An objective driven lesson is exactly what you are wanting your students to know and demonstrate. Students should be able to tell you what they are about to learn as well as tell you what they did learn at the end of the lesson. By simply restating the lesson objective at the beginning, this will help the student understand that they are about to learn and focus on that objective as the learning is taken place. Also, remember to model the objective before beginning your lesson! Students should see the objective in advance and what they will be expected to have mastered before digging deep into the lesson.
Let's say that you are about to teach a lesson on nouns. You are wanting the students to simply know that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. This should be stated to the student in advance to allow the student to understand what they are learning and what you are wanting them to know at the end of the lesson. "Today, you will be learning that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea. Repeat after me, I can identify a noun as a person, place, thing, or idea." After students are aware of what they are expected to demonstrate, model the outcome for them in a way that is developmental to your class and students. You will use the assessments you came up with as part of your backwards design plan, whether it is simply questioning techniques and observation or a formal assessment. Remember to be rigorous with your questioning. Have students use examples and connect to prior knowledge as you asses their understanding and mastery of the objective!
I want to stress how important it is to have your lesson objective driven in regards to your evaluation and the TEM indicators. If your lesson is objective driven (this includes your whole group activities, small group activities, independent activities, etc.) then this could be a huge difference between scoring a 1 on the TEACH 1- Objective Driven Lesson indicator and a 5! If your lesson is not objective driven, this will effect EVERY OTHER INDICATOR during your evaluation. If your TEACH 1 score is a 3, you can pretty much expect for most or all other indicators to be a 3 or less. Look at your TEM 4.0 rubric and notice that all other indicators specifically state, "... mastery of objective". If your lesson and activities are anything other than focusing on the specific learning objective, then chances are you are not having them "master the objective". Be mindful of what you are teaching and what you are wanting your students to learn.
For example, using the previous scenario, if your learning objective is "I can identify nouns as a person, place, thing, or idea" and your whole group lesson is all about how nouns name people....then you send the students off to work in small groups/independent work and they are only demonstrating nouns as people, you have completely left off that they are also places, things, and ideas! This could be an easy misconception, but whatever the objective states, the students should be able to demonstrate ALL parts of the objective! This objective should have been "I can identify nouns as people" instead.
I found this really simple and great article on teaching with lesson objectives. By using these simple strategies, you are setting yourself up for a great lesson that is definitely objective driven! Here are 5 ways that you can teach with learning objectives... Click on the title to be redirected to the website for more great reads!
5 Ways to Teach with Learning Objectives
by Eric Hougan
It’s a simple premise: our students should know what they are learning and why. The best way to accomplish this is through having learning objectives for every lesson. Yet, teachers tend to make some common mistake around learning objectives. Knowing these common mistakes will help you maximize your practice of using learning objectives:
1) CLEARLY POST LEARNING OBJECTIVES.
Don’t make the students continually guess what they will be learning. It’s not fun for the students, and they will eventually give up trying. Your learning objective should never be a secret. Your learning objective should be written or placed in a prominent place in your classroom. Some teachers write it in PowerPoint, some use document cameras, and others have their learning objectives written in a dedicated space on their white board. Do what works best for you and your students, but the key is to consistently post it.
2) MAKE YOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVE RELEVANT.
Reference your learning objectives in the beginning of each lesson. If you continually talk about (give attention to) the learning objective students will come to understand that this is important and something they should pay attention to. Another way is to have the students do some activity around the learning objective. For instance, you may ask students to reflect on their progress in achieving the learning objective and what they need to meet it.
3) WRITE THE LEARNING OBJECTIVE IN SIMPLE, STUDENT-FRIENDLY LANGUAGE.
Avoid going crazy with a paragraph-long learning objective. Keep it simple, allowing the student to understand it. To ensure students understand the learning objective you can have students rewrite the learning objective in their own words.
4) DOUBLE-CHECK TO SEE IF IT IS REALLY AN OBJECTIVE OR ACTIVITY.
Examples of activities masked as learning objectives:
“Read Chapter 2 in the your textbook.”
“Summarize Chapter 2.”
Examples of a learning objectives:
Students will be able to
“Describe the author’s perspective in Chapter 2″
“Compare and contrast between current author and a past author’s perspective”
5) ENSURE YOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES DRIVE THE LESSON.
Every activity and assessment must be connected to your learning objectives. Often teachers have great activities, but they have nothing to do with the learning objective.
Finally, it never hurts to reward the student for mastering an objective. Think of it as one more way to promote a positive classroom environment for you and your students!