Posting Daily Objectives

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13 thoughts on “Posting Daily Objectives”

  1. Would someone please explain to me how all of this prepares students for real life? I’m serious. If the job of the school is to prepare students for success in academic and vocational life, then anything that is imposed upon us needs to carry with it the explanation of precisely how it accomplishes the purpose for which school exists.

  2. It’s just fear. People who are fearful and don’t trust and lack vision have gotten themselves into some pretty important places in our society. It’s them, not trusting and so they want to control it all. Think nothing of it. Throw the dog a bone. I hope that you can use this to keep the dogs at bay, Mary Beth. I REALLY agree with Laurie’s point made made here earlier today:

    …when being observed, I must let go of what I think is good and go with what s/he thinks is good. This will make my life SANE….

  3. I write on the blackboard the following that serves for everything I do during the year in my classes in both ESL and Spanish:
    Objective: Understand at least 80% of what you hear or read.

  4. It is not easy for me to say that. I HATE what I see as giving in. I prefer to buck the system when the system is, as Robert pointed out, ridiculous. So I am trying to give a barely professional nod to the system so that I don’t drown in the professional waterboarding that is occurring in our country right now. I only have to work within the observation piece 2-3 out of 180 teaching days. I can find ways to align it with CI if I can’t make it part of a true CI lesson.

    What is difficult is when, either piece by piece or in complete tumult, admins (are forced to) give directives such as the one mb has been given and they begin to target our every move. It is happening behind the scenes in every state and will soon come to a faculty meeting/”professional ” development day near you. OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE will not be maintaining a CI focus in a non-CI department, it will be maintaining a CI focus amid a list of directives.

    If we keep working together, we’ll survive. (cue Gloria Gaynor….)
    with love,

  5. You know, we talk about “educating” our admins. Well, I had educated my principal pretty well about CI….and being a Russian language minor, he totally understood. Now he is leaving. Now we are getting directives like this to “help” us move toward the Common Core.
    We are getting a new principal next year. I don’t know what he knows about learning a foreign language. I suggested to my dept head, who believes in CI and the importance of lowering the affective filter, as I do, that we both educate the new guy. However, we have another member of our dept who thinks that a language class needs to be regimentally structured – give vocab list on Monday, have them hand in flashcards on Wed., have them do vocab “practice exercises” and turn in Friday, then take spelling quiz on Monday and get new list of vocab to master by next Monday, then sit on laptop with headphones for 1/2 the class doing listening exercises, go home and go onto computers and do grammar exercises, then other 1/2 of class work on projects – because “the only way to learn a language is to practice using it in the form of ‘project-based learning’, which is what all the standards say….AND we need to have common assessments in our department to make sure the kids in ALL our classes are learning the same things.” (she hasn’t read the recent research about second language acquisition. I was told by another colleague that she is well-educated and knows pedagogy, but I wonder if you can truly know pedagogy well without keeping abreast of the current research in your discipline?)
    I agree with Ben — it IS insecurity and FEAR that is driving the testing craze. God forbid kids should ENJOY learning …if they are having FUN, then they must not be learning, right? If I do not give a test, then I do not know quantifiably that they are progressing, right? (even though I can see that Johnny is understanding more of what I say today than he did yesterday or the day before….or that Mary can translate a whole page of a book we are reading, but she couldn’t do it last week! Some of these kids, when given a TEST will freeze and NOT show me what they know. So, how does a test truly measure progress all the time?)
    And….as far as a common assessment? Well, we’d just be teaching to the test, instead of throwing out the “net” (per Krashen). This past week I saw that my Level 1A’s were benefitting from the “net”, as opposed to my colleague’s Level 2B’s. We had a Cinco de Mayo Jeopardy game competition. the kids were able to come up with their own team names …..her students were yelling out team names in ENGLISH (until I told them they would lose points if they didn’t make their team name in Spanish) My students were yelling out “Conejos bonitos” and “Los cucarachas” (yes, matching gender!!!) her Level 2B’s were asking what those meant……That is just a very small example and not very relevant to what they should be learning, but it struck me that we digress so much from the “curriculum map” that my students know bizarre words and know how to have fun with them.
    Isn’t THAT what learning a second language should be about?

  6. Help: I think I can glean a lot from this thread and the comments but, if the interest is here, I’d like to have this conversation again about objectives.

    Now, in Ohio, for our evaluations, if we want to be labeled “Skilled” we have to “demonstrate a focus for student learning, with appropriate learning objectives that include measurable goal(s) for student learning aligned with the Ohio standards. The teacher demonstrates the importance of the goal and its appropriateness for students”. To be “Accomplished” we have to “establish challenging and measurable goals for student learning that align with Ohio standards and reflect a range of student learner needs”.

    So my question is, with the intent of simplicity, following the weekly schedule, and everything that we do, what are some examples of “challenging”, “measurable” objectives? And also keep in mind, I am to post these objectives daily and refer to them THREE times during the lesson, beginning, middle and end. We can naysay all we want, but the fact of the matter is that this is the new system and I can’t do much other than follow it to get a good evaluation and keep my job.

