A large focus of my course has been on differentiating instruction in the writing classroom. One of the ways I already do this is through the creation of personal writing goals for the students. I really started my focus on this at the beginning of last year. During my first writing conference with my students (after our first diagnostic), the student and I decide on a personal writing goal based on their needs (example: organization, word choice, sentence structure, etc.). During subsequent conferences, the student and I evaluate if they have met the goal, and move on to a new goal if they were successful. Around January I decided I needed a more visual way of displaying their writing goals - hence the writing goal clip chart. The one I was using last year was a good fit ... but it wasn't a perfect fit, so I knew I wanted to work on it over the summer.
So, my Personal Writing Goals Clip Chart was born. I will use it in the classroom to help students track their personal goals. They will use a clothespin to do this (do you see my beautiful washi tape clothespins - I made them in true multi-tasking style while watching my daughters' soccer practice). I will write the students' names on the clips in sharpie (but I know some of you prefer to use numbers).
After our first writing conference they will have their first goal, and place their pin on the matching goal strip - because these are personal goals, students will have different starting points on the chart. Do you see that little pocket at the bottom? That's my favourite part for student accountability. Inside that pocket (just half a manila envelope with the title card glued on top) are the student reflection sheets. When a student believes he or she has mastered the goal, they will fill in a goal reflection sheet proving that they have met the goal and explaining the strategies he or she used, and this reflection sheet will be stapled to their writing piece. If the student was successful (determined in a student/teacher conference) we will discuss what goal to move on to.
Another great part - this visual will quickly help me see what students to pull for a quick guided writing lesson. All students on the same goal strip can come together for a focused minilesson - discussing their goal in reference to the assignment they are working on.
The writing goal strips can also be used to build a set of success criteria for writing for the whole class. You could start with one or two goal strips, adding a new strip to the chart each time a new goal is taught through a lesson, ending with the full chart by the end of the year. The strips are held together with binder clips / book rings (LOVE the metallic rings I found at Staples), but in the past I have used ribbon to hold the strips together. The binder clips make it easier to change the goal strips.
There are 2 sets of goals included in each resource - one has the common core standard written on each strip, and the other set does not have the standard listed (which I will use in my class). I have sets for all grade levels - K-8. You can preview any of them by clicking on the links: