The writing of SMART goals used by government, businesses and nonprofit organizations is often done by schools as educators try to improve student learning. Reading comprehension needs to be at a certain level for grade 4 students because that is the year most of them are required to pass standardized tests that help rank school quality and determine school funding. SMART is an acronym that describes how to write specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals.
Evaluate areas of reading comprehension that may be giving students problems, asking the questions who, where, what, when, why and how about what they read. Write goals that test how effective present teaching methods and programs are, writing down well-defined goals that can cause significant improvement.
Write meaningful goals that motivate students to ask questions and seek answers that can lead them to a better understanding of what they read. Break down assessment data to focus on significant areas in which students are lacking skills. Discuss what the students need to focus on to improve. Write goals with which you can measure progress and determine what assessment will be used to show whether students have acquired the necessary skills.
Come to a consensus on areas of focus. Write a realistic goal that involves taking targeted action that can be achieved in the time allotted, Be sure you can provide resources to achieve the goals.
Discuss why a potential goal is important and how it will improve results. Write goals that include specific dates of completion and particular numbers that must be met by that date. For example, rather than setting the goal, "Grade 4 students will improve reading comprehension," use a SMART goal that states, "By April 10, 2011, 70 percent of grade 4 students will place in the 90th percentile or above on the reading comprehension portion of the MEAP test that involves predicting, inferring, summarizing and retelling."
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