    The key word here is “measurable”, I need a measurable objective that by the end of the lesson, if I had to, could be measured. And then challenging is a key word to, which bugs me because language acquisition should be effortless, which I can relay to my admin. but this Ohio rubric basically demands “challenging” “measurable” objectives.

  7. Comprehending a lesson that is 90% or more in the target language is a challenging and measurable goal for any student who is in novice or intermediate level of the ACTFL scale.

    End of class quizzes or freewrites will work as measurable outcomes for that.

    If you are looking for production, the ACTFL “rubrics” used to identify proficiency levels for speaking and writing have nice language that you can adopt and prove is appropriate for the students’ level.

    It offers characteristics such as provides details, can express original ideas, uses transitional phrases (yes…from a chart at lower levels IS appropriate) etc. that could be goals for any day depending on your group.

    Also consider: can predict future events, express opinions, compare characters etc.

    I would make a list of 10 or so things to keep in your “plan book” and to rotate through from time to time.

    As for referring to them…sigh…that is something you will have to create a habit for so that you and the kids are prepared for observation. Just point them out rapidamente everyday at the beginning of the class. When you see evidence of anything in class, point it out and give the kid applause just like you would for a good idea/response. Occasionally ask students to “meta-cognate” :o) on what they, or a classmate, did that period that demonstrated a skill…or perhaps could have done to demonstrate a skill. That way when an admin pops in, it’s an activity that they are familiar with that you can pull out of your back pocket.

    It breaks my heart that our classes have become so scripted. It saddens my soul that we have to translate our lessons (not our language) for “educators” who observe them but know not what they see.

    But..we are doing what needs to be done….and yes, we may have to learn to show that off in order to keep our jobs…

    While that makes me most sad of all….I’d rather that we found a way (while fighting behind the scenes in our own ways) so that we stay in the classroom and offer our students one small island of sanity in a scripted, sanitized world.

    with love,

  8. Hi Chris R, and everyone else!
    First – we have a new principal, and he is WL friendly! He wants our department to grow and wants to help us. He and the Asst. Superintendent have backed me up with CI. The 3 high school teachers are allowed to go to the October conference.
    The targets I was informed about last year: they are doing iWalkthroughs this year. They come in for about 3 minutes, and will be doing it in each class about 6-8 times (I think each semester). They are judging us on Bloom’s – they want us at the upper levels of Blooms more often than not. So, I discovered the DPS chart connecting TPRS activities to Bloom’s. (Thank you Diana!!!!!!) Here it is:
    Second: I agree 100% with Laurie. In the past I was so hung-ho for TPRS, that I couldn’t understand why others weren’t. My research and this blog has helped me to understand that THEY (the others) are just un-informed. If we “play the game” and SLOW-ly introduce the wonderful strategies that make up TPRS, and be patient like we are with our students, and share articles here and there (because not everyone has the time to research the whys and wherefores of the brain science behind SLA). So, I realized the other day that, like Laurie just said today, we need to train our kids so we can pull one of these tricks out of our “heads” if an Admin walks in. So, since they like to see the kids up and about and collaborating, rather than “just sitting and listening”, and my colleagues are believers in output, I just have been teaching them a greeting or two each day, and then have them get up for 5 mins and walk around asking each other the greetings we have learned so far, and they need to answer.
    I know CI says ‘no forced output’, but to be realistic, ACTFL says that a novice can have a discussion using memorized phrases — aren’t we working on phrases/structures all the time? Difference is: they’re not memorizing, they are spontaneously doing “embedded speaking” (!! haha Laurie! hope you don’t mind I swiped your term!!!)
    Today I also introduced FVR and SSR. I have gone over jGR and we are SLOW-ly practicing the use of it through PQA. It hit me: jGR is a great metacognitive tool that can also be helpful in this…..keep working with it explaining it, so kids can explain it when asked.
    Day 6: not a LOT of Spanish, but I’m loving the routine, the respect.

  9. I just wanted to thank everyone who posted a comment on this thread. I am in a new district this year which is an IB district and I have to provide detailed weekly lesson plans that indicate measurable goals and the corresponding activities and this is thread is exactly what I needed to read.

    Ben – this PLC is my go-to place for information before traversing the internet for resources.

    Thank you all!!!

  10. I like how there is built in differentiation by providing various formative assessments to give students their best modality to prove understanding of the messages. In my situation where is that being addressed? The admins want some cookie cutter crap that boxes in all students with assessments that encourage memorization (see targets) and perhaps output. Both of these makes the process topsy turvy.

  11. We can’t react. We must provide the best instruction possible while taking care of our professional obligations to those who don’t yet see what we are doing. It’s not enough that we have to blaze new trails in our own work, which can be excruciating, but we also have to package this new work in ways that allow us to align with the past. Hey, no one said that this way to make a living was going to be easy. That is why in my mind you, Steven, and so many others in our little group, are real heroes. It’s just that nobody notices us. Isn’t that the way of the real heroes, though? We can be proud. We are giving it our all.

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