Behind the Curtain of a Professional Development Session
Beginning this year, Wednesdays are early release days for students which gives time to all teachers to attend professional development sessions carefully designed to make them even better at their profession. These sessions are rigorous; full of information and techniques for the teachers to use in their classrooms.
This Wednesday the topic was: How Learning Targets and Checking For Understanding Are Connected.
The term “target” is significant. It emphasizes that students are aiming for something specific. Learning targets are meant to focus students in this way, directing their efforts and attention, as would a physical target. They help students define what they are learning and why they are learning it, enabling them to monitor their progress toward the learning goal and giving them the language to explain it.
Checking for understanding is a key part of supporting students to build lifelong skills of self-assessment. Helping students understand where they currently are in the learning process and where they are going is what enables them to grow and is more important than getting it “right.”
The focus of this session was on the techniques that teachers and students can use during daily lessons that enable teachers to adapt instruction quickly and respond to student needs in real time, and that students can use to self-assess their progress and take responsibility for their learning.
This session provided more essential resources for our teachers to bring to the classroom and greater understanding on how to use them successfully.