From a Teacher’s Perspective: WIGs

As part of the “Leader in Me” implemented at our school, teachers and students are encouraged to create WIGs to make goal-setting more visible, accessible and achievable. Just what is a WIG?

The term WIG stands for Wildly Important Goal. A WIG is simply a goal set in a way in which progress toward that goal can be tracked and recorded. Every WIG is written in the “From X to Y by When” format. X is your starting point. Y is where you want to be. “When” is your deadline.

According to second grade teacher Ms. Adrienne…goals are broken into smaller “lead measures” – or action steps. Often people make the mistake of only measuring the outcomes they are trying to achieve, rather than identifying achievable steps to get to their final goals. The WIG process requires a scoreboard in a visible location to increase motivation and hold participants accountable.

You might have seen a WIG scoreboard posted on the school’s main fence near the front gate. That’s one of our school-wide WIGs to increase daily attendance. It’s in a very visible place for all teachers, students and parents to see each day.

Ms. Adrienne’s students are the Coyotes. Their classroom has three current WIGS. For example, Ms. Adrienne’s WIG is to run 30 minutes a day, five days a week until her wedding next month. Ms. Adrienne says that this WIG was put into place to model the process for her students and to involve them as her accountability partners.

Another WIG in Ms. Adrienne’s classroom is “The Coyotes’ Home Reading WIG”. This WIG is a calendar which has been sent home in students’ homework folders – replacing the previous Book-It monthly reading calendar. Students still have the opportunity to earn a Book-It pizza Ccupon at the end of each month. However, the WIG calendar is different because it encourages students to read as many minutes as they can – rather than a cap of 200 minutes a month – and is tracked daily, signed by parents weekly, and recorded to the class’s master calendar each week. This is not just for the Coyotes’ class – this is a grade-wide WIG. At the end of the month, the second-grade class with the most minutes read will earn an extra recess.

Another WIG example in Ms. Adrienne’s class is “The Coyotes’ School Reading WIG”. It’s a WIG the class is working on as a group to move up on their reading levels. The challenge for the class is for at least one student to move up three reading levels by the end of the year. Students will encourage each other as the bar graphs grow.