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SUPPORTING STUDENTS DURING INSTRUCTION. “We spend a lot of time trying to remediate students who have failed or are failing our classes. I often wonder why we don’t take that energy we use addressing failure by doing what we can to prevent failure in the first place.”

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Supporting students during instruction


Supporting students during instruction

“We spend a lot of time trying to remediate students who have failed or are failing our classes. I often wonder why we don’t take that energy we use addressing failure by doing what we can to prevent failure in the first place.”

Mindsteps, August 18, 2010

Staff development learning targets

Staff Development Learning Targets

I can…

  • recognize when a student is undergoing a constructive or destructive struggle in my class

  • write learning targets for the objective I am teaching.

  • write criteria for success for each of my learning targets.

  • determine red flags for each of my criteria for success


Researchers say

Researchers say…

How will you help those who falter during instruction?

Use Text Rendering Protocol

Group activity categorizing

Group Activity: Categorizing

  • Your group will be given a paper with ten statements.

  • You are to discuss each statement and decide if it fits a student who is undergoing destructive struggling or constructive struggling with their classroom studies.

  • Put a check in the box of your choice beside the statement. Write a brief supporting statement in the next box. Be prepared to share your choices.

Constructive vs destructive struggle

Constructive vs. Destructive Struggle

Destructive Struggle

Constructive Struggle

Leads to understanding.

Makes learning goals feel attainable and effort worthwhile.

Yields positive results.

Leads students to feelings of empowerment and efficacy.

Creates a since of hope.

  • Leads to frustration.

  • Makes learning goals seem out of reach and further effort feels pointless.

  • Feels fruitless.

  • Leaves students feeling abandon.

  • Creates since of inadequacy.

Learning targets

Learning Targets

  • Are student-friendly descriptions of what the students are to learn.

  • Learning targets are designed to be taught in one to two lessons.

  • Targets must be measureable.

  • Targets must be written in language students can understand.

  • Targets should allow for scaffolding?



Learning Target vs. Instructional Objective



  • Elementary: Sharing Clear Targets

  • High School: High School Learning Targets

How to develop a learning target

How to Develop a Learning Target

  • Determine your Standard or Objective.

  • Identify the essential part(s) of each objective that you want your students to learn—these are your targets.

  • Design a strong performance of understanding—these are thinking skills and applying new knowledge

  • Write the learning targets in language students can understand.

  • Students should be able to use I can statements.



Identifying Learning Targets

Criteria for success

Criteria for Success

  • The criteria for success focuses on what students will be doing during the learning process.

  • The criteria for success provides an understanding of what quality work should look like.

  • The learning targets should be met after achieving the criteria for success.



Middle school example

Supporting students during instruction

Criteria for Success


Formative assessment plan

Formative Assessment Plan

NOT a new form to fill out!

Group activity

Group Activity

  • Using Criteria for Success, how can you determine when a student needs help?

  • Write a potential “Red Flag” for one of the learning targets.

Red flags

Red Flags

  • “Red Flags” are early-warning signals that students are headed for a destructive struggle and should be:

    • very clearly defined

    • hard to ignore

    • trigger action

    • focused only on academic concerns, not student behaviors.

  • Example: Students that miss more than 2 problems on a 10 problem math test.

Supporting students during instruction


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