Sunday, January 31, 2016

Oh, Oh Objectives!

Teachers post objectives in all different locations and in many different ways.  We want to show how teachers post their daily learning objectives and discuss how your students interact with the posted objectives.
Let's start with the first topic, location.
When I first began posting my daily learning objectives, I posted them as soon as you entered my classroom.  You may be asking "why"?  Well, the truth is, I thought posting them there would catch the administrator's attention.  I mean, it was a requirement to post them.  So, posting them on the closest bulletin board at the entry seemed practical.  They were sure not to be missed!

Well, after several years between then and now, I can say it is not the most relevant place to post them.  Daily learning objectives need to be posted at a location where you, as the classroom teacher, can refer to them periodically throughout the school day.  They need to be in a location where you can point and read to your students.  I often like to choose a word or two to highlight with highlight tape.  For example:  "I can name words that rhyme."  I would highlight the word "rhyme" so that my kindergarten students would understand the meaning of the word.  Sometimes just a quick review of the important words between transitions will help students understand the learning objective. 
Do you call them "learning targets", "focus goals", or "learning goals"?  No matter what you refer to them as, students need to have a clear understanding what you are talking about.
At the beginning of the school year, I created a Frayer Model Chart with my students.  We discussed "what objectives are".  We defined the word "objectives" and related sport goals to our classroom objectives.
I like to say, "Hocus Pocus"... Students reply, "I can FOCUS!"  Then, they echo the learning objective that I point and read aloud.  I like to point to it as I say it aloud.  Then, students understand visually and orally what the we are learning.
As I was preparing this post, Stephany and I decided we needed several different styles to show you.  The ones below are my learning objectives.  I display the Carson Dellosa Kindergarten Common Core Standards in a pocket chart.  I can look at my grade level curriculum map, find the standard (located at the top left of each standard) and slide into the pocket chart.   
Here is another example of the Carson Dellosa Standards posted in a pocket chart.  I like the way the white background color pops in the black pocket chart.
My students love to go to art each week.  I enjoy seeing how our art teacher posts her learning objectives.  She used painter's tape to section off the different grade levels.  Then, she uses a dry erase marker to write the objective in the section.  I am so jealous of her beautiful handwriting! 
Stephany posts her second grade objectives in a similar way.  Stephany used washi tape to section off the subjects.  Then, she uses "I can" statements for the students to read.  Stephany's classroom has lots of blues, pinks, purples, and greens.  She always ties in her color theme by writing them with the same colors in dry erase markers.
Here are some other objectives posted with dry erase markers.
A fourth grade teacher in our building posts her objectives on these dry erase circles.
A kindergarten teacher in our building uses Deanna Jump's Common Core Standards.

So, you may be asking... What's the point?  Well, the point is that we should not only post the objectives, but our students need to know the objectives.  It's kind of like when your own child comes home from school and you ask, "what did you do today at school?"  They reply, "nothing."  Well, we know they worked all day.  We know they learned something...  But, if they are not told what they are learning, then they may not find the purpose.  Don't we all want to know the "why"?

I hope you take away an idea or two to use in your classroom.  How do you post your objectives?  We would love to hear from you.  Comment below and tell us what works in your classroom.