top of page

Goal Setting With Kids! How to Effectively Use SMART Goal Strategies

Goal Setting For Student

Ever wish kids would be more enthusiastic about working toward a skill, target, or benchmark without you pulling or pushing them to the end result?

Or do you wish that your students would actively work towards their achievements instead of being passive learners?

If your answer is absolutely YES, then it is time to teach your students how to develop a growth mindset and SMART goal setting activities can help you do just that!

Guide your students through the steps of learning how to reflect on past experiences and then how to plan and create specific steps towards a new goal. When your students are actively engaged with their learning, they are significantly more motivated to achieve a skill! You can apply this process to develop growth in various personal areas, including academic, social, emotional, and physical targets.

Why Setting Goals Is Important

Goal Setting For Student

Reflection and goal setting are essential skills for kids to develop as they grow. The importance of learning goal setting for students has been documented time and time again. A few of the more prominent benefits that goal setting provides include:

  • Promoting brain development by recalling situations, emotions, and facts

  • Developing analyzation skills

  • Fostering a growth mindset

  • Encouraging active participation in academic, social, and emotional growth

  • Promoting effort, practice, hard work, persistence, and self-confidence

Goal Setting For Student

What Are SMART Goals?

A SMART goal is an acronym that leads your students through a step-by-step process of creating achievable goals. If a goal is too involved or unrealistic, your students will become discouraged. SMART goals break down the goal-setting process into easy, manageable pieces that provide a scaffold to success! Download this FREE SMART Goal Setting Poster to hang as a reference.

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Action Plan

R - Realistic

T - Time Frame

How To Set SMART Goals

In the beginning, you will guide your students through the SMART goal process by helping them answer the questions on the poster. It will take time to figure out what "little" steps will assist them in reaching their "big" goal. As they become more familiar with the process, they will become more confident and successful in developing, measuring, and achieving their own individualized SMART goals.

Examples of Student SMART Goals

In the following example, you can see how a student uses the step-by-step process to create an action plan to move them towards learning their x7’s multiplication facts. A student would create the specific and measurable goal of achieving a 90% on a x7 timed test of 25 problems in 3 weeks.

Next he would break down that goal into smaller steps.

Goal Setting For Student
  1. First a student would plan to practice their x7's flashcards for 5 minutes every day.

  2. He next plan to play an online multiplication game 3 times every week focusing on x7 facts.

  3. Finally this student would take a x7 timed test twice a week.

Goal Setting For Student
Student SMART Goal Example

Each week he would record and monitor his progress. At the end of the 3 weeks he will either accomplish his goal or adjust the steps as needed to continue working towards meeting his goal!

The final piece of implementing SMART goals is checking in on your students’ progress frequently and offering your enthusiasm and encouragement for their hard work! You are an integral part of teaching your students how to create and develop a growth mindset; you will be providing them with a skill that encourages life-long learning!

Getting Started With SMART Goal Setting

An easy way to introduce the SMART goal setting ideas with your students is to incorporate picture books. They make goal setting ideas more engaging, relatable, and memorable. Picture books can capture students' attention, leave a lasting impact, and spark relevant discussions. Try this list of captivating picture books that will empower your students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of SMART goals. This list also contains insightful questions to discuss growth mindset and goal-setting!

SMART Goal Setting For Students Back to School

Headed Back To School?

Begin teaching your students how to develop growth

mindset today, this SMART Goal Setting Unit has everything you need to get you started! It contains lesson plans, reflection activities, SMART goal worksheets, tracking charts, and encouragement quotes-- all the resources you need to support your students as they learn the SMART goal setting process and create life-long learners!

Goal Setting For Student

Ready To Begin A New Year?

Encourage student goal setting and promote a growth mindset by guiding your students through this Reflection & SMART Goal Setting Resource. Teach them how to reflect on the previous year, explain what SMART goals include, and guide them through goal setting activities that will allow them to develop, measure, and ACHIEVE their own individualized SMART goals!

Goal Setting For Student

Need Some Focus During Summer?

Encourage your kids to keep learning this summer by using this SMART Summer Goal Setting Resource. Guide your children in developing a growth mindset and teach them how to develop, measure, and achieve their own individualized SMART goals. Bonus resources included--reading logs, screen time guidelines, and "If You Are Bored" poster included!

You've Got This!


Lessons Learned x2 

 Sharing encouragement, practical knowledge, resources, and advice to help you create an educational journey that supports your students!

-Sacha & Wendy

bottom of page