Targets are Teaching Always Actions

 In Tips for Teachers

Targets. The Teaching ALWAYS Actions are ‘must do’ behaviors or essential teaching practices teachers must do every day in their classrooms to ensure students are engaged and therefore, learning. See yesterday’s blog for Action 1: Procedures.

Action 2: Targets

Show and communicate the learning targets of the day and how they connect to an essential higher order learning goal.

Alignment to Evidence-Based Practice: Hattie’s Meta-Analysis Research (2009)

Segment information into parts moving up cognitive levels and getting to synthesis.

Clearly communicate lesson expectations and what constitutes success.

Start with learning targets and success criteria and engage students in moving toward these.


Students learn when they know what is expected of them. Learning targets communicate expectations to students and help teachers know what they are assessing as students are learning. To help students learn, teachers need to create very clear learning targets and communicate them in ways that students understand what is expected. The Bloom’s Taxonomy Chart provides teachers with the help they need. The verbs in the chart aligned to various mental levels let teachers know what to assess and students know what to learn.

A learning target provides a visual of the behavior teachers expect from students. Therefore, teachers must create and effectively communicate clearly defined learning targets. A word of caution; we need to make sure we select verbs that connect to the complexity level of the skill we ask students to demonstrate. Detailed scaffolding (breaking down learning targets into very specific skills) needs to occur in the instructional process for more complex skills.

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Bloom, Benjamin. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook 1: Cognitive Domain. New York, NY: Longmans, Green.

Hattie, John. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

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