Essential Learnings – Journal Responses

Essential Learnings – Journal Responses – January 20, 2011


 Essential learnings are the selected content knowledge and skills that all learners of that grade/subject will master.  You will use a variety of teaching strategies including formative and summative assessments, provide enrichment and support of essential learnings to ensure mastery. (MI) 

Essential Learnings are what we want students to know, more general in nature than learning objectives or targets, transparent to students, collaboratively decided by teachers of the same course (discipline?), the driving force for the class, to ensure an optimal learning experience for every student.  (KO)

The Essential Learnings for a particular course are the concepts or topics we expect every student to understand and be proficient in.  Proficiency rates vary, but somewhere between 70 and 75 % seems to be commonly accepted.  ELs are not the only things that will be taught, but they are the minimum of what should be learned. (DD)

Essential learning are the clearly defined targets for content, skills, and dispositions. If we want to guide students toward hitting the targets, they must be visible, relatively stable, and perceptible. We can’t easily hit a target that we cannot see or that is moving too much. The strongest essential learnings have endurance, leverage, and relevance. I think of a runner striving toward a target or goal, perhaps because of the endurance piece, but also the cross-training that I have used to improve my running. And each step is best used to get you closer to the target (relevance).
     Deliberate shape and intent – seeing the target and perceiving it
     Ready-fire-aim…revisting and revising

Essential Learnings are the agreed-upon lessons/learning goals that a thoughtful group has determined are necessary for a particular course or subject area.  EL’s give deliberate shape and intent to a course of learning. Anything deemed “essential” should, by definition, be assessable, and the group who designs the essential learnings should work together to create quality assessments that have been tested and proven effective at demonstrating proficient learning.  Essential Learnings should be revisited and adapted for relevance at regular intervals so as to maintain their essential nature.  (LD)

Essential learnings are concepts, skills, and knowledge we want students to demonstrate a proficient understanding of when they leave a course. Ideally, we collaboratively create them before we teach a unit or course, and then together with the students, we measure their learning progress. We use the results to determine how to move forward. For example, Fred and I created 7 essential questions for our Civil War unit. We teach the Civil War pretty differently, but we fairly easily came up with 7 core ideas that we feel all US History students should know when learning about the war.  (JL)

Essential learnings are like the canopy of a rain forest as seen from above. Underneath this unity there is enormous diversity which provides tone, tint, and variety to the whole. (FY)

Our essential learnings are the target concepts and ideas that we require all students to know before moving on. We convey them to the children so that there is no secret about what they should learn as well as the level of expectation. We check, measure, intervene, and enrich students’ work and learning to provide time for all to reach proficiency. At the moment, this is what we teach. Ww choose to teach deeply for understanding rather than broadly for coverage. Our FAs give us the opportunity to learn and individualize for each student. (JG)


About Jill Gough

Learner, Love Questions, Problem-finding, Math w/technology. Interests: Collaborating, PLC, Formative assmt
This entry was posted in Discussions PLC-F 10-11 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Essential Learnings – Journal Responses

  1. Pingback: Pull Together: Part II « It's About Learning

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s