MAT Blog

Keep Students Motivated with This Goal-Setting Activity

Posted by Ryan O'Rourke on May 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

goal setting activityWhen we were students, often the last week of school was spent watching videos and goofing around. We loved every minute of it, but looking back, it’s easy to see that this was not a productive use of our time.

To keep students motivated and self-reflective, we like to have them complete goal-setting worksheets throughout the year—but you can certainly implement them at any point in the semester, even if you only have a few weeks left of school.

This activity comes from Larry Ferlazzo, but over the years, we've made a few tweaks to the original lesson. Here’s what we do:

Start by having students read an excerpt from Michael Jordan’s book, I Can’t Accept Not Trying. After students finish reading, ask them to pair up with another student and write a one-sentence summary of the information.

Next, students get together with another pair of students to compare their summaries and work together to develop the best one-sentence thesis/summary they possibly can. Once groups finish, we like to have each group write their sentence on the white board. Then, as a class, we review the strengths and weaknesses of each summary and work together as a class to create the most accurate and concise one-sentence summary that we can.

Following this, each student completes this goal-setting worksheet. If this worksheet doesn’t work for you, Worksheet Place has a nice collection of alternatives. 

After completing the worksheet, give students the opportunity to share their goals with their partner. Following this, collect the worksheets, make copies and return their sheets to them the following day. Until the end of the year, we will review student progress each week.

Photo credit: Ulf Bodin / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

36 Brain Breaks for Students

Tags: student leadership, Success, intrinsic motivation, student independence, student engagement, student evaluation, goal setting

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