I spend a lot of time thinking about learning targets. When I originally started out creating learning targets for my students, I thought of it more as a tool that was similar to their assignment sheet (the place where they house what we did in class that day). Looking back over the last few years, I realize how much my view of those learning targets has changed. While I know it is still a work in progress, I do feel like I am making progress in my own understanding of the purpose of a learning target. I know that posting clear targets for my students allows them not only to know what we are doing but also to give them something to think about and offer a goal for where they will be at the end of the learning (hopefully including transfer!).
I am very fortunate at my school to have an administrator who is an expert on how learning targets should be created and used in the classroom. We have spent time as a campus working collaboratively to determine what the best targets have in them and how to use them effectively in the classroom. I believe that my students are better learners when they know what to expect. I know that in my own professional development, I am better able to attend to the learning at hand when I know what my end result with be. I see the benefit of having that target in mind along the way to use as my guide and help me determine where I am in relation to that target. I want the same for my students. I believe they are better equipped to focus on what is to be learned when they aren't worrying about what is coming up next and how it affects them personally.
This week (Monday and Tuesday) my fourth graders will take their state assessment in writing. What will my learning target look like? I am still thinking about that one. I have 13+ hours to figure that one out. :)
Do you post learning targets in your classroom? If so, what do those targets look like?