Recently, Western North Carolina Pacesetters helped run a Goal Setting Workshop for our 5th – 8th Grade students.
Each student spent 30 minuets in each of six stations, designed to teach them strategies useful in being a successful Goal Setter. Our goal was for each student to walk away with a better sense of how to take the steps necessary to set a goal and follow through with it.
Three stations were hosted by our TLC! teachers. Our wonderfully well-organized teachers executed these stations so well that every student in 5th – 8th grade was able to get an individual conference with each teacher in each subject area. That means a 6th grader, for instance, visited Mr. Ryan and Mrs. Judy to review their progress in Language Arts, Ms. Emily for a talk about science, and Mrs. Cheryl for a look at Math. Teachers and students together reviewed their MAP test scores in each subject area and worked together to set attainable goals for growth in each area.
In between teacher sessions, students played a game with Pacesetters staff that helped reinforce their teamwork, communication, and goal-setting skills. In the “Toxic Waste Removal” game, for example, students had to figure out how to transport a wiffle ball balanced on a ring of electrical tape, suspended from 5 foot long ropes held by each person. In order not to tip the whole rig before getting the ball in the “waste removal silo,” the group had to make a plan, communicate it everyone in the group, check for understanding, and execute it together.
Our students enthusiastically tackled these challenges with impressive skill. To debrief our workshop, each class worked with their writing teacher to draft a letter to WNC Pacesetters staff, thanking them and reviewing the games they liked best and what they learned from them.
After our last round of MAP testing, in late March, we will take 5th-8th out to the Pacesetters Adventure Center. Here students will have a chance to revisit the goals they set down for themselves in our Workshop, whether it was a MAP score increase or a resolution to turn in homework on time, and have a personal check-in with themselves about their work getting there. It will be a day to celebrate the hard work that they have done this spring, and hopefully give them a little extra umph to keep pushing themselves to do their best through the Spring Fever that April will bring. We hope they will embrace the idea of taking personal pride and accountability in their goals whether they are academic, social or personal.