Unit IV: Using Targets in the Classroom


What then will my classroom look like?

At the start of a new lesson, it is imperative to show the students what I expect them to be able to do. There is no one lesson that will show me that they can reach one of my long-term learning targets. Rather it is a progression of many lessons throughout a trimester that will provide enough evidence. I start my lessons with an engage piece. This piece will give them insight into the contents of the lesson without getting into too many details. This is the time when students activate background knowledge. I then use that to explain what long-term learning targets we are working towards. I explicitly point them out on the wall.

So, in a lesson on the Progressive era in America, I might say something like this, "Today we will be analyzing the accomplishments made my a group of people known as the Progressives. There are many individuals in this lesson that we listen, communicate, and read about. We will be comparing and contrasting some of the opposing viewpoints that these Progressives had. The Progressives addressed the advancement of many of America's ideals and we will be synthesizing this information into our general understanding of how America is diverse yet unified around these ideals. Lastly, I will ask you to make a judgment, using all of the evidence learned today, about which of the ideals was most advanced and which was restricted the most.

I will then narrow the scope and introduce to the student the supporting target: I can listen, read, communicate, and write in order to explain who the progressives were, analyze and compare and contrast how they addressed the problems they saw, and evaluate the success of their efforts.

So, how then do I assess their achievement?

The knowledge component, who the Progressives were and the ways they addressed the problems they saw can be assesses through selected short response (multiple-choice test questions)or personal communication. (Q&A) The reasoning component, analyzing and comparing and contrasting ways of addressing problems they saw, could be observed or exhibited through an extended written response. The skills of reading text, listening, and communicating could be observed. The product of evaluating the success/failures of the Progressives could be assessed through extended written response and/or personal communication.

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