Goal-setting activities for the beginning of a new term, semester or year, is a great way to have students focus on their learning.
What activities do you have planned for that very important first lesson of the year/semester/term?
Yes, I know we all have to go through procedures and expectations. I call this “the housekeeping,” and I try not to make this too long and boring. Some of the ways I have covered this in the past are:
The activities you choose to do will ultimately depend on the class you have i.e. age group, general music class, orchestra/band class or a chorus/vocals class etc.
Whatever else you choose to do; I believe it is important to include a goal-setting activity in the first 1-2 lessons.
Setting goals is an important component of students’ motivation, self-regulation, and achievement in the classroom.
Goals give students a path to follow.
Allowing students to set their own goals can greatly improve how motivated they are to learn. Too often, we set goals for our students without carefully considering what it is they want to achieve. Allowing them to set their own goals, gives them something that they are personally invested in to concentrate on and work towards. The goals have personal meaning to them.
Here are four things students learn from setting their own goals in the classroom:
Project the following three questions onto the board to get the discussion started:
Keep the discussion snappy – don’t let it drag on!
Project image #2: A goal without a plan is a wish!
S = Specific. Be specific. Describe WHAT it is you want to achieve, WHERE you will achieve it, WHY you have this goal etc.
M = Measurable. The goal must be able to be measured i.e. HOW many time, HOW long, HOW often etc.
A = Achievable. The goals must be realistic and achievable if you stick to the plan.
R = Relevant. Does the goal fit with your needs i.e. a goal that will help you?
T = Timely. Give your goal a definite time period to achieve. You can do this by setting a definite day/date i.e. by the last day of term I will…..
4. The final step is to issue students’ with the Goal Setting sheet. Students can either complete this in class or take it home and complete it for the next lesson.
Having the students write down their goal/s and how they plan to achieve them, takes the goal/s out of the students head and makes them REAL!
Placed the completed page in the front of their class workbook.
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