Friday, July 1, 2016

Standards Based Grading // Part 2: The Learning Targets

And we're back! By now, I hope you have had a chance to find a grading scale that works for you and your students. If you missed Part 1: The Grading Scale, you can find it here. Now let's talk a little bit about the learning targets and why they are so important in order to be successful with SBG.

I don't know about y'all, but our county has been pushing for each teacher (in every subject) to post their learning targets so that anyone who steps into the room will know exactly what the students are learning that day. However, before you post your learning targets for all the world to see there are a few things you should double check!

  • Learning Targets are Standards Driven: Every teacher has a list of standards their state is asking them to teach, right? So use these as a starting off point for your learning targets. You want your learning targets to be written right from those state standards so that your students are reaching the goals they will be tested on in the end. 
  • Learning Targets are "I Can..." Statements: Write your learning targets so students know exactly what they should be able to show proficiency on. Make your "I Can" statement so clear that anyone who read it would be able to say, "Yes, I CAN do that" or "No, I need some more help on that".
  • Learning Targets are Student-Friendly: If you don't hear me say anything else, please-please-please hear me say that your students must be able to read AND understand what you're asking them to learn! For instance, here in North Carolina the standards we are given are written with vocabulary many of our students wouldn't understand. Take those standards and re-word them in a student-friendly language. 
  • Learning Targets are Given to Students Before and After the Lesson: Be sure to give your students a copy of the learning targets before you teach the lesson. Read them together or in groups to un-pack the learning target. Make sure they really understand what they will be assessed on before moving forward. It's also a good idea to revisit the learning target(s) after you have taught the lesson in some sort of formative assessment. Here's how I use my interactive notebook to give my students a copy of their learning targets before each outcome:

Do you have your learning targets posted each day? Are they written in a student-friendly way? We'd love to hear about your learning targets and how SBG is working for you!

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