Establishing a Growth Mindset in the Classroom with These Student Smart Goals Examples

If you are trying to help students develop a growth mindset in your classroom, I hope these student smart goals examples with help guide you.  Students can’t truly have a growth mindset without learning how to set, reflect upon, and achieve their goals.  Along with the growth mindset talks, posters, and dojo videos, I have created a tool that I use each week in my classroom, and I am blown away at how goal oriented my students have become.  Read on to learn more about how I help each student with setting goals.

Introduce SMART Goals

student smart goals examples of posters
Student Smart Goals Examples Posters

The very first thing I did was introduce my students to SMART goals. First, I used a 8.5 x 11 printable that I created and posted in our classroom. Then, we talked about what each letter stood for and the meaning behind it. Next, I had the students create their own reference tool in the form of a flip book.  Students love cutting, pasting and coloring, so they really had fun creating their flip books! They kept these out for the first couple of weeks, and then they didn’t need them any longer, so they simply put them in their binders.

student smart goals example
Example of the flip book the student created

Create Meaningful Goals – Student Smart Goals Example

Student goal setting activity example
Goal Setting Sheet

After I introduced SMART goals, I demonstrated how to create my very own goal using our weekly goal sheet template.  This walks students through the goal setting process ensuring their goals are SMART goals. Check out the photo above for the student smart goal example activity. After I demonstrated, I allowed students to attempt creating their own goals.  At first, they struggled with the measurable part, but after a few examples and clarification, they were understanding much better! Students only fill the top part out.  I have them create new goals every Monday.

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Daily Journal

On the back of each goal setting sheet, there is a goal setting journal. (See photo above.) Students must revisit and reflect on goals daily!  This is one of the most important components of maintaining the growth mindset.  I give the students 5 minutes before lunch to revisit their goal.  During this time, they record any accomplishments, challenges, ideas they get from others, etc… on their journals. (I simply copy this page to the back of the goal sheet to make things easier.)  They love sharing their accomplishments with me, and it really helps develop a completely different mindset! It is an awesome thing to see develop.

Friday Reflections, Teacher Comment, Parent Signature

On Friday, we reflect upon our goals! This is my favorite part.  Students get to circle YES or NO depending on if their goal was met.  (First, I always model the first week’s goal and make it a point that I do NOT meet my goal! It’s important to let students know it is okay to fail!  I will try it again next week!) Students also reflect upon their in class behavior and effort using a rating scale.  I take these up, put my comments on the bottom and send them home to be signed.  

Parents love seeing the types of goals their students are working for, and many times, they like to get involved in helping them meet their goals!  The students turn these in on Mondays and I keep them in their file.  This is a great tool for documentation of parent involvement as well as any behavior concerns you may have documented and shared with parents.

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student smart goals bulletin board
Student Smart Goals Examples – Bulletin Board
goal setting student examples

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Stephanie Nash

I have been helping teachers organize, develop routines, and create inviting & beautiful classrooms since 2012!

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