Learning Targets: Helping Students Aim for Understanding in Today's Lesson

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In Learning Targets, Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart contend that improving student learning and achievement happens in the immediacy of an individual lesson--what they call "today's lesson"--or it doesn't happen at all.

The key to making today's lesson meaningful? Learning targets. Written from students' point of view, a learning target describes a lesson-sized chunk of information and skills that students will come to know deeply. Each lesson's learning target connects to the next lesson's target, enabling students to master a coherent series of challenges that ultimately lead to important curricular standards.

Drawing from the authors' extensive research and professional learning partnerships with classrooms, schools, and school districts, this practical book

* Situates learning targets in a theory of action that students, teachers, principals, and central-office administrators can use to unify their efforts to raise student achievement and create a culture of evidence-based, results-oriented practice.
* Provides strategies for designing learning targets that promote higher-order thinking and foster student goal setting, self-assessment, and self-regulation.
* Explains how to design a strong performance of understanding, an activity that produces evidence of students' progress toward the learning target.
* Shows how to use learning targets to guide summative assessment and grading.

Learning Targets also includes reproducible planning forms, a classroom walk-through guide, a lesson-planning process guide, and guides to teacher and student self-assessment.

What students are actually doing during today's lesson is both the source of and the yardstick for school improvement efforts. By applying the insights in this book to your own work, you can improve your teaching expertise and dramatically empower all students as stakeholders in their own learning.

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Additional Information

Publisher
ASCD
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Published on
Jul 2, 2012
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Pages
220
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ISBN
9781416614807
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Education / Professional Development
Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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In her instant, multi-month New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People).

The daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Angela Duckworth is now a celebrated researcher and professor. It was her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience that led to her hypothesis about what really drives success: not genius, but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

In Grit, she takes us into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

“Duckworth’s ideas about the cultivation of tenacity have clearly changed some lives for the better” (The New York Times Book Review). Among Grit’s most valuable insights: any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal; grit can be learned, regardless of IQ or circumstances; when it comes to child-rearing, neither a warm embrace nor high standards will work by themselves; how to trigger lifelong interest; the magic of the Hard Thing Rule; and so much more. Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference. This is “a fascinating tour of the psychological research on success” (The Wall Street Journal).
Formative assessment is one of the best ways to increase student learning and enhance teacher quality. But effective formative assessment is not part of most classrooms, largely because teachers misunderstand what it is and don't have the necessary skills to implement it.

In this practical guide for school leaders, authors Connie M. Moss and Susan M. Brookhart define formative assessment as an active, continual process in which teachers and students work together--every day, every minute--to gather evidence of learning, always keeping in mind three guiding questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? What strategy or strategies can help me get to where I need to go? Chapters focus on the six elements of formative assessment: (1) sharing learning targets and criteria for success, (2) feedback that feeds forward, (3) student goal setting, (4) student self-assessment, (5) strategic teacher questioning, and (6) engaging students in asking effective questions.

Using specific examples based on their extensive work with teachers, the authors provide


* "Strategic talking points" and "conversation starters" to address common misconceptions about formative assessment;
* Practical classroom strategies to share with teachers;
* Ways to model the elements of formative assessment in conversations with teachers about their professional learning;
* "What if" scenarios and advice for how to deal with them; and
* Questions for reflection to gauge understanding and progress.

As Moss and Brookhart emphasize, the goal is not to "do" formative assessment, but to embrace a major cultural change that moves away from teacher-led instruction to a "partnership of intentional inquiry" between student and teacher, with better teaching and learning as the outcome.

The definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D.  into their ideal job
 
Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration.
 
Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success.  They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options.
 
Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers.
 
Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including:
 
-When, where, and what to publish
-Writing a foolproof grant application
-Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV
-Acing the job talk and campus interview
-Avoiding the adjunct trap
-Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right
 
The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
What are "essential questions," and how do they differ from other kinds of questions? What's so great about them? Why should you design and use essential questions in your classroom?

Essential questions (EQs) help target standards as you organize curriculum content into coherent units that yield focused and thoughtful learning. In the classroom, EQs are used to stimulate students' discussions and promote a deeper understanding of the content.

Whether you are an Understanding by Design (UbD) devotee or are searching for ways to address standards--local or Common Core State Standards--in an engaging way, Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins provide practical guidance on how to design, initiate, and embed inquiry-based teaching and learning in your classroom.

Offering dozens of examples, the authors explore the usefulness of EQs in all K-12 content areas, including skill-based areas such as math, PE, language instruction, and arts education. As an important element of their backward design approach to designing curriculum, instruction, and assessment, the authors


*Give a comprehensive explanation of why EQs are so important;
*Explore seven defining characteristics of EQs;
*Distinguish between topical and overarching questions and their uses;
*Outline the rationale for using EQs as the focal point in creating units of study; and
*Show how to create effective EQs, working from sources including standards, desired understandings, and student misconceptions.

Using essential questions can be challenging--for both teachers and students--and this book provides guidance through practical and proven processes, as well as suggested "response strategies" to encourage student engagement. Finally, you will learn how to create a culture of inquiry so that all members of the educational community--students, teachers, and administrators--benefit from the increased rigor and deepened understanding that emerge when essential questions become a guiding force for learners of all ages.

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