SMART Goals for Kindergarten Students (A Guide)

In this article, you’ll learn all about SMART goals and how you can incorporate them into your kinder’s life.

SMART Goals for Kindergarten Students (For Teachers and Parents)

Kindergarten students can benefit from setting goals to help them see their progress as they learn and grow.

SMART goals pair a goal with a way to measure the goal and a deadline for meeting the goal.

Kindergarteners can benefit from the clear expectations set in a SMART goal. 

Kindergarteners can work towards SMART goals for social skills or academic skills. 

Caretakers, parents and teachers should all work together to help your kindergartener monitor their progress and celebrate their success. 

Kindergarteners are growing in their ability to set goals for themselves so they will need support and possibly a visual reminder to work towards their goals. 

What are SMART Goals for Kindergarteners?

SMART stands for:






When you are setting goals with kindergarten students be sure to focus on the Attainable and Realistic part of the goal setting. 

Kindergarteners can work on social or academic goals. 

Social SMART Goals for Kindergarteners 

Kindergarten students can generally:

  • Name their basic emotions and how they make them feel
  • Follow directions
  • Share and take turns
  • Interact positively with peers
  • Express gratitude
  • Use listening skills. 

A SMART goal that is attainable and realistic will take the child’s development into account. 

I will express gratitude at the end of the day at least three times a week. 

I will share with my sister without complaining at least 50% of the time. 

Social goals are ongoing and are unlikely to have an end date. 

Academic SMART Goals for Kindergarteners

Academic goals are a bit easier to monitor and achieve for kindergarteners. 

Be sure to set realistic goals that are inline with the current skills of the child. These goals should be broken down into small attainable pieces. 

I will master my 1%2s fact family addition cards with 90% accuracy by December. 

I will recognize 45 sight words with 90% accuracy by June. 

I will write my name by October. 

I will recognize the letters in the alphabet with 100% accuracy by the end of September. 

Setting Classroom SMART Goals for Kindergarteners 

Parents and caregivers may choose to set SMART goals for students, but this format is more common in a classroom setting. 

Teachers can set SMART goals for their class by considering how they want to monitor growth across the year. 

Start with a Standard

Choose a standard that has traditionally been difficult for your students and break it down into small bites. 

Counting to 100 is a big milestone for many kindergarteners, but it is a huge task when they can only count to 10. 

Break the goal down,

In week 1 80% of students will count to 20. 

In week 2 90% of students will count to 50. 

In week 8 95% of students will count to 100 without support or prompting. 

Pair the Goal with Action 

Make sure your lesson plans lineup with your goals. Plan lessons that will support students to meet the goal. 

Have a plan for remediating students who are falling behind and get support for them. 

Check In With Your Goals

Teachers are often asked to make these goals at the beginning of the year and do not check in with the goals until a mid-year review with a supervisor. 

Put some alarms in your phone or notes in your planner to check in with these goals so that you can support the students as they progress. 

Modify Goals

You may find that you need to modify the goals. That is ok. 

You may get to know your students better and find that you need to change your focus.

Social skills may take a bit more time than academic skills or there may be 5 days of snow!

Check in with your goals and change them to meet the needs of your students. 

Setting SMART Goals for Kindergarteners

When you are setting SMART goals for a kindergarten student, be sure to make the child a part of the conversation so that they will understand the goal well. 

Talk Together

When a child expresses that they hope to grow in an area, support that progress. 

If your child wants to be a better soccer player, write down the goal and work out a plan to meet the goal. 

Goal setting is a lifelong skill that you can teach to your student.

In the classroom make these goals a team effort between the student, parent, teacher and any support staff that work with the student. 

A team can help support a student in a meaningful way as they work towards their goal.  

Pair Goals with Actions

Be sure to plan actions that will support the goals. 

If your goal has to do with reading you should plan to read together frequently, do flashcard activities, or workbooks. 

You may need to hire a tutor. 

Make sure the actions support the goal and put them on the calendar to make them timely

Take Responsibility

Be sure that you divide the responsibility for meeting the goal between your child and yourself and other caregivers. 

Parents may be responsible to make tutoring or pediatrician appointments while a kindergartener may be responsible for bringing home all of their work each day. 

Celebrate Success

Be sure to celebrate each time your child meets a goal. Sticker charts or goal trackers are great for children in kindergarten. 

A high five or encouraging note in a lunchbox are some other great ways to celebrate the progress your child is making. 

Keep the Progress Going

When a child meets a goal, it is time to set another one.

It may be a good idea to set a series of goals so that you know where you are going. 

Planning a bit ahead can be motivating to some and overwhelming for others, so choose the strategy that works for you. 

SMART Goals for Kindergarteners 

Kindergarteners are learning about their own interests, strengths and weaknesses. 

They will need support to set goals and work towards them, but they are in a time of incredible growth.

Taking time to set and achieve goals can help your child mark their own development. 

Goal setting is a lifelong skill and it is a good habit to form as a family.

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SMART Goals for Kindergarten Students