Student Academic Goal Setting Sheets

Students use SMART goals to set and plan academic goals.

I came across a pin the other day about helping students set academic goals for themselves and I just loved the idea!  Setting, working towards, and achieving goals is a powerful skill that will help students not only be successful now, but also in the future.  This is learned skill they can benefit from for a lifetime.

So, the little wheels in my brain were set in motion and would’t stop until I figured out how I was going to use this.  Since I have one in kindergarten and one in third grade, I needed to make it work for both ages.  For my son who is in kindergarten, we’re going to talk over several academic goals I have for him this year.  We’ll keep it small and simple enough for him to understand.  I found this hot air balloon graphic and created a template that I think will be perfect for recording his goals.  We’ll work on one at a time and when he meets that goal he’ll color in that stripe on the hot air balloon.  In a classroom setting, I think these hot air balloons would make a cute bulletin board or display where students could see their progress.  Some  fun titles might be “Setting Goals and Soaring High” ,  “Going Places with Goals”, or “Our Goals:  Achieving New Heights”.

student academic goal planning sheet

Here is just a quick example I came up with for how it might be used with younger students:

student academic goals sheets and printables

For my daughter who is in third grade, I’m going to walk her through the process of setting her goal using a goal planning sheet I created.  I want her to understand the things she needs to consider when deciding what kind of goal to set, along with the necessary steps to get there.  I saw the idea of “SMART” goals on Pinterest and think it is an excellent way to help students in the goal setting process.  I also created a hot air balloon for her that can be used with older elementary students.

student academic goal planning sheet


student academic goal planning sheet

Having regular conferences with students to touch base with them about how their goal is progressing is vital to success.  Students need encouragement to keep going but they may also need guidance on when and how they may need to modify their goal or the steps they’re taking to get there.  They also need to understand that modifying your goal does not mean failure.  Learning to adapt but to keep working towards their goal is oh so important.  This is a great time to bring in examples of famous people like Michael Jordan, Albert Einstein, or Walt Disney who suffered many setbacks before they were successful.  Those setbacks didn’t make them quit.  They changed what they needed to, kept working towards their goal, and ultimately reached it.

And when those goals are reached, it’s time to celebrate!   Recognize the students in class, send home a note to parents, and/or have students wear a badge at school that day celebrating their achievement.

Parent Notes

student academic goal planning sheets and printables


student academic goal planning sheets and printables

Cut out and laminate these cards to make badges.  Have students wear them the entire day.  Let them run errands for you so many teachers  and adults will see and ask them about it!

student academic goal planning sheets and printables

I’m looking forward to implementing goal setting this year!  I can’t wait to see how my kids do with it.  Do you have students set academic goals in your classroom?  How do you keep track of their goals?  How do you celebrate success?  I’d love to hear!

You can download all these student academic goal setting sheets and printables for FREE by clicking here. This file is best viewed and printed in the latest version of Adobe Reader.  If you do not have the latest version, you can download it here for free.


  1. WOW! I agree, it is a wonderful blessing that you have created this and have it free and available for us to use. I work with special needs students with cognitive disabilities and have a couple of 3rd grade students that I am going to use this with. I love the stairs as a visual for older elementary ages and the SMART goals as a term for them to use, just like us teachers. Thanks so much!

  2. I love your ideas for using SMART goals in class. Do you have a sample of the older student form completed? I am having a hard time picturing how students will have room for writing each step on this sheet.

    1. I don’t have an example on hand, but here is how we did it: We wrote under the staircase. At the top, under “My Goal” we wrote the goal out first. Then we started at the bottom of the staircase and wrote the first step towards that goal to the right of where it says “Step 1”. We continued up the staircase, writing to the right of each step. I hope that makes sense and helps you get a better picture of it! 🙂

  3. I LOVE your SMART goals sheet. I have been searching for something to use with my 4th grade students and this is absolutely perfect!!!! Thanks a million – I can’t wait to use it!

  4. Oh you are amazing. Thank You soo much. The balloon is a perfect representation of “reaching success” and the learning journey.
    Thank you from a time poor but invested student support worker.

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