As part of a Leader in Me Lighthouse campus, goal setting is an integral part of all that we do. If you aren’t familiar with the Leader in Me program, please take the time to check it out! It is an amazing program! (You can also keep up with me here as I share more about life at a Lighthouse school).
One of the most vital (and most fun) parts of goal setting is celebrating our victories. It is one of the most important parts because this is when it really starts to click for students. Being in a first grade classroom, this is often a new concept for young students. At first they don’t always understand the purpose of setting a goal or working towards it. Once students see the end result, whether it be their own goal met, or that of another student, student motivation multiplies exponentially!
Let me add that it’s not only important to celebrate the end result but also to celebrate progress towards a goal. Some students may not reach their goal until the very end of they year, but I always want to build a classroom climate where students celebrate and encourage each other when they see others making progress toward their goal.
While our campus does an amazing job of celebrating students school wide, I want to focus on how we celebrate within my classroom. When students meet their goal, we always take the time during the day at some point and celebrate with music and dancing, usually to the song “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang or the song “Celebrate” by Blazer Fresh on GoNoodle. I can not begin to tell you how much this means to the kids! This usually involves chanting and cheering for the student(s). They also get to update their leadership notebook by moving their goal to the “Victories” section and setting a new goal.
Another way that students get to celebrate is by wearing a “Brag Tag” for the day. This lets other staff and students know to ask the student about reaching their goal. They love to be able to share with others and celebrate with a word of encouragement or high five! You can find the badge holders and lanyards on Amazon!
I also love to send home a brag note to the parents because parents love to be in on the celebration as well! Often times, parents are the ones who have been working with and cheering on their students, so they can’t wait to hear that a goal has been met! These brag notes are a quick and easy way to make contact with parents and let them know the specifics about the goal met. The kids love getting to take a brag note home with them and share their good news!
If you are interested in a bundle of the two, look no further!
Even if you are not a part of a Leader in Me campus, I would still encourage you to incorporate goal setting and celebrations within your classroom. When you build a classroom climate that encourages students to set a goal, track their progress toward the goal, and celebrate their progress and achievements, you are teaching them to take ownership for their learning and growth, and you are helping them to become lifelong learners!