“If you don’t know where you are going. How can you expect to get there?” (Basil S. Walsh)

Setting goals is so important for future success, yet often my students don’t think to set goals, let alone smart goals. Mostly, they just sit in their little row boats and let the currents of life take them wherever and then are surprised or disappointed about what happens. Or if they do set goals, the goals are too vague- I’ll do whatever, whenever, or too unrealistic- I want “x”, but am not capable or prepared to do what it takes. Either way, it’s not good.

I’ve created the following PowerPoint presentation to teach my students about smart goals. I want them to be as successful as they can be and learning to set smart goals will go a long way toward making that happen.

You’re welcome to use the presentation if you think it would be useful. I’ll be happy to send it to you if you send me an email or leave a comment asking for it.

I’m going to show the Slideshare to my students as part of the discussion we have about setting smart goals. After the discussion, I’m going to get them to create a VoiceThread to present their short, medium and long term goals. I’ll get them to post their VoiceThread in the class blog. They’ll need lots of scaffolding in the form of graphic organizers and lots of one-on-one support. It will be a hectic few classes because they have to learn how to set smart goals as well as how to present them using VoiceThread. I know it will be worth it though.

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92 Responses to “Helping my students set goals the smart way”

  1. Dave Ashby on February 1st, 2012 9:24 pm

    Hi, I am just taking my CTLLS teaching in the adult sector qualification, I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of your presentation as a PowerPoint Show.


  2. Dave Ashby on February 2nd, 2012 9:27 am

    Hi, thank you for sending the information, as a college student doing my 2nd stage qualification to becoming a teacher I am one of a number of students, I have directed them through a forum to your site, the information is very informative and useful.

  3. Michelle on March 26th, 2012 11:43 am


    I think this would be great for my ILS class where we start each term with setting goals. I would greatly appreciate if you could email your presentation.


  4. Resources for UDL | bobbijostaleymaet on July 14th, 2012 5:44 am

    […] 8) Helping my students set goals the smart way […]

  5. michelle on July 29th, 2012 10:52 pm

    I would love a copy of the presentation and graphic organizer if you don’t mind sharing!


  6. Jill on August 18th, 2012 12:25 pm

    This is exactly what I’ve been looking for my fifth grade classroom! Please send me a copy of your powerpoint presentation. Thank you! Thank you!

  7. Kay on September 3rd, 2012 3:08 am

    This seems very useful. Please email me ppt. Thnx
    Kay´s last blog post ..The Ontario government is bullying teachers and needs to stop.

  8. Elona Hartjes on September 6th, 2012 9:48 am

    I tried to send you a copy of the resource but your email bounced back. Please send me another e address and I’ll forward the resource.

  9. Penny Barrentine on September 15th, 2012 9:44 pm

    I would love a copy of your resources for SMART Goals. I am a first year teacher of ICT 2 for 8th graders.


  10. Penny Barrentine on September 15th, 2012 10:34 pm

    I would love a copy of your resources.

  11. Leslie Moritz on September 22nd, 2012 11:12 am

    Hi! Could you please send me a copy of the slide show via email and the organizers you have used for this?

    Thank you so much!!! Great information!

  12. Tom DiSante on November 6th, 2012 9:43 am

    Setting goals, especially for the middle school student, are an important part of quality instruction. This slide show keeps it simple. Middle school students needs short burst of realistic success.
    Tom DiSante´s last blog post ..Use Opendyslexic font in text and in devices to make reading easier for students with dyslexia

  13. Robyn Roth on November 18th, 2012 8:22 pm

    I would love a copy of your slide show and any other documentation that goes along with the lesson on SMART goals. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Cynthia Smith on November 20th, 2012 3:01 am

    Setting goals is an important concept even for elementary students. Please send me a copy of your SMART goals power point. It would have to be adapted from my young students but I like the way you used the acronym “SMART” to present the topic.

    I also noticed that Leslie Moritz on 9/22/12 requested graphic organizers. I would love to receive copies of the same.

    Thank you in advance for sharing your advice, materials, and expertise with us all!

  15. TaRyan Theophile on December 11th, 2012 8:13 pm

    hi can you send me that goal setting powerpoint it was really nice.

  16. Katherine Tanner on December 18th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Can I please ask for a copy of your power point for goal setting

  17. holly french on December 27th, 2012 1:43 pm

    I am using ipods and would love to use your idea of voice threads for my class to record their goals.


  18. Elona Hartjes on December 29th, 2012 8:45 am

    I think your students would find the voice threads activity really engaging. Good luck.

  19. Michelle on January 7th, 2013 2:42 pm

    Can you please email me the powerpoint? Thanks!

  20. Tammy on January 30th, 2013 5:00 pm

    Hello, can you please email me the powerpoint? Thank you so much!

  21. shaila on February 6th, 2013 5:31 am

    We are currently preparing our students to write their own SMART goals in September. Would you email me the slide show and the graphic organizer that you use? I really like your approach. It’s very clear.

  22. Steve dumonski on March 9th, 2013 5:42 pm

    Awesome idea. We are currently setting smart goals could you please send me the ppt. and graphic organizer.

