Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Having Your Students Set Goals

Today was a good day.  I really enjoyed talking with my students about the goals that they have set for my class.  I was proud of the things that they wrote down.  I was encouraged with their vision of what they want to do.  It just affirms to me that the more we INVOLVE our students in their education, the more they will OWN it.

Here is what I did.
1.  I gave my students a page of questions to answer regarding goals. (see below)  One of the questions was what was their word for the semester.  It was their homework assignment.  There was no other assignment besides this.  That was yesterday the first day of the semester.
2.  Next, I met with my students individually and talked about their goals. I first asked them what their word for the semester was and why.  Then that started them talking and I just scanned the rest of the goals and asked them to elaborate on a few.  That was today, the second day of the semester.  For your information, I had the rest of my students working on a technology assignment with a school set of iPads.

POSITIVES:  I had One on One contact with each of my students.   I could affirm some of my students directly instead of through assignments or assessments.  Grades were not a focus of our meeting.  I gained a deeper appreciation for my students.  I addressed some issues with students like a lack of homework completion or low test scores.

DRAWBACK:  It used a full day of class.

SOME WORDS FOR THE SEMESTER THAT MY STUDENTS CHOSE:  Focus, Tests, Determined, Study,  Finish, Consistent...

I'd love to hear how you have used goals to help your students stretch towards excellence.

Here is what I handed out.

Goals for Precalculus Semester 2    Name_____________

Homework Completion
I hope to complete what percent of all the assignments in the course.    _______%
I am planning on doing my homework in this location.   _________________________________
I plan on spending this much time per night working on homework:  ________
Other Homework Goals?

Homework Questions
I plan on taking these steps when I’m frustrated and can’t complete my homework:

Procedural and Conceptual
Math Teachers try to get a balance of 50% procedural understanding and 50% conceptual understanding. 
Where are you now?  Where do you hope to be?

The first 2 chapters of this course are extremely difficult.  (High Dive and Chapter 6 Trig functions)  However, once through these two chapters, the remainder of the course uses these concepts over and over.  How do you plan on mastering the first two chapters? 

Studying for math tests is difficult.  Besides studying the review homework, I plan on doing: 

Only for Seniors
Inevitably, seniors lose a little focus and passion for the course as May gets closer.  How do you plan on battling this?

Word for the Semester
Some possible words:  check, effort, preparation, tests, grade, excellence, understanding, believe, thorough…
My Word for the Semester is:  ______________   The reason I chose this word is…

No Easy Roads to Excellence
If you hope to do well in something there are no short cuts.   What are your thoughts on this? 

OPTIONAL:  Comment on your hopes for a overall % in this class


Beth Atchley said...

I love that you gave the students several prompts to think about and write on before asking them to sum up their main goal in a single word!

Teri Owens said...

I hope it is okay if I borrow some of this and adapt it for my students! I love it! Especially choosing a word for the semester!