Alas, your verbs are now highlight, plan, and collaborate. It’s not that bad, right? But knowing your standards is important. And using learning goals is honestly one of the practices that most improved and honed my craft. (If you ever read this, thanks Ann!)
So Why Set Learning Goals?
It’s Your Road Map...
- First, setting a learning goal gives you a clear understanding of where you need to go. It’s hard to add the “rigor” everyone so desperately wants you to implement if you yourself don’t quite know the path you need to take. With your “destination” in mind, you can plan all the “stops” you need for your learners to be successful. In other words, with a learning goal set, you can see all the skills your students will need in order to be successful.
You Avoid Detours...
Setting a goal also helps you weed out questions that are unimportant or can be addressed during the next lesson. How many times have you looked up at the clock and asked yourself where did the time go? (Oh yeah, I just spent 10 minutes of my 60 minute math block reteaching addition. Wait, aren’t we doing fractions? Head Slap. Yep. I have done that a lot!)
It also helps you decide if that super cute Pinterest activity is going to really hit your learning needs. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but sometimes I want to tailor a lesson to a pin and the rigor just isn’t there! To Pinterest or not to pinterest, that is the question?
Learn the Lingo
Setting a learning objective establishes academic vocab. At the beginning of your lesson your learners will most likely not know some of your words.Shazaam! By reading your learning goal, your learner instantaneously are seeing vocabulary AND it establishing a Need to Know. (Tune in next week for more information about Knows and Need to Knows.) You can even make a little anchor area. Where students can self evaluate their prior knowledge of the vocabulary. I Need to Know I have these Questions and I Can… (Tune in next week for more information about Knows and Need to Knows.)
Sets a Purpose-
And for those of your learners that need a reason why they are doing what they are doing. They have it. With your learning goals set, your students now know what they’re going to learn and how they will accomplish it.
Writing a learning goal shouldn’t take you hours. Just a minute or two. Ask yourself these questions.
- What do your kids need to be able to do?
- What are your nouns and verbs in your standard? (In other words, don’t have your end goal be a worksheet that has your students subtracting fractions when the standard says decompose.)
- What academic vocabulary do my students need to be able to explain fluently their thinking/learning?
It’s not enough just to post your objectives. You need to have your learners interacting with it. I created this graphic to share how I engaged my learners.
Sandy Crichton Luder !
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