Wednesday, July 29, 2015
As faculty members at Sorenson’s Ranch School we are working on revising the written objectives for each course we offer. We start by reviewing the state core standards for each content area and then add what we think is appropriate for our typical students. We know that we work with a unique group of students, and our goal is to provide the best educational experience possible for each one. Our class objectives will be based on state requirements and our experience with students of the past, as well as best practices for students who have or probably should have an IEP for some accommodations in their education. Our class objectives will help us consistently cover important information on each topic, and be flexible enough to meet the needs of our diverse students. We use a variety of instructional strategies and assessments allowing our students to demonstrate proficiency in different ways. One method we use for assessment is portfolios, which allows students to collect samples of proficient work under the direction of their teacher. Class objectives are important because they drive all of the components of the educational process. We teach our students the things we want them to know, we assess what they are learning through both formative and summative strategies, and we evaluate ourselves all based on our objectives. We use the information we gather to plan, modify, and assess future instruction. Deciding what we want our students to remember from all of the information covered helps us to organize our efforts, and it helps our students with retention of the information. Most of our students struggle with retention of information. By organizing and constantly assessing, we are able to help our students with these types of issues. We realize that having objectives is not a guarantee of performance or learning, but as I mentioned before, it serves to organize the process. There are a lot of things covered in every class at Sorenson’s Ranch School, enough to overwhelm the average student. Taking the time to create and organize what we want our students to learn during the time that we get to work with them helps us to better serve their needs.