    Thanks Steve

  23. Victoria Simon on April 16th, 2013 8:51 pm

    Elona –

    Love it! I am a principal of a school for at-risk elementary students. Would you please email me the powerpoint so I can use it in our classrooms?

  24. Kellie Martini on April 23rd, 2013 3:44 pm

    Would love a copy of this power point! Thanks so much!

  25. Shanta Viswanathan on April 29th, 2013 5:24 am

    I am a supervisor for teaching and Learning. I want my high school students to understand the value of ‘Goal setting’ and how to go about doing the same. May I request for your presentation on the topic and the graphic organiser related to it. I would be very grateful if you could share any other resources that you have on Goal setting that would help my boys. Thanks a ton.

  26. Monica Gracia on June 3rd, 2013 7:21 am

    Hi my name is Monica. I am a tutor currently living in UK, as you say, seeting goals will help our learners to be able to identify what are they looking for and how to achieve these goals. I think that your presentation is “easy to follow ” that’s why I am interested in your presentation. ” . Also could I have more information about Voice Thread please.

    Many thanks,


  27. munya on June 12th, 2013 9:55 am

    hi name is munya,l’m a primary school teacher in south africa.l would like to help my pupils to understand why it is important to set smart goals.l would appriciate if you can sent me your presantation.l would also appreciate if you can sent me any other materials related to setting smart goals.thank you in advance.

  28. munyaradzi on June 12th, 2013 11:28 am

    hi,my name is munya.l’m a teacher.l am interested in your presentation.l would also appreciate if you can sent me other materials on the setting of smart goals.thank you in advance.

  29. Berentha on July 12th, 2013 12:31 pm

    Hello, my name is Berentha and l’m a special education teacher. l am interested in your presentation. Our district focuses on SMART Goals for our collaborative learning and I think the students would benefit from it as well. l would also appreciate if you can sent me other materials on the setting of smart goals.thank you in advance.

  30. Greg M on August 16th, 2013 1:51 pm

    If you are still sharing these files (the ppt and graphic organizer,) please send them my way.
    Thanks for your efforts in sharing your ideas and insights

  31. Elona Hartjes on August 16th, 2013 5:56 pm

    Yes,I still have themto share. I’ll forward them to you

  32. Seini on September 15th, 2013 9:29 am

    Hi there, this sounds like a great powerpoint – lots of great feedback! Would love a copy of the powerpoint and graphic organizers to use in my classroon if they are still available.
    Many thanks!

  33. bob on September 27th, 2013 11:20 am

    the powerpoint presentation is fantastic. the wise old owl is the greatest. could you please email it to me asap. thanks

  34. denise on January 6th, 2014 8:24 pm

    we are working on goal setting for the new year! I would love any materials you have to share!
    thanks so much!

  35. Rod falconer on July 29th, 2014 6:21 am

    I am a part time teacher in a small rural school who is interested in writing SMART Goals for my planning.
    Could you please send me your Slide presentation and graphic organiser related to the PowerPoint presentation?
    Thank you sincerely in advance,

  36. Quernande Wells on August 15th, 2014 7:35 am

    I would LOVE to have a copy of your powerpoint and graphic organizer!! I want to teach all of my students about SMART goals. Could you kindly forward me a copy? I hope I can get it prayerfully by the 19th of August. Sorry for the late request. I just started this course this week and I recently discovered your website today and school starts on the 20th.


  37. Kay Adams on August 26th, 2014 12:38 pm

    I am looking for a new/more effective way to teach SMART goals. I would love to see what you have. Thanks!

  38. Elona Hartjes on August 26th, 2014 2:01 pm

    Just click on e link in my post and you’ll see the slide show I prepared for y students. It’s also available at slideshare.com under my name Elona Hartjes.

  39. Beth on September 7th, 2014 10:07 am

    The powerpoint is fantastic! Could you email me the smart goals slide show as well as the graphic organizers you have for setting goals. Sometimes when I try sites with slides at school I get the firewall. In reading the comments, I found the Opendyslexic font text site and info.which is something I needed, since will be taking the Orton Gillingham course this years. Thank you so much for sharing!

  40. Nancy Doyle on September 11th, 2014 8:22 pm

    I work with Gr. 2-4 students as a Title 1 reading instructor. In preparation for setting my own smart goal for my 2 year evaluation cycle, I have come across several papers on helping students set smart goals in the classroom. Many of my students speak English as their second language and live in an area of poverty. The students come to me for 30-45 minutes daily, in groups of 5-7 students. At first I thought about setting smart goals with 2nd and 3rd gr. students, too, but now am thinking that trying this with my 4th gr. groups, for this year, might be wiser. I’d love to hear your opinion, and would appreciate any material you have that would address this. Thank you so much for sharing your article.

  41. Callie on September 14th, 2014 11:56 am

    Hi, This is my first year homeschooling. I have a 7th grader and I would love to use your power point in teaching him to set goals. This would be a great way to start our new year off.
    Thanks so much, Callie

  42. Kathleen on October 18th, 2015 8:57 am

    Wonderful slide show! I would love a copy and the graphic organizers, please. We are just embarking on Personal Learning Plans in our state and this would be a great intro in how to begin a goal setting process.

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