The Right Spirit of Learning Targets
The last time we got together for professional development, we defined learning targets as those statements that serve as roadmaps for students to understand the incremental steps necessary for mastering content standards. We agreed that, moreso than the standard, learning targets exist for the students and consequently should be written as student-friendly, "I can..." statements.
As I walked the building Monday morning, I took photos of those learning targets that written in the right spirit (i.e., "I can..." statements designed with the student in mind). I didn't see these in every classroom, but I didn't fret; some of us simply need to work in those words "I can..." and then hand these statements over to the students. Had I more time today, I would have returned to these teachers' rooms near the end of the lesson and asked random students to show me that they could do what the learning target said they could. Maybe that's a task for later this week... :-)
Of course, we are responsible for ensuring that our instruction aligns with the daily lesson target(s) and that we have an idea after instruction each day of which students cannot comfortably claim the statement as truth. The ultimate goal, of course, is to teach and adjust so that every student is able to leave with the confidence that the "I can..." statement is indeed true for them!