Recognizing student success is key in helping them to develop a pattern for setting and meeting healthy goals. By recognizing progress they’ve made and highlighting even small successes, students can benefit from a boost in confidence and encouragement to keep trying. Read on and learn more about health & fitness goal setting and recognizing student success in physical education.
Health & Fitness Goal Setting in PE Class
Not every student finds fitness goals to be particularly motivating, while other students may be excited to develop skills and enjoy participating in physical activities. 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/physical activity goals for the year/semester.
Encourage them to consider how their time in PE class is going to help them achieve their goals and how they will be able to record or establish their success in another meeting with you at the end of the year/semester.
The goals should be a reflection of how they want to grow/learn, and don’t need to revolve around the physical health side of their time in PE. Be sure to explain to students that their mental, physical, social, and emotional health all play a part in growing and learning throughout the year/semester.
Why Have Students Set Goals?
Of course, a PE educator could choose a physical or character goal for each student, but part of helping students to develop their own goal-setting habit is allowing them to create and learn from their own expectations. When they have finished the year or 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 Successes in Physical Education
Recognition of student successes doesn’t have to wait until the end of a year or semester. Sprinkle in positive recognition of students striving for their goals over time.
Recognizing Individual Student Successes
Depending on the individual student, recognizing their growth/successes might mean a high-five on the way out the door at the end of class or a short, individual conversation. It’s important to encourage students by recognizing their successes in a positive way that doesn’t cause embarrassment or add negative pressure.
Progress is Success
At the end of the semester or year, after having the last individual conference/conversation with each student, open up an opportunity for them to share their goals and successes with the class. Remind students that even if they didn’t achieve everything they set out to do, that their progress and effort is still worth sharing with others.
Developing Intrinsic 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 successes in a smaller, more personal way may help your students to learn that setting and working towards 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.