I am a firm believer in setting goals and shooting for them. I often have my students set a grade goal for an upcoming test or project before they ever study for the test or begin completing the project. I developed a form with questions about their goal and how they are planning on achieving that goal. It also includes questions concerning whether or not they reached their goal and how they can improve on the next test or project. These questions helped me throughout college and I have seen them work for middle school students, too. I have even attached small, no cost to me, rewards for students achieving their goals. I keep each student's goal forms and they can look back at them at the end of the school year to see their improvements. Students need to learn to set and achieve goals and I believe this strategy really works!