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5-10 minutes






To help students develop the skills to set tangible goals and accurately monitor and self-assess their current actions to make informed decisions towards achieving their goal

  • Students identify a personal, school related goal that they would like to improve (e.g., a student wants to get up early each day to attend school).
  • Coach students to identify an action that will get them closer to their goal (e.g., bedtime or screen time before bed) to set a baseline.
  • Present different ways students can monitor their action (e.g., agenda, phone, graph, etc.).
  • Students spend the week monitoring/keeping track of their identified action.
  • Next, they reflect upon the results and select a component to change to get them closer to their goal (e.g., going to bed earlier to be well rested in the morning or less screen time before bed).
  • Finally, they reassess to see if there was a change in their outcome.
  • Repeat steps one to six until students have achieved their goal.

In an academic environment, goal setting and self-monitoring are critical and effective organization skills for a student because they are linked to academic achievement (Boller, 2008). Taking the time to identify a goal, and the behaviours and steps necessary to achieve that goal are also important (Boller, 2008). Research suggests that monitoring behaviour and progress toward a goal will motivate students to reach their goals (Boller, 2008; Embry & Biglan, 2008). Embry & Biglan (2008) state that employing a motivational interviewing technique which involves identifying behaviours that should be changed, setting goals to change a particular behaviour, and being aware of actions that might interfere with meeting the goal, results in increased social competence, goal completion, healthy behaviors, and achievement.

Boller, B. (2008). Teaching organizational skills in middle school: Moving toward independence. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 81(4), 169-171.

Embry, D. D., & Biglan, A. (2008). Evidence-based kernels: fundamental units of behavioral influence. Clinical child and family psychology review, 11(3), 75–113. doi:10.1007/s10567-008-0036-x