Keeping students engaged can be a challenge. I’ve struggled with this. However, once I started focusing on helping students understand and remember their goals, I saw a significant improvement in engagement.
The tricky part is managing all of these pieces! Our students often benefit from visuals, but I was struggling to make goal review a quick and efficient part of our routine. Enter the pocket chart!
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I bought a calendar pocket chart on Amazon.
I cut out goal cards for each student. Click here to download a free goal card template! I set this up at the beginning of the year, so it was a perfect time to review everyone’s goals (and discuss why they matter!). Depending on the students’ levels, we would draw and/or write the goals.
For some students, we add a quick visual to the cards. For example, my articulation students got to stick articulation visuals on their cards.
For confidentiality reasons, I had students pick a sticker that they could remember (instead of writing their name on the “cover”). Younger students might like cartoon characters, while older students might prefer to pick a video game character, a favorite animal, or a celebrity. The possibilities are endless!
I hung the pocket chart by my door, so it was easy to make this part of our routine. Students grab their cards at the beginning of the session, we do a quick review, and then we get started. At the end of the session, we do a quick recap. Piece of cake!
When a student meets their goal, we like to deck it out with some glitter washi tape and/or stickers. Students love being able to celebrate their progress, and they take pride in their glittery goal cards.
If you use brag tags, then you can store them in each student’s pocket for added fun.
The pocket chart so student’s can access and be accountable for their goals while maintaining confidentiality was brilliant!
Marisha, I know this post is months old, however, I am reviewing ideas to prepare for, hopefully, my last ‘back to school’ season, as I plan to retire after the upcoming year. I have a few questions about goal cards: do you introduce one goal, target for a few sessions, then add another goal? What have you found to be the most effective and efficient manner for groups of more 3-5 students? Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas!
I usually dedicate one session (or part of a session) to reviewing all of the students’ goals so they know what they’re working on. We then do a quick review at the beginning of every session (depending on which goal(s) we’re targeting that day).
As for actually targeting the goals, I typically start with one goal a session (per student). If multiple students have the same (or a very similar) goal, I’ll also try to plan a bit around that. I target multiple goals in a session as the students’ independence increases.
Whether I rotate goals every session or less frequently depends on a number of factors! That’s more of a case-by-case decision and I’m not sure how to simplify that one just yet!