Recognizing student success is key in helping them develop patterns for setting and meeting healthy goals. By recognizing the progress they’ve made and highlighting even small successes, students get a boost in confidence and encouragement to keep trying. Read on and learn more about health and fitness goal setting and recognizing student success in physical education.
Health & Fitness Goal Setting in PE Class
Some students will be excited to develop skills and enjoy participating in physical activities. But others may not find fitness goals to be particularly motivating. Because of the differences in passion, interest, and motivation, it’s important to offer understanding and encourage students to set their own goals according to their definition of success.
At the beginning of the school year or semester, have students brainstorm potential goals for themselves. Then, follow up by making class time to sit with each student for a few minutes to record and discuss their personal fitness and physical activity goals for the semester.
Encourage them to consider how their time in PE class is going to help them achieve their goals. Help them determine how they will be able to record or establish their success when you meet with them again at the end of the semester.
The goals should be a reflection of how they want to learn and grow. They don’t necessarily need to revolve around the physical health side of their time in PE. Explain to students that their mental, physical, social, and emotional health all play a part in growing and learning. Setting healthy goals can include any or all of these.
Why Should Students Set Goals?
Of course, a PE educator could choose a physical or character goal for each student. But part of helping students develop their own goal-setting habits is allowing them to create and learn from their own expectations. When they have finished the semester, you can ask them how their experiences will shape their goal-setting in the future. Did they expect too much? Could they have pushed themselves further? Did their goal shift or change as they progressed?
Recognizing Student Success in Physical Education
Recognition of student success doesn’t have to wait until the end of a semester. Sprinkle in positive recognition of students striving for their goals over time.
Recognize Individual Student Success
Depending on the individual student, recognizing their growth might mean a high-five on the way out the door at the end of class. Or it could be a short, individual conversation. It’s important to encourage students by recognizing their successes in a positive way. Be careful not to cause embarrassment or add negative pressure.
Progress is Success
At the end of the semester or year, after having the last individual conversation with each student, open up an opportunity for them to share their goals and success with the class. Remind students that even if they didn’t achieve everything they set out to do, their progress and efforts are still worth sharing with others.
Developing Intrinsic Goal Motivation
Recognizing students who have attempted, met, or exceeded the goals that they set for themselves doesn’t have to include a physical reward. Sharing your positive attitude and celebrating their success in a smaller, more personal way may help your students learn that setting and working towards healthy goals isn’t always associated with external rewards.
More PE Inspiration & Ideas
Looking for more ways to engage with and encourage your PE students? Be sure to stop by the PE category page and the online store. You’ll find lesson plans, activity ideas, and all the supplies and tools your students need to make this the best year yet!