Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Setting Goals

Image 66/365: Our chart to help us keep track while learning about
goals and setting goals. 

Images 64/65 of 365: This is where we started. When asked "What are goals?" "What kind of goals have you had or do you have?", the above statements were the primary responses: kids had not heard of them, let alone had them. 

Our third grade CCSS includes learning about notable people, entrepreneurs, inventors, etc. In social studies my students learned about several different people, so in my literacy/ writing group, I wanted to extend their thinking. I decided to do so through the lens of goals/ goal-setting. To get inside the heads of others, to understand that the success of all of these notable people didn't "just happen", that there was much more to it, that it didn't always come easy.  And that often, seeds of inspiration, along with the start of the necessary work, came at young ages.

We began by talking about goals, obstacles, who can set goals and why it is ok to fail. We used short biographies of random people, from Michael Jordan, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Nawal el Sadaawi to Frida Kahlo. Each of them had goals, took steps to achieve them, yet encountered obstacles along the way. And we watched several video clips demonstrating perseverance, learning from failure, helping others, and not giving up.

Students were given short bios to read, with several purposes for re-reading: 
for comprehension, to understand what their person's primary goal in life was (which in turn required re-reading to understand why that may have been unusual or a feat in itself), to determine both steps and obstacles in pursuit of the goals, and how they defined/ achieved success. We also sought evidence of failure.

They read and re-read while using a scaffolded note-taking guide, created posters of their notable people in pairs, then shared their information orally with the others. Prior to that, however, they recorded their presentation on our voice recorders--which, by the way, is a great way for them to work on expression and fluency if they're shy--they can take the recorder into the corner of the room where no one can see them, and practice away!

Following this in-depth look at setting goals, encountering inevitable obstacles, taking steps toward success, and realizing that success can look very different to many people, these are how some of the comments looked. Keep in mind that 3 weeks prior, these 9 year old students had never heard of a goal. 

 Images 60/ 61/62/63/  365: Responding to "Why Goals are Important"
Judging by their responses, I knew they had grasped the gist of our objectives, but was unsure of the depth of their understanding. Before we moved on to the next objectives which included more detailed writing, I wanted to see how they would apply what they had learned. I asked them what advice they would give others, or what they would tell others about goals, setting goals, and/ or the importance of goals. Here are some of their responses. (Don't you just love post-it notes for quick responses?!)

Images 58/ 59/  365: Advice they would give others about goals, or what they would tell others about them. 

Image 57: I like to learn [teach] goals so kids won't give up so they learn how to do [be] a role model. 

Overall, I was pleased to see that they had started to grasp these ideas, and could use much of the targeted vocabulary in their discussions, if not in their writing--yet. Stay tuned for part two, when we unveil their masterpieces--a culmination of 6 more weeks of 30 min/ day, attacking the standards one step at a time. We will also see what their reflections are after completing this work, and revisiting their initial post-it note responses!

Common Core Standards Addressed:
RL: 3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL: 3.2 Recount stories, determine the central lesson or message, and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. 
SL: 3.4 Report on a topic or text with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
SL: 3.6 Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
W.3.2 Write informative texts to examine a topic and convey information clearly.
W.3.2 Develop the topic with facts, definitions and details.
L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the convention of the Standard English grammar usage when writing or speaking.
L.3.1i Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.

1 comment:

  1. If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.