Hubbell & Goodwin (2013) found that:
"Research shows that we gain not only confidence but also satisfaction
when we achieve goals. When get a correct answer, make an accurate pre-
diction, or experience success, our brains are flooded with dopamine, the
so-called reward molecule that long-distance runner and writer Christopher
Bergland (2011) describes as “the ‘ding, ding, ding’ jackpot feeling you get
when you accomplish a goal” (para. 3). Simply stated, success becomes
addictive. We seek new opportunities to overcome challenges and hit the
dopamine jackpot." (Page 19)
As for setting long-term goals in my classroom, I like to begin by thinking about where I will be ending with each unit. For example, at the beginning of the unit that I am teaching for this course I administered a pre-test to my 3rd grade class about division and multiplication. I then marked the test and gave the students a self-evaluation rubric for them to score themselves with. They scored their key competencies in 1 of 4 different evaluative columns and then used that rubric to set long term goals for where they want to be at the end of the unit. That rubric will be given to them after they take their summative, or post-test, assessment. They will be able to see how they have progressed with their long term goals. Rubrics are incredibly important in fostering student ownership of the curriculum and long term goal setting (Wang, 2017).
The personal learning goals that are set for each and every lesson in my 3rd grade classroom are constantly on the whiteboard, either hand written or projected. As one can see from the above picture, one of the scaffolding lessons that I am teaching for the students to be able to realize their long-term goals as per the self-evaluation rubric, has two very clear and understandable learning objectives. The students always know what success looks like, they also know what the learning goals for each lesson are and how to achieve them.
Hubbell, E. R., & Goodwin, B. (2013). The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching: A Checklist for Staying Focused Every Day. ASCD.
Wang, W. (2017). Using rubrics in student self-assessment: student perceptions in the English as a foreign language writing context. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42(8), 1280–1292. https://doi.org/10.1080/02602938.2016.1261993
Benjamin Snitker. A master's candidate at Colorado State University-Global Campus.