Sunday, August 13, 2017

Differentiate Your Writing Instruction with Writing Goals

 Writing Goal Posters and Brag Tag Set

In my personal experience using the Reading and Phonics Goals in my primary classroom, I have found that not only are they a great visual reminder for my students of what good readers do, it also holds them accountable for their learning and achievement. I can not begin to tell you what a tremendous change had occurred when I started using them.

So, I just had to take the time to create this set of 32 Writing Goal Posters with “I can” statements. I also took it a step further and created matching brag tags to keep my young authors on the “write track”.

Why Writing Goals?

One of the biggest questions I am asked is if you should display all the goal posters at once. Yes! Definitely display them all at once. There is no need to display one poster at a time as you introduce each skill.

Your students develop their writing skills at a different pace. You have students at varying stages in their writing development. One of your students may still be drawing their stories and building phonemic awareness. You will want to encourage them to label their pictures with beginning sounds.

While in another instance, you may have a group of students who are ready to write complete paragraphs and will benefit from using time order words in their writing to help them add more detailed sentences in a logical order.

Displaying all the posters at once will also make all your students aware of the many strategies that good writers use. You will find that many of your students will inform you that even though they are focusing on labeling their stories with words, they are also using capital letters when they label character names! This is when I praise them for going above and beyond!

How do I differentiate writing for each child?

You will find that using Writing Goals in your classroom is an effective way to differentiate your instruction. As you hold writing conferences with your students, you are able to discern exactly what your young author's strengths and weaknesses are. During these conferences, assign them a writing goal to help improve their writing based on a specific personalized need.

Please keep in mind, that in the Writer's Workshop model, I do present a whole group mini lesson to expose my writer's to skills and strategies for all writers. After the class is sent off to write independently after the mini-lesson, I then pull a small group of children who share the same writing goal and provide them with explicit instruction that focuses on their writing goal. A differentiated mini-lesson! 

Once you confer with each student again, evaluate their writing. Are they consistently working on their writing goal?  Have they achieved their goal? If so, you can celebrate by providing them with a brag tag. If you do not use brag tags in your classroom, simple provide them with the brag tag as a certificate of achievement and watch them beam with pride! Now...assign them a new goal!

You can find the Writing Goals Posters and Brag Tag Set HERE.

This is what is included:

32 Writing Goal posters
32 Brag Tags (or individualized writing goal cards)
6 EDITABLE name tags (separate pdf file)
One blank template to create your own Writing Goal
One blank brag tag template

Writing Posters:
I can draw pictures to tell my story.
I can write stories with a setting.
I can write stories with a problem and solution.
I can label my pictures with beginning sounds.
I can label my pictures with words.
I can fancy-up my writing.
I can write a sentence that tells a complete thought.
I can add details to my story.
I can write Word Wall words correctly.
I can print my letters correctly.
I can print my letters without reversals.
I can use the correct pencil grip.
I can write my letters neatly so others can read my story.
I can stay focused on my writing and build my stamina.
I can write a sentence that matches my picture.
I can write capital letters at the beginning of my sentence.
I can use capital letters at the right time.
I can use an ending mark at the end of a sentence.
I can use finger spaces between words.
I can think of ideas to describe the main idea of my story.
I can indent the first word in my story using two finger spaces.
I can write a topic sentence to introduce the main idea of my story.
I can use time order words to help my story move along.
I can write a closing sentence to remind my reader of the main idea.
I can write a proper paragraph.
I can write a story that sticks to one topic or main idea.
I can reread my story and look for missing words and correct mistakes.
I can stretch out each word and write down each sound I hear.
I can write longer words by breaking them up into chunks.
I can write longer words by listening for a base word inside.

You might also like to learn more about:

The theme of this resource is an addition to the On the Road to Proper Paragraph Writing and the Writing Portfolio Set available at The K Files Shop. If your students need a unique visual reminder of the paragraph structure, you can learn more by finding them here:
Writing Portfolio Road Map Set

I have also bundled up all three resources for your savings:
The Road Map to Writing Complete BUNDLE

I do hope that you find this information helpful.  Incorporating Writing Goals in your Writing program is so very beneficial.  Students become accountable for their growth and thrive on celebrating their success!  


  1. WOW...what a fantastic list of writing goals. I love that you have them all displayed at once. I think it is important for writers to visually see all of the goals and keep in mind the ones they have mastered and/or are still working toward. Writing is such a process in itself and developmentally. What an excellent way to encourage growth mindset as writers and establish goals. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I love your Road Map to Paragraph Writing. I can't wait to use them. The portfolio and these posters both look like a great addition to the set! Love!

  3. I love your blog site! So much information and resources. I will definitely be coming back!!!!