The best way to achieve anything is by setting defined and achievable goals, with managed (and manageable) timescales. The methodology stems from skills in both time-management and planning, and while you can do everything you can to teach methods and best practices of time-management and planning – such as by taking full advantage of a custom student planner or primary school planner to help student’s keep track of progress – as well as teachers being able to quickly visually check whether certain milestones have been signed off.
Does Setting Learning Goals Work?
Yes, of course, is the short answer. But getting the method and review stages right is critical to achieving success at the end. Here is a popular model that you might be using already!
Smart targets aim to keep goals attainable, measured and time-specific. Let’s break down the mnemonic:
S – Specific – What is the exact thing you want to achieve? This is the difference between “I want to do well in my exams” and “I want to get an 8 in English”. Specificity is key in order to set a goal because if you don’t know what your exact goal is, it’s not going to be easy going down the vague path achieving it, whatever it is…
M – Measurable – A set of conditions where, when they are all true (such as that 8 in English) you have achieved your set goal! Well done!
A – Attainable – Unfortunately for some teachers and some students that 8 in English might, when thinking about it rationally, be out of reach. You know your students the best, and know what is feasible, and what isn’t. Could a 6 or 7 be attainable? Reaching for the stars is great, but unless you’re an astrophysicist or rocket engineer, keeping goals down to earth is key.
R – Relevant – Is this the right time to set the goal right now? For our example, the answer is yes! But for other things like “I want to go to Cambridge University”, one thing at a time young man or woman!
T – Timely – With our example, the time constraint that forces action is the examination itself. For any goal, having a deadline is proven time and time again to be effective at increasing productivity and getting things done!
How Great Grades can be nudged along by Great Planners
Penstripe produces a customised school planner which can not only feature reference sheets on SMART targets, but also custom revision timetables that you and your students can review every week, or even twice a week! This goes great with pop-tests to check knowledge ahead of the big day itself, as revision topics can be printed right on to the timetable itself. Want to make sure all your students have revised genetics? Do a pop quiz the day after they should have been revising!
Penstripe have helped thousands of students and education professionals across the UK with intelligently designed, bespoke and rugged school planners. The students might put stickers all over them, there’s room for that – and doodles as well – it all depends on you.
Olaf Surtees has been with Penstripe for ten years; what he doesn’t know about teacher planners, student planners, and lesson planners isn’t worth knowing! He’s in charge of creating our blog content, helping teachers and administrators with helpful hints and tips, as well as our socials — see the links below to find out more.