What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?

Cavallaro is S.M.A.R.T about Setting Goals!


S:  Specific

                ?? Easy to understand.

                ?? Specifies desired future results

                ?? Uses concrete action verbs (i.e. increase, solve…)

                ?? Defines the goal by answering: who, what, when, why, how…


M: Measurable

                ?? Describe how each goal (result) will be measured.

                ?? Can this goal be measured quantitatively?

                ?? Decide what measure will indicate “success/achievement”.

                ?? What data will be collected?

    ?? How is the data going to be collected?


A: Attainable

                ?? What tools will be used to accomplish this goal?

                ?? Is this goal within our control and influence?


 R: Relevant

                ?? Is the goal in alignment with the school’s mission?

                ?? Does the goal relate to broader objectives in our school?


T: Timely

                ?? What is the specific time frame to achieving this goal?

                ?? Is the time frame reasonable?

                ?? How will we monitor progress and how often? 


1.  Why should teachers consider using goal setting as a teaching tool?

There are a variety of reasons why teachers should practice goal setting.  First, goal setting will force the teacher to think critically about what the important concepts are and how a subject should be taught.  This is especially crucial for teachers of Science and Math, as these subjects set the stage for a lot of conceptual understanding of how the world works.  Goals give the students a clear picture of what the expectations are and where to focus their time and attention.  Goals give students something to strive for and give them a sense of accomplishment when their goals are met. 

2.  What should teachers take into consideration while setting and implementing goals?

The goals identified should be focused on understanding and accomplishing a particular task and/or skill.  Once a student understands the reason for needing to know the information, they are more likely to become active learners.  There are two other factors that need to be considered when setting and implementing goals for educational purposes.  First, each goal should be followed by objectives that tell how that goal will be accomplished.  Second, the goals should be supported by valuable data.  Ultimately, through the goal setting process, students will develop a continuous interest in and concern about their education and help them become lifelong learns.  They will develop goal setting and flexible thinking skills. 

3.  What choices does one have when setting individualized learning goals for students?

Children who have a say in what they are learning are more motivated to succeed.  Keep in mind that what matters is that a student sees him/her self making progress.  This is far more important than what the specific goal is.  Try to avoid steering a child toward the goal you want them to achieve.  Instead, guide them in choosing a learning goal and making the progress toward it a valuable growing experience.  Once a student picks a personal learning goal, your responsibility is to help him or her develop a plan for accomplishing it.  Set a time-frame, make a list of necessary steps in working toward the goal, and assessing whether or not it has been met.