Essential Learning Targets

A few weeks ago the teachers at Southcrest Christian School in Lubbock, Texas were invited for a day to deepen their thinking about essential learning targets. Sometimes called Deep Hope or long term learning targets, these learning targets help ground our everyday worthwhile learning targets in God’s story and our own deep hopes for the learners we nurture. As we went through the day we documented our learning on a storyboard for the day.

We spent part of the morning wrestling with what makes up a good essential learning target and how they are supported by our daily learning targets and the Texas standards. We ended this session by drafting our first targets for an upcoming chapter or unit. We then spent some time unpacking learning targets and digging deeply into word choice and bringing out God’s story. As we did this we added words that connected our essential learning targets to the bigger Biblical narrative, our own Deep Hopes, or the Throughlines. Using words that mirrored these core practices we were able to see better the connections between the Texas standards and God’s Story. We went back to our drafts from earlier and made changes that reflected a richer understanding.

Biblical Narrative
Deep Hope

Finally in the afternoon we gave each other feedback on the work we had done. We gathered in groups to provide feedback using a tuning protocol. This allowed us to ask questions where we were stuck and further refine our targets for upcoming units. The coaching by each other empowered us to go to our colleagues for future advice if we get stuck, and of course utilize our TfT coaches and school designers if we need a fresh set of eyes on our content. People summarized their day with words like: encouraged, empowered, excited, hopeful, confident, and clarity. Southcrest is empowered to write and use essential learning targets to better deliver on their connect daily learning to their Deep Hopes, and the Story of the Bible.

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What Makes a Good and Essential Learning Target?Watch the video