Instructional Openings

Learning Targets

Learning Targets are specific skill goals that align the work we do each day with the long-term goals my students and I have set at the beginning of the year. This strategy is a part of the larger mastery system in place in my self-paced blended learning classroom. By dissecting large skills into smaller Learning Targets, my students are more effectively able to self-assess their progress towards mastery in each of these skills. By emphasizing assessment for learning and achievement at high levels on specific Learning Targets, we take the focus off of assessment for the sole purpose of grading and gradually replace it with student ownership of their learning.

Strategy Resources (3)
Teacher In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This is the learning target log that helps my students with comprehension of the learning targets associated with our thermodynamics unit. My students will self assess over the course of our learning cycle and should continuously evaluate their own proficiency level. These help generate dialogue around how my students can improve their subsequent work.
Student Handout
 
 
After completing activities for a given unit aligned to the established learning targets, my students will take a quantitative exam that is purposefully aligned to those same learning targets as well. By organizing the questions into groups of learning targets, I reinforce the interconnectivity of chemistry standards and highlight how mastery can be demonstrated in exam form.
Teacher In Action
 
 
Student Handout
 
 
This is the learning target log that helps my students with comprehension of the learning targets associated with our thermodynamics unit. My students will self assess over the course of our learning cycle and should continuously evaluate their own proficiency level. These help generate dialogue around how my students can improve their subsequent work.
Student Handout
 
 
After completing activities for a given unit aligned to the established learning targets, my students will take a quantitative exam that is purposefully aligned to those same learning targets as well. By organizing the questions into groups of learning targets, I reinforce the interconnectivity of chemistry standards and highlight how mastery can be demonstrated in exam form.
Jeff Astor
Cindy and Bill Simon Technology Academy High School
Los Angeles, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Science
Grade:
Tenth grade
Similar Strategies
Routines and Procedures
Student Filing

I was spending an hour every day filing students' graded quizzes when we realized, "Why are we doing all this filing? Students could easily do this themselves." Since the number one thing we are trying to get students to do is take ownership over their learning, we decided to have students file their own papers, cutting down on a lot of menial work for us and giving students a chance to see a physical record of what they had and had not mastered.

 
Stakeholder Collaboration
Jeff's Approach to Collaboration & Communication

Communicating and collaborating with both colleagues and students' families is crucial in a blended environment. This is especially true if a teacher is doing something that looks very different from other teachers at his school. Check out how Jeff communicates and collaborates with both his colleagues at school and his students' families and how his methods of communication and collaboration have evolved over time.

 
Instructional Openings
Demo Discussion

The Demo Discussion is a strategy I use to provide an interesting and memorable in-class demonstration of complex concepts that my students will learn about in class on a given day, using a variety of digital resources. The Demo Discussion is an excellent way to promote student curiosity about scientific phenomena. The "demos" provide access points for my students to witness and wonder about complicated chemical processes that they will eventually explore and understand at a much deeper level. By leveraging additional physical and digital tools, I can facilitate in-depth analysis and support the development of models to explain the science behind the demo. This strategy also allows me to surface my students' questions and interests about the day's Learning Targets (please see the "Learning Targets" strategy video), to which I can refer and make connections throughout our exploration of that content.

 
 
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