Module 2- Assignment 1
What are some advantages to writing both content and language objectives for students to hear and see?
Objectives are important because they address what we, as teachers, want our students to learn from a lesson. Each objective needs to be explained to the students, so that they know what is expected of them. "Content objectives are usually drawn from the state subject area standards" (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2013, P. 31). These objectives tell the students what they will be doing that day in a certain subject- such as math or science. However, the standard may be difficult for students to just read and understand, therefore, the teacher must explain it and simplify the meaning of the standard. When students hear the explanation of the objective, it is easier for them to look back and read it, remember the explanation, and then apply it to what they are learning to see if they are meeting the objective.
"Language objectives should be planned to meet learning goals and prepare students for the type of academic language they need to understand the content and preform activities in the lesson" (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2013, P. 32). Language objectives can include giving students something to read pertaining to the lesson, teaching new vocabulary necessary for the lesson, and listening, speaking, writing reflections, etc. Language objectives can, and should be incorporated into every subject possible. It is important to write and explain these along with the content objectives so that students can use them to monitor their learning. They can read the objective and question if they have learned the vocabulary, understood what they read, or if they used proper grammar in their writing.
In the video, Maryellen Vogt (n.d.) states that they use the standards to assess their students to see if they understood they lessons, or if re-teaching of the lesson is needed because the objectives were not met (Vogt, n.d.). Having the objectives written, and also explaining them to the class is beneficial for all who are involved- the teacher and the students. The students get a sense of what they should be learning and are able to set goals as to how they will meet their objectives, and teachers are able to assess by referencing whether of not the objectives were met.
How might written objectives affect teacher and student performance in the classroom?
The way objectives are written can simply confuse students if they are not simplified to their grade level. Objectives are derived from standards, which are what our students must learn from the lesson. Standards can be confusing for an adult to read, imagine how confusing they could be for a young student, or an ELL. One must first rewrite the standard and make it so students can comprehend. In the text, the standard used as an example is a Kindergarten standard and it is stated that "After you have rewritten the state standard as an appropriate content objective for the kindergarteners, you will need to plan the lesson and determine a language objective" (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2013, P. 32). Writing the content standard will allow one to come up with ideas for a language standard. In the text, it is said that Amy Washam asked teachers to think about how they would be able to learn a new language proficiently, and then asked them to think about why their students are not proficient. The teachers listed pronunciation, reading comprehension, and poor writing skills as reasons, and Washam replied by saying "The reasons you listed for your student not being classified as proficient are your language objectives" (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2013, P. 33). Writing objectives and paying careful attention to how they are written and how they fit into the lesson helps teachers understand why their students are not understanding. Teachers could then reflect on their objectives, and see what adjustments they can make so that they can benefit their students better.
In the building background video, Vogt states that a teacher should connect the students' background knowledge to objectives and new material (Vogt, n.d.). Seeing written objectives could remind students of that background knowledge if they see key words or concepts that the have been taught before. When a student understands any part of what they will be taught, it makes them more confident and excited to build on their background knowledge. When teachers are writing their objectives, the can read them and list things that their students have already learned that could be connected to the new objective o topic.