Tip for Tuesday: SMART Targets
You may have heard this term bandied around in education circles or in IQBar’s chat group, but what are SMART targets and how can you use them to help your students?
SMART targets are a way of making sure your student is progressing at the right pace for them with manageable, easily mapped progress. This is something important when writing reviews and setting ‘Areas for Development’ that Breadies can achieve between sessions.
It can take a while to get used to writing them but, in the end, SMART targets are beneficial both for student and teacher as you can easily track the progress made and feel proud of what has been achieved.
SMART stands for:
Specific – Targets set for Breadies should be well defined and clear for Breadies and their parent so they can understand what they’re meant to do and can work towards them with confidence.
Manageable, measured – This one is important! Most of our Breadies have highly structured, busy schedules and do not have time to complete lots of targets. Areas for improvement should aim to stretch Breadies but be something that they will be able to complete between sessions and have noticeable, quantifiable results.
Attainable, achievable – Linked with manageable and measured, the targets should be attainable for our Breadies and should be small tasks so in the gap between sessions it is not too difficult to achieve. If a Bready feels that tasks are unattainable they can become demotivated and stop trying – by setting attainable goals there is the motivation to achieve and get better, a positive multiplier effect that will boost confidence and pride in their work.
Relevant – Targets should be based on areas that the Bready struggled with during class and useful for their development. It shouldn’t be something that wasn’t studied in class or perhaps based on a mistake the Bready made but wasn’t picked up on in class.
Time-bound – Targets should be small tasks that can be completed from one session to the next, not something that should be covered over a number of sessions. There may be only the space of a day or two between classes so set tasks like ‘Practise these 5 words’ or ‘Write 4 sentences using do, does, don’t and doesn’t. These small tasks are manageable in amongst the mountains of homework Breadies may receive from school and other commitments Breadies may face.
Another element of time bound is bearing in mind the age of your Bready. A three-year-old will not be able to memorise five types of fruit or have the concentration to sit down and write the names of each in one chunk. Instead, focus perhaps on writing and colouring three. If a task is to learn the alphabet, break it down per session so the first task will be to learn A-E, and the new F-K.
There is an interesting article on amount of homework vs age and grade of student on the Edutopia website that you can find here. https://www.edutopia.org/article/whats-right-amount-homework
Happy teaching everyone! As always let us know if you have a comment or question about the Tip for Tuesday by commenting below or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!