Students set personal goals to ensure success

Fifth grade students are recording their goals.

This year, students at Acquinton Elementary School are putting their words into action. It's one thing to verbally set goals, but it has been proven that the most effective way is putting pencil to paper. That's just what the fifth graders are doing.

Before units or tests, students are setting smart, specific, quantitative goals. Students then work extremely hard to achieve these. Once an assessment is given, students revisit their goals and note their achievements. From there, students will usually set the bar even higher or strategize ways that they can improve. Mrs. Benitez, 5th grade Reading teacher, often refers to this as the student going beyond their "personal best".

Students who meet or exceed their goals are given praise, commendations, and tangible rewards. At times, goals do fall short. It's natural; it's part of the learning process. However, students have learned to quickly persevere. Logically, there is feeling of disappointment but students swiftly transfer this energy into motivation.

Fifth grade student, Anthony Andrade said, "My goal is always 100%! Looking back on my growth chart helps me to understand the things I need to work on and think of ways to improve." Anthony now keeps a personal goal sheet with him at all times during the academic day.

Setting goals is a means of self-reflection and self-discipline. Teachers and administrators are hoping that students will maintain setting written SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals beyond the school year.