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Goal Setting in Grade 2

Reading | Literature 


I teach two sections of Grade 2 in a bilingual school. I have a morning class of 19 students and an afternoon class of 20 students. I have each section of students for 90 minutes of instructional time per day and that is all of their English instruction in the day.

I am currently enrolled in a course about Self-Regulated Learning and have been learning a lot about how to develop and foster self-regulation and self-regulated learning in students. We’ve talked about the performance zone and the learning zone and a big takeaway for me in this course is the need for goal-setting with students to help them grow and develop in the learning zone. I have been learning about direct instruction and modeling of goal-setting, conferencing with students and providing feedback and so much more.

Currently, in my classroom we’re doing a couple things with goals:

- As a school-wide initiative, students set weekly personal goals for themselves and then reflect on if they have met their goal/next steps at the end of the week. These goals tend to be more behaviorally focussed and I am not overly involved in these personal goals as their teacher other than to give some written feedback where they record/reflect on goals in their Communication Book. I am slowly working at conferencing more individually with students to increase student understanding of goals and reflection but as with all things in the life of a teacher, my time is limited.
- In our Guided Reading groups students set monthly personal goals. These goals are developed as I review running records or anecdotal notes data with students individually and we choose an area for them to work on. The goals are recorded by me using a Google Form and the student, a written copy of their goal that they keep in their reading pockets so that they are reminded daily of their goal and so that other teachers (ELL support etc.) can be aware of their goal and support students in moving forward. Whenever I meet with my students in their Guided Reading groups, we reflect on and review goals and I try to tie my feedback mainly to their goal.

I’m starting to toy with the idea of goal setting in writing but don’t want to overwhelm my students (or myself!).

I’m wondering a few things and am hoping for some feedback from this community:

1. How many goals are appropriate for a Grade 2 student to work on at one time?
2. Ideally, how often am I providing feedback on these goals?
3. In Grade 2 is oral or written feedback (or both forms) more valuable?
4. My students’ reading goals are ‘scheduled’ in conjunction with my running records schedule. Logistically this makes sense and is manageable for me as the teacher but is this the best thing for my students?

I would love to hear some thoughts from others who are in the trenches and use goal-setting in their practice!
Thank you!


New Member
Reading Goals

When I do my conferencing with the students, I ask them to read to me, just a page or two. Then we look at our last goal and ask has it been reached. We don't always set another goal. When they set their goal I make sure they know some strategies to use to ensure they reach their goal and ask them how they will know when they have reached their goal. What is the evidence? Might be a video of themselves using the strategies etc.