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Goal setting | Is Your Goal SMART? | 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, 11-12

Student Objective

Students will be able to:
1. define a learning goal and determine the importance of setting goals
2. define the parameters of a SMART goal
3. create a personal SMART learning goal


Step 1: Make a connection to setting and making goals

Have the students think about a time that they made or met a goal. They will then participate in a “silent” version of Think-Pair-Share:

  • Have each student write down:
    • What they is a goal? of What is the definition of a goal?
    • Why do you think goals are important?
  • Students can do this on a piece of paper or sticky note, or on a collaborative digital document (like Jamboard, Google Slides or One Note).
  • The students will then share/exchange their response with another student and comment on that student’s response. They can explain what they agree or disagree about their classmate’s response. They should do this at least 1-2 times.
  • The class will then meet together and discuss some of the responses and the similarities/differences they saw in the definitions of a goal and their classmates’ opinions of the importance of a goal.

Step 2: Learn about making and setting SMART goals

Use these definitions to guide your discussion of setting and aiming to meet personal learning goals.

Introduce the framework for setting a SMART goal. SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

You can create a chart of your own, or use one similar to this SMART Goals Poster from Think Marketing.

Step 3: Help set goals

Using this framework, students will create a personal SMART learning goal.

Here are two different versions of worksheets that you can provide for your students to help them work through each section of the SMART goal parameters. These worksheets are editable and can be shared with each student for them to edit digitally or complete on paper.

Worksheet appropriate for students in 3rd-8th grade from EdTech Connect NC

Worksheet appropriate for 6th-12th grade from EdTech Connect NC

Step 4: Share goals and provide feedback

Students will share their goals with their classmates if they are comfortable. Students can share their goals in a whole class discussion or in a similar fashion to the “silent” think-pair-share in Step 1. But, instead of determining whether they agree or disagree with their classmates goals, they could provide a praise and a suggestion. You can also provide your own feedback to the students and determine a procedure for holding the students accountable for their goals.

Here are some digital tools you and your students could use to keep track of their goals and tutorials on how to use them:

Student: Goal Setting and Tracking Sheets

Link to Video Tutorial: Here

Teacher: Keeping Track of All Student Goals

Link to Video Tutorial: Here

Or you can use Trello, which provides templates for digital lists that students can collaborate and provide feedback.


This instructional idea helps students develop a strong learning goal by using the SMART goal framework. They use digital tools to monitor and develop these goals. They also brainstorm and define their needs from individuals and the learning environment to meet their personal goals.

EdTech used in this activity:


Alternative Ed Tech you could use:

Jamboard, Google Docs