Unit I: Exploring Reasons Behind Using and Determining Sources of Learning Targets

From KNILT

Engage(2).jpg

Read the cartoon above.

What do you think the child in the cartoon is referring to?

Have you ever been in class and wondered the same thing the child is wondering? '


When a teacher uses learning targets teachers, parents, and students are more clear about the intentions of learning. When the intentions of learning are unambiguous the learner is more apt to meet the target. When the intentions of learning are clear they can also be are more accurately assessed.In order for a teacher to use learning targets effectively in their classroom, the learning targets must be properly established and explicitly taught to the students.


How does a teacher go about establishing learning targets for a course?

In a standards-based educational system a teacher can use the standards of their discipline as a guide. I will use my exploration and search to create learning targets in my US History and Government class as a model.

NY State Standard Key Ideas:

1. The study of New York State and United States history requires an analysis of the development of American culture, its diversity and multicultural context, and the ways people are unified by many values, practices, and traditions.

2. Important ideas, social and cultural values, beliefs, and traditions from New York State and United States history illustrate the connections and interactions of people and events across time and from a variety of perspectives.

3. Study about the major social, political, economic, cultural, and religious developments in New York State and United States history involves learning about the important roles and contributions of individuals and groups.

4. The skills of historical analysis include the ability to: explain the significance of historical evidence; weigh the importance, reliability, and validity of evidence; understand the concept of multiple causation; understand the importance of changing and competing interpretations of different historical developments.



Long-Term Learning Targets

These are the standards that I used to design what are referred to as long-term learning targets. These long-term learning targets will exist for the entire school year in my class.

Do you have the equivalent of long-term learning targets in your class?

Are you happy with them? Do you refer to them everyday in your class?

When I first started to use these long-term learning targets in my class I wasn't happy with them. I decided that the learning targets were not very student-friendly. I revised them to look like this:

1. I can explain how American culture is diverse yet unified by certain ideals established in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights.

2. I can analyze the opposing points of view that have evolved from the events, developments, and eras of American history.

3. I can analyze the hardships endured and accomplishments made by individuals and groups in American history.

4. I can make judgments about American history based on reliable historical evidence


Supporting Learning Targets

It became apparent to me very quickly upon using long-term learning targets in my class, that while I was able to connect just about every lesson to them, that they were too broad to be used alone. I needed some kind of a daily learning target; a statement of what the students will be able to do at the end of the lesson.These supporting learning targets will do actually that-support the learning of the long term learning targets.

Where are possible places to look to originate these "supporting targets?"

For me, I turned to my teaching resources. I am mandated by the state, as are all teachers in a Regents classroom, to cover a vast amount of content, as prescribed in NYS Core Content. The list is long and hardly manageable. So, I needed to chunk my curriculum. I chunked my curriculum with the help of a teacher resource, published by the Teacher's Curriculum Institute, called History Alive!. Each chunk has a supporting learning target. With the understanding of each supporting learning target, the student shows evidence of learning the long term learning target. Here are my long-term and supporting targets or trimester 1.

I can explain how American culture is diverse yet unified by certain ideals established in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights. (R)

• I can identify American ideals, explain where they came from, and defend why they are important. (K, R)

• I can explain how the colonial period helped to shape America’s 5 founding ideals (K)

• I can explain the proper role of government. (K)

• I can judge if the Constitution supports the ideals in the Declaration of Independence

• I can explain how the Civil War affected the US and it’s people. (K)

• I can explain how the nation’s commitment to its founding ideals was tested during Reconstruction (K)



I can analyze the opposing points of view that have evolved from the events, developments, and eras of American history. (R)

• I can judge whether the colonists were justified in rebelling against the British (R)

• I can judge whether or not the Civil War was inevitable (R)

• I can judge whether or not the rise of industry was good for the US (R)

• I can decide if the rise of industry was good for American workers. (R

• I can identify social political, and environmental problems that Americans faced at the turn of the century. (K)

• I can explain who the Progressives were and how they addressed the problems they saw (K)

• I can evaluate how well Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson promote progressive goals in national politics. (R)


I can analyze the hardships endured and accomplishments made by individuals and groups in American history. (K,S)

• I can evaluate whether or not the changes in a young nation opened the door for all • Americans (R

• I can judge whether or not the Civil War was inevitable (R)

• I can explain how the Civil War affected the US and it’s people. (K)

• I can explain how the nation’s commitment to its founding ideals was tested during Reconstruction (K)

• I can identify the opportunities and conflicts that emerged as Americans moved westward

• I can judge whether or not the rise of industry was good for the US (R)

• I can decide if the rise of industry was good for American workers. (R)

• I can explain what it was like to be an immigrant at the turn of the century. (K)

• I can identify social political, and environmental problems that Americans faced at the turn of the century. (K)

• I can explain who the Progressives were and how they addressed the problems they saw (K)

• I can evaluate how well Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson promote progressive goals in national politics. (R)


I can make judgments about American history based on reliable historical evidence (S)

• I can judge if the colonists were justified in rebelling against the British

• I can evaluate whether or not the changes in a young nation opened the door for all • Americans (R

• I can judge whether or not the Civil War was inevitable (R)

• I can judge whether or not the rise of industry was good for the US (R)

• I can decide if the rise of industry was good for American workers. (R)

• I can evaluate how well Presidents Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson promote progressive goals in national politics. (R)


You will notice that often times the supporting targets are listed more than once under a long-term learning target. That means that any assessment I give the students in relation to that supporting target will count under more than one long-term learning target. this then, becomes a record of all the things that students will be able to do in my course Trimester 1. If they cannot do all of these things, with the permission to re-mediate, they will not meet their learning targets and thus, will not pass the trimester.


Navigation Links: Unit I: Exploring Reasons Behind Using and Determining Sources of Learning Targets

Unit II: Crafting and Classifying Learning Targets

Unit III: Matching Targets with Assessments

Unit IV: Using Targets in the Classroom Course Home