Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Implementing Learning Targets

As mentioned in a previous blog, our school is using Rob Berger's Leaders of their Own Learning to shape our professional development this year. He encourages teachers to use "learning targets" which he defines as "tangible goals that [students] can understand and work toward," (Berger 21).

I'm currently trying out this method with my students. I like how it encourages teachers to change the language of expectations and assessment to be more accessible and clear.

In English 10, we looked at the course's writing targets. First, students read them and were instructed to put question marks next to any that were unclear. We then clarified any language that they didn't understand. Afterwards, they cut up the writing targets and using their semester exam essay, chose five targets that they had mastered, and five targets that still needed to be reached. The ones that they still need to work on were pasted to construction paper. Students will reference them before the next essay.

Here is a link to Writing Targets for 10th Grade English. 

In ELL History, I rewrote the objectives of our study of Ancient Indian Empires into writing targets and posted them in the classroom. After we have covered a target, the students assess in conversations with each other whether they indeed know it. If they don't, I know that I need to review (and so do they!) the material again.

I am looking forward to trying out this method second semester, and if it works, throughout my career.

Berger, Ron, Leah Rugen, Libby Woodfin, Mike Johnston, and David Grant. Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-engaged Assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014. Print.

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