I ask my students to set Goals frequently. I often feel that this very important concept is greatly under used and not always used well in our PE classes. Often we ask students to reflect on their work at the completion of a unit and ask them to set goals for the next unit or next time they have this particular unit and this can be difficult when most people find planning a few days in advance very challenging. How do you grade or comment on this goal setting?
I have moved away from Goal setting as a long term exercise and moved more toward setting goals that will be reflected on in the same lesson or frequently in the same lesson. My invasion games students are currently looking at group/team goals for every 5 min game that they play. I am asking them to set a team goal (eg. communicate more clearly on the court – and define exactly what this might look like) and then after their 5 min game of 4v4 they then have 2 mins coaching time to sit and discuss their goal/strategy and what the next goal should be (and it could be the same one every time if they deem it necessary). However I am also asking them to think about individual goals within their team goal. So if communication is the issue, could it be that Johnny needs to work on calling out names; and Mary needs to work on her hand up to get attention. It could also be that Simon needs to work on active listening in Coaching time and Jane needs to work on sharing and asking more questions to communicate her understanding of the game, but all of these fall under the need to communicate as a team.
I feel that we need to be careful about defining goals with kids and setting realistic goals for their individual needs. I tell my students that if they meet every goal set than they set the bar too low, that they should be working on about 50% – that they shouldn’t meet every goal first time around. They need to reflect and discuss the goals and they must have enough detail that they can actively explain it and be evaluated by others around them. This is very powerful as we are looking at working in groups and how this can present opportunities but also be challenging.
Most professions are about team work. We must continue to teach our students about how to set goals, define what is important and work on articulating that and then reflect and actively engage in this process with others.
At a recent PD meeting, we discussed Professional Growth as a staff at my school (Yokohama Int’l School). The PD gurus here have come up with this chart. This resonated with me as a learner and as a teacher for a few reasons, but the main ones were that I could come up with a common idea but create my own focus/goal. I didn’t have to share this goal with others but under the common theme or umbrella, we could discuss our ideas and research or trials in our classes but be guided by different goals. The second part is that our work/goals/reflection is not assessed. The process is discussed and we obviously need to do the work! But I am not being judged on the work that I do. I feel that this resonates with me as a teacher, we need to guide our students to set goals that might fail and then look to see that they can communicate the process and understand where they are going. I can assess to see that the goal you have chosen is a good one and that we can talk about it meaningfully, but if you miss the mark, that is not a fail.
How are you guiding goal setting and reflection? I would be interested to know what happens in your PE classes, particularly MYP classes.