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
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Jeff's Model Overview

I would describe my classroom model as a tweak on a flex model of instruction. I start each class period by giving students a problem I want them to solve, such as “How would you use the gas laws to explain how popcorn pops?” Students then have the opportunity to create their own learning paths by accessing a variety of curated online and offline resources and activities. I determine if a student has achieved mastery on a given concept by evaluating the online and offline work products they have produced during class and by administering more traditional assessments. However, if a student fails an assessment, he or she can always go back and re-take it. My classroom is 1:1 with a mix of MacBooks and iPads, which have become the vehicle for my students to move at their own pace through difficult chemistry content.

Number of Students: ~ 36 students/period

Number of Adults: one teacher

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 120 minutes (M, T, Th, F); 45 minutes (W)

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: CK-12 BrainGenie; Google Apps for Education; eduCanon; Formative; YouTube; Screencast-O-Matic; Wikispaces; Weebly; Versal; Common Curriculum

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: MacBook computers (1:1); 2nd Generation iPads; SMARTboard; Surface Pro 3 (for teacher)

Key Features: competency-based; content in multiple formats; problem-based; gamification; student agency

 
Feedback Systems
On The Spot Feedback

Because each of my students is at a different point in the curriculum, it is very important that I make myself available when students need support and feedback. Fortunately, my blended learning model creates many opportunities for my co-teacher and me to work one-on-one with students and with small groups of students every day. On the Spot Feedback is my strategy for connecting with each student in my class every day and offering immediate feedback on their Mastery Quizzes and Level Tests. This strategy allows me and the student I'm working with to understand, in a very personal and precise way, where sources of confusion exist so we can discuss and address these issues before the student moves on to the next lesson.

 
Learning Apps
Correctional Assignments

Correctional Assignments provide another layer of practice for my students who fail a quiz before re-attempting to master the topic. The process is simple - my students complete the Correctional Assignment and then re-take the mastery quiz. My students can follow this process as many times as needed until they pass the quiz and achieve mastery. For this reason, I use IXL.com and Kuta Software for Correctional Assignments, which both generate infinite sets of practice problems. 

 
 
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