Happy New Year! I hope you had a restful holiday and you’re returning from break feeling renewed and ready for the roaring twenties.
While you’re celebrating fresh beginnings and making New Year’s resolutions, now is the perfect time to refocus on your goals, set new ones, and check in on your ST Math® progress to finish out the school year.
Set New Goals
Studies show that goal setting increases intrinsic motivation, so set those goals! Take a moment of quiet, and think about what’s important to you, your students, and their learning. Both long-term and short-term goals are welcome!
Guiding questions to ask:
What would I like to achieve this year?
How can I achieve these new goals?
What are the specific activities I can focus on to make progress toward my goals?
What support do I need around this?
What tools will I need?
What support will my students need?
Jot these ideas down on a piece of paper and let’s make a plan to make it happen.
Refocus on Current Goals
Administrators and teachers know that planning is key! Most ST Math leaders set goals at the beginning of the school year. Now that we're halfway through the school year, it's not too late to refocus and analyze what is working well and what isn't.
Guiding questions to ask:
What is going well (and why)?
What can be improved (and why)?
What road blocks are in the way (if any)?
What support do I need around these goals? Who can help?
Once you have your goals written down or you've selected current goals to revisit, now what? The good news is that MIND has a library of resources to help you create, meet, and exceed your ST Math goals!
Whether you're someone just starting out with ST Math, an experienced user with a question, or someone interested in getting even more out of the program, we have a large amount of resources for free on ST Math Central, that cover help, professional learning, ST Math community, and free resources.
Actively Track Your Progress
A critical part of tracking progress and meeting goals, is deciding how you’ll track your achievements. Once you’ve figured that out, decide how you’ll be able to check in on progress regularly.
For example, if you want to track student progress in grade-level curriculum and your goal is to have this number be as high as possible by the end of the year, check the section on your progress report called Syllabus Progress.
Or, if you’re having students track daily goals, direct them to the Today’s Accomplishment’s screen. Students see this right before they log off and they are able to see how many puzzles they have solved and minutes they have spent in the program.
Maybe your goal is to raise your schoolwide math proficiency gains. Each ST Math learning objective completed aligns with state math standards, and each additional standards covered gives ST Math students a proven advantage on standardized assessments.
Or perhaps your goals are more on the creative end, like creating a visual representation for students to see (and own) their progress by creating an ST Math tracking board. Teachers around the country are incredible and have proved that there are so many ways to track and share success in the program.
Challenge Your Students to Set Goals
Goal-setting isn't just for teachers and administrators. Ask your students what their goals are too! By having students set goals and track progress, students are given agency and ownership of their own learning.
Custom goals give an opportunity to celebrate instances of perseverance or learning from mistakes, rather than just completion of tasks.
Guiding questions for students:
What do you enjoy learning?
What has been challenging to learn?
What would you like to accomplish this year?
What help do you need to reach these goals?
Reach Your Goals
We're so thankful for the work that teachers and administrators do, and we know it's incredibly hard work. We couldn't do this without you.
Now go forth and reach your goals! Or as Walt Disney once said, "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." Set your goals, map out how to reach them, and follow that plan. We'll be here to cheer you on and help support you along the way.
We’d love for you to share some of your goals (and your progress) with us as the New Year gets underway. You can always post on Twitter and Instagram and tag @STMath, or join the ST Math Community group on Facebook and share your goals with fellow ST Math educators across the country.