Goals are dreams with deadlines.
Diana Scharf Hunt
This is the time of renewal, with many of us setting goals for the coming weeks and months. In the past year, I picked up two mantras from a fitness retreat that I say to myself nearly every day as I consider my goals and whether I’m moving forward or not:
Something is better than nothing; and
My pace is the right pace for me.
What often stops me from meeting a goal is an unrealistic expectation (which usually seemed perfectly realistic when I set the goal). Now when I work on a goal and feel like I am coming up short, I ask myself, “Is there something I could do, however small, to make progress today?” Because something is always better than nothing.
I’m also learning to be kind to myself when I look at progress. I like this advice from Jon Acuff: Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. There will always be someone who is faster, better, stronger, or who started the process months ago. They are working at their pace; I am working at mine.
This week we’re featuring many different takes on setting goals and marking progress. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Founder, Choice Literacy
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We asked Choice Literacy contributors to share their goals at the start of the new year. This week we hear from Ann Marie Corgill, Cathy Mere, Franki Sibberson, and Katherine Sokolowski:
Ruth Ayres has a pragmatic take on progress in her reflective piece On Perfection and Goals:
Katie Doherty finds surveys of Middle School Readers at Midyear are a powerful tool for setting goals and refining practice:
If you have a literacy leadership role where you have to define most of your work responsibilities, you may also need to be more proactive in evaluating your success. Lifehacker provides tips and templates for doing a self-review of your work, including identifying “professional pain points”:
The Quote Garden has an excellent compilation of motivational quotes on goals:
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Everyone wants students to write more, but the challenge is to get quality as well as quantity in writing workshops. We’ve posted two new takes on the writing quality/quantity issue.
In Just Write More, Aimee Buckner has tips for ways to focus lessons that will help students produce more writing:
Ruth Ayres finds that keeping a word count is a potent way to increase writing quantity over time:
In I Have Two Pictures of Cindy, Melissa Kolb writes about the importance of time and patience in meeting our goals with young learners — in this instance, a child who struggles to speak in her preschool classroom:
We love this week’s video because it is so authentic. Karen Terlecky checks in with a boy who was missed for awhile during conferring sessions in her fifth-grade classroom. We all have those students who quietly do well and fly under the radar:
We’ve posted the final video in a four-part series of Sean Moore demonstrating how he naturally enlists student readers and writers as models for their peers in his second-grade classroom. The goal was for students to add more details and descriptive language to their writing:
If one of your goals is to catch up on articles and videos published this fall at Choice Literacy, the Big Fresh Archives is a good place to start:
That’s all for this week!