Monday, March 7, 2016

Learning Targets and Objectives, Part 1

Excellence in Education: Learning Targets/Objectives
Often when we, the administration, observe classes, we ask students, “What are you learning? How will you know if you’ve learned it? What can you do know that you couldn’t do at the beginning of the class?”

By asking these questions, we’re able to focus on student engagement and learning and focus on learning targets, all of which are research-proven at aiding student learning.

Learning targets are objectives that tell students specifically what they should be able to exhibit following instruction. In other words, learning targets communicate where students will end up at the end of the lesson. Targets tell students what to learn, how deeply to learn it and how to demonstrate their learning. (Moss and Brookhart)  

Learning targets are written in student language and enable each student to grasp the lesson’s purpose.  When students truly understand the learning target, they should be able to answer:
  1. What will I be able to do when I’ve finished with this lesson?
  2. What idea, topic, or subject is important for me to learn and understand so that I can do this?
  3. How will I show that I can do this and how well will I have to do it?

What a learning target is not A learning target is not simply quoting the content standards, as these are written in teacher vernacular and are difficult for students to understand. Learning targets are also not instructional activities. “You will complete the Venn diagram with a partner,” is not an acceptable learning target. Similarly, learning targets are not an agenda of what is going to be done in class.

Additionally, a learning target should be something that can be accomplished in that class period. While the day’s target might be part of a larger/unit objective, the target should offer guidance and direction for that class period.

Finally, learning targets should avoid terms that are open to interpretation. Understand, grasp, learn, appreciate are too broad.

Need to Knows
Positive Referral Link:

Technology / Website Permission Request Form

Spring Calendar (Grades, SOL, Exams, Etc): Obviously, this is subject to change with weather, but it’s a start. Some significant schedule changes begin next week.

Calendar Items
February 18: Faculty Meeting
February 23: Club Schedule

February 25 Triplets: Paul Jones, Krista Matheny and Joe Weaver

Worth Your Time

5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Unmotivated Students A great article and podcast that directly relates to our goals to Embrace, Inspire, and Innovate.

Virginia Governor Wants to Remake High School Education A must read! One that builds upon the work of Virginia’s SOL Innovation Committee; continuation of previously linked articles

Respecting Student Autonomy Through Choice : from ASCD this article builds on our mission to Embrace and Inspire and the county concept of Choice

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