together give a good idea what happens in this class.
02 01 SmileWEB Goal Setting

Students Outcomes

   -   Students with no chance to reach next class can be motivated to reach their own goal.
       Their behaviour is much better if they have a reachable goal, which gives them prospects for the rest of the schoolyear.
   -   Students with troubles are normally motivated if they can reach one goal after the other.
       Dealing with their problems step by step helps them to fix them.
   -   Whole class can be motivated by visualize the efforts and the successes. All arrows looking up gives them the feeling of “Yes, we can do it”



   -   Start after the first exams
   -   Give students a short introduction of SMART-goals
   -   Make them really think about their goals
   -   Don’t forget to work with the arrows every week


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