The Power of Smart Goals: Using Goals to Improve Student Learning


Many schools have improvement goals, but they are all too often written into a mandated school improvement plan and then soon forgotten. Although most of us acknowledge the power of goals in our own lives, they remain the single most underestimated and underutilized means of improving student learning-particularly in the classroom-in education today.

This comprehensive yet easy-to-read book by the authors of The Handbook for SMART School Teams shows readers how to transform ...

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The Power of SMART Goals: Using Goals to Improve Student Learning

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Many schools have improvement goals, but they are all too often written into a mandated school improvement plan and then soon forgotten. Although most of us acknowledge the power of goals in our own lives, they remain the single most underestimated and underutilized means of improving student learning-particularly in the classroom-in education today.

This comprehensive yet easy-to-read book by the authors of The Handbook for SMART School Teams shows readers how to transform their schools into places where each and every student is meeting and exceeding standards by shifting thinking to a focus on results. The authors begin by presenting several frameworks for adult and student goal-setting and then discuss: The barriers to goal-setting and monitoring, How to "keep goals alive" through supportive systems, policies, structures, and skill-building, The role of assessment in goal-setting, The power of goals to improve curriculum, instruction, and assessment, The role of professional development practices, in goal-setting and improvement, How to build capacity for goal-oriented thinking, Case studies from real schools that are turning challenges into opportunities for learning and improvement.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932127874
  • Publisher: Solution Tree
  • Publication date: 11/28/2005
  • Pages: 203
  • Sales rank: 595,288
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Authors xv
Foreword xix
Chapter 1 Introduction: The SMART Goals Process 1
Barriers to Goal-Setting and Monitoring 5
Hard Work 5
Lack of Common Assessments 6
Lack of Feedback 7
Vulnerability 7
The Power of Results Thinking 8
The QLD Framework 11
The Power of SMART Goals 13
Strategic 14
Specific 14
Measurable 15
Attainable 15
Results-Based 16
Time-Bound 16
A Powerful Graphic Organizer for Creating SMART Goals 17
The Goal 19
Indicators 20
Measures 20
Targets 20
A Process for Implementing SMART Goals 24
The 30+ Minute Meeting Process: Step by Step 25
Meeting #1 Identify the Need 25
Meeting #2 Identify SMART Goal 25
Meeting #3 Correlating Promising Practices With Current Practices 26
Meeting #4 Plan Professional Development 26
Meeting #5 Analyze Results and Refocus Efforts 27
SMART Goals Work! 30
Chapter 2 Keeping Goals Alive 33
From Survive to Thrive 34
The Journey: Five Key Questions 35
Where Do We Want to Be? 35
Where Are We Now? 37
How Will We Get to Where We Want to Be? 37
What Are We Learning, and Where Should We Focus Next? 38
Leadership Capacity 38
Will and Skill 39
Team Skills: The Three Realms of Skillfulness 43
Individual Development 43
Organizational Development 43
Implementation Management 44
Action: Beyond the Plan 45
Phase I Initiation 46
Phase II Implementation 46
Phase III Institutionalization 47
Success in the McFarland School District 47
Nurturing the Cycle of Growth 50
Chapter 3 Linking Assessment and Goals 53
Team Goals 54
Assessment That Promotes Learning 55
The Need for Balanced Assessment 56
Summative Assessment 57
Formative Assessment 58
Changing Our Practices: Using Common Assessments 59
"Just in Time" Learning 62
Student Involvement in Assessment 62
The Five Dimensions of Quality Assessments 64
Dimension 1 Quality Assessments Arise From and Are Designed to Serve the Specific Information Needs of Intended Users 65
Dimension 2 Quality Assessments Arise From Clearly Articulated and Appropriate Achievement Targets 65
Dimension 3 Quality Assessments Accurately Reflect Student Achievement 65
Dimension 4 Quality Assessments Yield Results That Are Effectively Communicated to Intended Users 71
Dimension 5 Quality Assessments Involve Students in Classroom Assessment, Record-Keeping, and Communication of Results 74
Creating Winners Through Assessment 76
Chapter 4 SMART Goal-Driven Curriculum and Instruction 77
Traditional Curriculum Management 79
The Ideal System 81
Using Goals to Focus Curriculum Improvement 82
Curriculum Improvement in Action 84
The Team Learning Process 86
1 Identify Essential Learning Outcomes 87
2 Develop Common, Comprehensive Assessments 90
3 Identify Proficiency Levels That All Students Should Achieve 94
4 Review Results, Identify Problem Areas, and Develop Plans for Addressing Those Areas 97
Putting It All Together 102
Where Am I Going? 102
Where Am I Now? 108
How Can I Close the Gap? 108
A Living, Breathing Process 109
Chapter 5 Using SMART Goals to Drive Professional Development 113
Linking Goals and Professional Development 116
Organizational Goals 117
How They Did It 120
The Importance of Leadership 122
Individual Professional Goals 124
Goals for Beginning Teachers 124
Goals for Experienced Educators 126
Goals That Are Motivating 126
Goals Focused on Student Success 127
Student Learning Goals 130
Evaluation of Professional Development 133
Level 1 Participant Reactions 134
Level 2 Participant Learning 134
Level 3 Organization Support and Change 135
Level 4 Participant Use of New Knowledge and Skills 135
Level 5 Student Learning Outcomes 136
Rethinking Professional Development 136
Chapter 6 Building Capacity for Goal-Oriented Thinking 139
The Power of Optimism 141
Optimism and Motivation 143
Optimism and Hope 143
Developing Competence 145
Barriers to Teacher Leadership 147
Strategies for Reducing-or Eliminating-the Barriers 150
Working From Our Beliefs 150
Restructuring Time 154
Building Optimism 154
What Teachers Can Do to Build Leadership 157
The Power of Reflection 159
Teachers Need to Collaborate 162
A Clear Vision of Student Success 163
Chapter 7 Case Studies 165
Jenifer Junior High School, Lewiston, Idaho 166
The Middle School Model 166
Goal-Setting 168
Longfellow Middle School, La Crosse, Wisconsin 171
Examining the Data 172
The Outcomes 173
The Steps 174
SMART Goals and Action Plans 176
Continuous Improvement 177
New Lexington High School, New Lexington, Ohio 178
SMART Team Planning 180
Reflection 185
Burleigh Elementary School, Elmbrook, Wisconsin 187
The Rest of the Story 188
The Path to Success 190
Chapter 8 Renewing Our Schools, Our Practices, Ourselves 191
References 197
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