As an educator in Alberta, it is imperative that we know our Program of Studies and the objectives we are required to teach. However, I believe that it is equally as important to provide meaningful ways for student to reach and understand these targets. Students always need to be aware of their learning targets and be able to develop a kid friendly definition of them.
Each new unit, I provide students with a kid friendly chart of our targets to establish what prior background knowledge they have, where they are lacking knowledge, and to demonstrate their personal growth from the start to completion of the unit. This is important to students to grasps an understanding of the targets, but moreover to see where their growth has occurred. It’s also a great opportunity for me to understand the background knowledge that students have, and areas where I may need extra focus to help students grasp concepts easier.
The Alberta Teaching Standards indicate that teachers “engage students in meaningful activities that motivate and challenge them to achieve those expectations.” I believe that this is crucial to develop student understanding: They need to be motivated to learn, but also challenged enough to accomplish their learning. I strive to teach this way each and everyday.