Writing Objectives—What do you want students to know and be able to do? Here are some important points to understand regarding the writing of clear objectives for your students: Objectives are a TOOL to help your students understand what you want them to do. Objectives must have a focus. Objectives must be specific. Objectives must be measurable. Objectives are different from activities. For example, “Chapter 1” is not an objective. What do you want students to do with Chapter 1? “Learn” is not an objective. How do you know when students “learn” something? You might ask them to explain or identify. Work from your IPGs. Use descriptive words like evaluate, compare and contrast, predict, identify, rank, etc., and then ask your students to do just that. Example: TEKS: 14. The student understands the contributions of political revolutionary leaders throughout history. (Matrix #120, Strand One: History) Explain the roles played by significant individuals during the American Revolution, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. (8.4B) (Unless your principal advises, you do not have to write the actual TEKS on the board, but you are using them in your planning). Objective: Explain the reasons why the colonists demanded the same political rights as people in Britain. OR, Investigate the reasons why the colonists demanded the same political rights as people in Britain. Essential Questions: How did Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke influence American colonists? What events led leaders such as Patrick Henry, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to justify independence from Britain? Defend Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence. How are objectives measured? How do you know that students understand what you want them to know and do? Through the use of formative assessments. By asking students to look at the objectives and essential questions EVERY DAY, SEVERAL TIMES A DAY. This reminds them that this is what you want them to know and do, and the Essential Question(s) guide them every step of the way, all period long. The students should be able to answer the Essential Question(s) by the end of the period. Students can look at your POSTED OBJECTIVES all period long. They can ask questions to further receive clarification from you or others in the classroom. If they can see these objectives, and know that you are going to assess this during and at the end of the period, they can be accountable for their own learning, because they know what you want them to do. Objectives and Essential Questions should be written in a prominent place in your classroom every day for students to see.