My students and I have set reading goals for the second half of our year. Each of us chose what seemed right for us. My goal is to read a list of classics that I never read when I was in school. Some of my students are working on reading a set number of minutes each day, a number of books each month, or a new genre. Each of us posted our goal on a book page cutout that we attached to the classroom door.
Each Friday, we are evaluating the progress we’ve made. I created a road on the wall of my classroom from black paper.
My theme this year has been cars and driving, since I’m using a textbook called Reading Street. Each student is represented by a small cutout of a car. The cars started out lined up at the bottom of the road. Road signs move up the side of the road at 6 inch increments. Each road sign is marked Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, etc.
Last Friday was our first evaluation check. I admitted to my students that too many things got in my way and I couldn’t read as much of Pride and Prejudice as I would have liked. My progress for the week was about half. Each student moved his or her car the amount he or she thought represented the progress for the week. The students seemed to be pretty honest about it. I pointed out that fibbing about the goal progress wouldn’t help anyone, so it wasn’t worth doing.
My students have really taken to the goal setting we’ve been doing. Each Monday, we check to see who met the goal set for their weekly test score. Then, on Fridays, we will look at our reading goal progress. Based on the weekly test scores and our winter reading screeners, I think all of this may be helping. My students’ reading abilities seem to be showing growth.
Do you set goals with your students? Do you include yourself in the goal setting?