Learning Targets & Objectives

I had the opportunity to visit another school yesterday to be a part of their site review team. It was an incredible experience and something I wish teachers had the opportunity to do more. Seeing  wonderful teachers in action is the BEST professional development, in my opinion!

One thing that I noticed in classrooms was a focus on Learning Targets. These were written on the front board and teachers & students referred to them throughout the day.

One teacher had a great gesture to go along with these targets: At the end of the lesson, she had each student aim an imaginary bow at the target and if they felt they had "hit the target" they would release their imaginary arrows toward the board- loved it!

Here's my Learning Targets board:
It has had a ton of revising this year, but I am really enjoying this new look. I picked up these magnets from Learning Resources and love them! The top poster I made and you can pick it up for free below.

I use the "I can" language to make it easier for the kids to understand. I definitely need to try to incorporate the bow & arrow movements :)
Click HERE to download this sign for free!
Do you all post your Learning Targets for each day or week or month? How does your board look? I started a new Pinterest Board on Learning Targets and Objectives-I would love to add your photo to the board- leave your link in the comments below!

**UPDATE** Ryan is so excited we are talking about this!! ;)


  1. This is common practice in England, where I teach, and it is expected that learning targets are displayed in each lesson. I usually just have mine up on my SmartBoard with the instructions for the activity.

    At the end of the lesson we assess our learning using smiley faces:
    :) - I get it.
    :] - I am getting there.
    :( - I need more help.

    The children mark these in their books alongside their work. Some add a note to explain their choice.

    For a quick assessment in a lesson I sometimes use thumbs up, sideways, down to get a feel for who needs a bit more help. I know some teachers who use cards for this but I find that a bit tedious!

    I like the idea of the bow and arrow but I have a class full of boys and I am sure they would love to send arrows flying whether they got it or not!!!! hehe

  2. My district had several teachers spend time last summer writing "I Can" statements to go with our new common core standards for reading and math. We are supposed to post them for every lesson and use them in teaching. I love the way you display your "I CAN" statements. The problem is, we usually have several hanging at the same time for a subject and I am finding space to be an issue. Do you write your own or does your school assign you a certain set to use? How do you use them in your lesson? I am new to learning targets and am always looking for better ways to use them! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi Jennie- I completely understand the fun around bows & arrows and boys~ our class is 2/3 boys this year and Brain Breaks, Whole Brain Teaching and movement have taken on a whole new importance! Did you see the post I wrote about checking for understanding? I found a cute poster we hang in the front of our class with the thumbs :) Here it is: http://3rd-grade-thoughts.blogspot.com/2012/03/management-monday-checking-for.html

    Hi Allison- Several objectives hanging at once can definitely pose a problem when it comes to wall space, not to mention managing all of those standards, objectives, targets, etc! I typically pull the biggest target of the lesson and post that one, then if there are sub-standards or mini-targets, I will mention them or jot them down on chart paper or the white board as we learn. Also, sub-standards are typically cyclical, so chances are we will see them over and over again throughout the year. I get my targets from the Everyday Math lesson and our district standards. I will sometimes have kids (especially in math) write the target on the top of the page in their math notebook so they can focus on it even more (they can even draw a little target and arrow in the center if they want!). Just another way to emphasize the purpose of the lesson and what they are learning.

    Thanks for your comments!


  4. Those thumb signs are cute! They will go perfectly with my hand signals that we use (1-restroom, 2-tissue, etc).

    I have done objectives/targets differently over the years. I am using "I Can" statements with my class too (2nd grade). I pull out the biggest thing I want them to be able to accomplish at the end of the lesson and put it up on the chart. For example: I can identify parts of speech. This was our target for a parts of speech word sort. Amazing how quickly the kids jump on the bandwagon once I say it and use it throughout the lesson.

  5. LOVE this sign and love those magnets!! Thank you!

  6. I love the Learning Targets sign and it is exactly what I'm looking for right now. Thank you!

  7. Your blog is too cute!! I love it! I'm your newest follower. Thanks for sharing!


  8. Love this sign! However, it says the link is broken and will not allow me to download :( Help!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Click the caption instead of the picture and it will take you to the Google Doc. Hope that helps :)

  9. Do you happen to have the other images for download also? I love how you have it setup :) My email is jyn23@att.net

  10. Thank you for the learning target freebie! (Most of the teachers at my school are going to try to incorporate your poster when they post their learning targets.) We appreciate you sharing this!

  11. Thank you for the learning target freebie! My colleagues are going to use this on their boards too!