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Setting Clear Learning Targets. Russell County Schools December 8, 2010 Pam Wilson. Explain the benefits of Clear Learning Targets. Write a clear learning target for a class you teach.

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setting clear learning targets

Setting Clear Learning Targets

Russell County Schools

December 8, 2010

Pam Wilson


Explain the benefits of

Clear Learning Targets.

Write a clear learning target for a class you teach.


“Teachers who truly understand what they want their students to accomplish will almost surely be more instructionally successful than teachers whose understanding of hoped-for student accomplishments is murky.” -W. James Popham

Clear Learning Targets shift us away from what we, as teachers, are covering towards what our students are learning.
  • Think about one of your classes that you will teach tomorrow.
  • Think about one thing you want your students to know or be able to do by the end of that class tomorrow.

Learning Targets


Content Standards

Lesson Objectives


Essential Questions

Learning Intentions

Learner Outcomes



Frayer Model



  • Measureable & attainable
  • Focus on intended learning
  • Focus on “chunks” of a standard
  • Clear, specific language
  • congruent to standard

Clear description

of what is to be learned;

Provides a clear vision

of the ‘destination’ for

student learning

Learning Target



Adding Fractions

Do Exercise 3.7 on pg 148

Learning Activities




I can add fractions with

unlike denominators.

I can identify key

characteristics of a

linear function and

use them to create a graph.


A learning target can take from

“five seconds to five weeks”

depending on

  • Complexity of the knowledge, skill, reasoning or product;
  • Its overall importance in the curriculum
  • Students – age, abilities, prior experience and cognitive development.


  • Plan & Deliver
  • Assessments
  • Instruction


for teachers


for learners


I can …

I am learning to…

Success criteria

learning targets should
Learning Targets should…
  • Be posted daily for students to see
  • Be discussed with students at the beginning of the lesson
  • Be reviewed with students at the end of the lesson
  • How do you know students reached the target? (formative assessment)

Is it really worth it?

The answer is, “YES!”

teacher benefits
Teacher Benefits
  • WHAT to assess – instructional guide – keep focused.
  • CLARITY in planning – look for instructional activities & strategies to help all students reach that specific target.
  • Better BALANCE of “in depth” study vs. “just covering the material.”
  • Know what your assessments REFLECT at a finer grain.
  • Help to MAXIMIZE student achievement.
  • OPPORTUNITY to work collaboratively with other teaching professionals.
student benefits
Student Benefits
  • Able focus on the aspect at hand and not get distracted by other things.
  • Able to look at the posted target to remind themselves of what they are supposed to be doing.

~ Clark, 2001, pp. 25-26

when learning targets are communicated with parents they
When Learning Targets are communicated with parents, they
  • Know what’s happening in the classroom.
  • Can focus on assisting their student in productive ways / locating resources.
  • Understand what the grades mean in terms of what students have learned and have not learned.
  • Talk specifically with students about their strengths and areas for improvement.

“Magic Triangle”

Learning Targets



Learning Activities


This triangle represents the relationship

between learning targets, assessments and learning activities.

If these three components are congruent,

…they achieve an exact match with the Standard,

then teaching and learning is enhanced.

write a clear learning target for a class you teach
Write a clear learning target for a class you teach.
  • Recall your class & 1 thing you will teach tomorrow.
  • What is it you want
  • your student to know or to be able to do?
  • 3. Create a student friendly target using
  • I can… or I will be able to…
  • Write it down.
  • Post it in class on Thursday.
  • Refer to it at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Review it at the end of the lesson.
  • Assess it & Reflect.
learning targets in the classroom
Learning Targets in the Classroom
  • View the video of Jessica Addison sharing how she uses Learning Targets in a high school math class




Students who

can identify

what they

are learning



those who cannot.

~ Robert Marzano