I was energetically working out at the gym yesterday when this sign flashed onto the screen. It resonated with my thinking about learning goals for students and the power of being explicit. It is an important step in facilitating the growth of student agency or independence to help the students in our class understand the next most important step, for them, along the learning continuum of reading, writing, spelling or maths. However, knowing your goal without unpacking how to achieve that goal is literally wishful thinking. For me so much of our success as teachers comes back to being explicit.
In the gym the coaches check in with us regularly about our progress, the correct use of the equipment and answer any questions we might have. We need to touch base frequently with our students. By engaging in meaningful conversation around their progress and providing feedback, we maintain the momentum for students to successfully achieve their learning goals.