Weekly Goal Setting and Reflection

Weekly goal setting allows students to track their individual progress, celebrate achievements, and set goals to help master objectives
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Goal Setting
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About This Strategy

Weekly goal setting and reflection allows students to take ownership of their learning by mapping out what they want to work on and accomplish each week in the classroom. By utilizing the weekly goal setting and reflection strategy, students are able to plan their work timeline and objective goals at the beginning of each week and then can reflect on their achievements, areas of growth, and completion timelines at the end of each week. For the teacher, weekly goal setting provides opportunities for 1:1 conferencing with students regarding their goals, progress, and growth areas.

Implementation Steps

15-30 minutes
  1. When introducing weekly goal setting to students, it's important to model how to write a goal that is realistic and specific to the week. After writing a goal, the writer should also write out the steps he or she will take to complete the goal. Consider posting your own weekly goals on the board, so students can reference the goal setting. Student goals can be centered around various ideas (chosen by you or the students) including but not limited to: goals for task completion, goals for certain achievement grades/scores on an assessment, goals for behavior, goals for collaboration or communication, goals for class participation, goals for homework completion, etc. To support students in successful goal writing, you could give the students sentence starters or a template to fill out. Possible ideas include:

    1. "This week, I would like to complete ______________________ by the end of the week. The steps I will need to take to accomplish this goal are: _____"

    2. By the end of this week, I would like to score a __________ on the ________. The steps I will need to take to accomplish this goal are: _________"

    3. This week my goal is to _____________________. The steps I will need to take to accomplish this goal are: __________"

  2. Create a collection or storage method and implement the routine with students.

    1. Students could turn in their weekly goal at the end of class every Monday.

    2. Students could complete their weekly goal in their journal or composition notebook.

    3. Students could complete a weekly goal setting activity using a tech tool, such as Google Forms

    4. Students could complete a weekly goal and post it on a visible tracker or board in the classroom.

  3. At the end of each week, provide students with the opportunity to look at their goal for the week and reflect on what they accomplished. To support students in successful reflection, you could give them sentence starters or a template to fill out. Possible ideas include:

    1. "This week, I was successful in __________________. I was/wasn’t able to accomplish my goal because ____________________."

    2. "This week, I worked towards my goal but got stuck __________________. I was wondering about __________________."

    3. "This week, I feel really good about __________________. If I could do something over from this week it would be _____________________."

  4. Create a collection or storage method for the reflection and implement the routine with students.

    1. Students could have space at the bottom of their weekly goal setting sheet for reflection at the end of the week. They could then turn in their finalized goal and reflection at the end of each week.

    2. Students could complete their weekly reflection in their journal or composition notebook.

    3. Students could complete a weekly reflection activity using a tech tool, such as Google Forms

    4. Students could complete a weekly reflection and post it on a visible tracker or board in the classroom.

  5. Review and respond to student goals and reflections as often as possible. This could be done with students individually through conferencing, through a hand-written note on their reflection document, in small groups, or as a whole class discussion. It’s important that students feel the value of this activity and feel like their goals and reflections matter.

Questions to Consider

  • What could be challenging about this strategy, and how could you address any challenges in advance?

  • How could you use this strategy to encourage students to use data to set realistic goals?

  • How could you encourage your students to interact with their weekly goals?

  • How could you use conferences to support students to use data to set realistic goals?

Tech Tools

Google Forms

  • Google Forms is a Google App that allows you to quickly and easily survey participants. It has numerous questioning style options including multiple choice, free response, short answer, likert scale, checkboxes, dropdown boxes, and multiple choice grid.
  • Google Forms supports this strategy because it provides both whole group data/responses and individual data/responses and can be linked to Google Sheets for more data analysis options. Students can provide their weekly goals and reflections through Google Forms.

Google Site

  • A Google Site is a tool that teachers can use to develop a website for their classroom. 
  • Google Sites supports this strategy because it can provide a place where students can access their weekly goal setting and reflection survey forms. If the goal setting forms are digital (through Google Forms, Google Docs, etc), a Google Site helps the teacher anchor these resources in one specific location where students have access at any time.

Research Base

In developing this strategy, the following resources were consulted.

Daily and Weekly Goal Setting (Source: Learning Accelerator)

Can Goals Motivate Students (Source: Center on Education Policy)