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  • Writer's pictureLara

Math Conferences and Visual Goal Setting for Progress Monitoring and Student Growth!

Updated: May 14, 2023

Math Conferences


Have you ever heard of a writing conference with students? So had I but why did I never think to do a math conference? The result is motivated young mathematicians who can see the making amazing progress they are making!


I don't know about you, but I have had students who no matter what I try, are not making the progress I’d like to see them make, to be ready for the next grade but more importantly, to build a strong foundation for mathematical thinking.


I attended a virtual math conference you can check out my review to see my key takeaways. Spoiler alert, visual goal setting as a progress monitoring and assessment tool was at the top of the list!


I know what you’re thinking, another progress monitoring assessment, but this gets into the nitty gritty of counting to really target the kids who have been struggling, and both you as the teacher and them as the students have a useful and motivating progress monitoring tool!


photo of visual math progress tracker and goal setting sheet for number sense in kindergarten

What is Visual Goal Setting in Math


Visual goal setting as I have used it is a way for students to see exactly what their goals are and break them down so your students can see what they need to work on AND gain some momentum by being able to color the goals they have achieved. (The kids I’ve used it with LOVE coloring in their goals!)


The counting goal sheet has small, achievable, bite-sized goals that will take them from wherever they are right now to the end of Kindergarten. Sometimes our learners would rather give up or not engage than try, but this goal-setting sheet helps them see the progress they are making, and build positive momentum by showing them they are really growing as mathematicians!


How to have a visual goal-setting and progress-monitoring conference

  1. Have your students do some math for you

  2. Notice something they are doing well and give them a compliment or let them color in a square on their Counting Goal Setting Sheet if they have mastered a new task!

  3. Mention that you noticed they are having trouble, or noticed they are still working on x skill or strategy

  4. Give them a strategy to meet their next goal, or a specific item to work on

  5. Let them know that you will work on that goal together and that you’ll follow up with them soon!

What’s Included?


This kindergarten counting goal-setting resource includes:

  • Student-facing Visual goal-setting counting and number sense sheet

  • Teacher progress collection tracker for easy recording

  • Optional Assessment Materials: 5 Frame and 10 Frame, 1-20 10 frames, 1-20 Numeral Cards, 1-6 dice cards, 1-10

  • Preparation and usage instructions

  • Black and white and color versions of the student-facing sheet

  • English and Spanish Versions of student and teacher progress tracker and goal sheet


Photo of Kindergarten Counting goals visual goal setting sheet with assessment materials, 10 frames, numbers, dice, finger patterns


How to use this visual goal sheet and progress tracker:

  1. If you are using the assessment materials, laminate for longevity, if not gather your whiteboard, marker, goal-setting sheet, and a progress tracker.

  2. Start at the top of the goal-setting sheet and choose an item from the first row to start with.

  3. Use cards, fingers or objects, and your whiteboard to check the first number range working with numbers out of order.

  4. Record the results easily by circling if your student has mastered the number or is still working on it.

  5. If they have mastered all numbers in the range, let them color in their goal sheet, if not discuss what their focus numbers will be, and let them know they did great work with you can you can't wait to see the progress they make!

  6. Noting their exact focus skills is great for planning, and seeing the students see their progress is great for their motivation!

  7. You can also print the student-facing sheet double-sided in English and Spanish if you are going to send it home so families and see their child’s progress and goals as well!


Photo of teacher recording sheet with check marks and notes and visual student facing counting sheet with some goals colored in

Will you be doing visual goal-setting with your students?


Get this complete progress monitoring tool on TPT or on the website store!




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