Thursday, February 24, 2011

Learning Goals

After attending a teaching workshop this week, we were inspired to begin a program with our children where we help set learning goals for our students in the classroom. We are hoping that by helping the children to articulate exactly what skills or concepts they are exploring in whole and small group activities, they will be able to plan for and reflect upon their learning. We are using the terminology "learning goals" to refer to this.

The curriculum expectations we used to support these learning goals include:

1.2 listen and respond to others for a variety of purposes (e.g., to exchange ideas, express feelings, offer opinions) and in a variety of contexts (e.g., after read-alouds and shared reading or writing activities; while solving a class math problem; in imaginary or exploratory play; at the learning centres; while engaged in games and outdoor play; while making scientific observations of creatures outdoors)

2.2 make predictions and observations before and during investigations

We have decided to introduce the idea of the learning goals in our written morning message to children. This way we can review with them what it is they will be specifically learning within our large group circle.

Today's learning goal was to pay attention.

With time we will help the children to evolve this concept so it is more in depth and even more connected to the curriculum.

We encouraged children to pay attention to details using a variety of strategies. First Miss Rahman asked the children to explore a picture that had some odd details that couldn't normally be found in our real world. The children were keen to point out what they noticed in the picture.

Next Miss Rahman played a game with the children where she would hide certain objects from a large collection and the children would have to recall the objects and guess which was missing.

First the collection was displayed...

Next Miss Rahman covered the objects up and asked children to close their eyes while she removed one or more objects.

Finally children had the chance to view the group again and think about what was missing.

During playtime children had the chance to observe their fingerprints closely and pay attention to the differences they noticed. We invited the children to stamp their fingerprints on a transparency and then use the overhead machine to project their fingerprints on the wall.

At the end of the morning we read a story called "Have You Seen My Duckling?" that required the children to look for where the missing duck was located on each page. There were very few words in this story, so the children had to look carefully at the pictures in order to tell the story themselves. Their interpretations of the pictures were interesting to listen to!

When your child comes home from school tonight, why don't you ask him or her what the learning goal for the day was, and if they were successful in attaining this goal.

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