• The Core Collaborative

Goal Setting With Your Students

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

By: Dr. Paul Bloomberg, Executive Director, The Core Collaborative

Happy New Year everyone! In moving into the New Year it seemed like a good idea to blog about goal setting. I was lucky to be indoctrinated into the idea of goal setting by my father. He owned a company on the side while I was growing up called Bloomberg Associates - Success Motivation Institute. He had me constantly create and monitor my goals until I achieved them. At 13 years old, I used to paste pictures up on my mirror symbolizing what I wanted out of life, and then figured out with my mom and dad what I had to do to achieve them. As much as I couldn't’ stand doing it – it has had a positive lasting effect. I know in my heart and mind that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do. All of the partner consultants at The Core Collaborative want every student that we reach to have that same feeling – the belief that they can do anything they set their minds to…

What is goal setting?

In order for learning to be student-centered, students must be able to answer the following questions about their learning.

  • Where am I at?

  • Where am I going?

  • Where to next?

Students set learning goals after they receive feedback from a self-assessment, peer assessment or teacher developed formative assessment or any combination of the three. When students use the success criteria from a specific formative assessment in goal creation, goal setting can be very straightforward.

Students can highlight or underline the criteria from the assessment that they didn’t meet and then utilize the criteria when setting short term learning goals.

Goal setting involves establishing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted (S.M.A.R.T) goals.

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Relevant

T = Timely and Trackable


Here is an example from a 3rd grade rubric a teacher team developed. The student underlined the criterion he missed and then wrote a SMART goal.

SMART goal created by the student after identifying missed criteria:

S: Next time when I am working on determining the main idea in a text I need to work on explaining why the key details I chose support my main idea. I can figure the supporting details out but I need to work on explaining how they support the main idea of the text.

M: I will assess my self on this in about 2 weeks, after I work with some students in class that already do this pretty well. I need 3 pieces of evidence to show that I have mastered this standard.

A: I am super close to mastering this standard… I just need to work on the explanation. I also have a CLOZED paragraph that I am going to use to help me. I am reading on grade level and I can almost do this now.

R: This standard is super important because when you read you have to know what is important from what is not important.

T: I think I can master this in 2 weeks – by November 20th. When I am finished, I will put the evidenced in my google doc folder.

Goal Setting Templates

There are many ways to create goal-setting templates but it is very important that students utilize the success criteria in writing their goals. Many teacher color code the criteria or create a CLOZED SMART Goal setting worksheet where students just fill in the blanks to create their learning goals.

Most importantly, as teachers you should try different ideas out in order to find what works best for your students. The template may even vary from student to student and are all over the web. For more examples and to schedule a free consultation please email info@thecorecollaborative.com

Benefits for Students

  • Achieving goals are a measure of success towards mastery of standards

  • Specific goals lead to a higher level of performance

  • Achieving goals improve self-efficacy

  • Students utilize metacognition, higher order thinking skills, when setting goals

  • Goal-Setting allows for self regulation, the learners adjustment in the learning process in their response to their perception of feedback

Purchase the revolutionary new book by best-selling authors Paul Bloomberg, Barb Pitchford, and Kara Vandas -- Peer Power: Unite Learn, Prosper: Activate an Assessment Revolution (Mimi & Todd Press). Click here

#learningintentions #successcriteria #smartgoals #goalsetting

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