Posted in education, mastery based learning, physical education, standards-based grading, teaching, Uncategorized

Three components of Mastery-Based Learning: Learning Targets

The three components of a mastery-based lesson are learning targets, assessment and feedback. In this post, we will discuss “Learning Targets”.

  • Learning targets  focus on content or skills that are derived from the benchmarks and standards that the students must learn.
  • Students must demonstrate mastery of the learning targets before moving on.
  • “I CAN” statements, using a depth of knowledge verb, followed by the indicator that is derived from the standard the lesson is focused around.
  • Students should always know the learning target for the day, as well as the different levels, so they know the next level to strive for, and also you meet the different learning abilities.
    • Again, ES (exceeding), MS (meeting), PS (progressing), LP (limited progress)

For example: The pictures using the word “execute” can be explained as follows:

Grade 7:

Standard/Indicator: Performs the following offensive skills with defensive pressure: pivot, give and go, and fakes. (S1.M7.7)

Learning Target:

MS- I can execute at least two of the following offensive tactics to create open space without the ball: pivots, use a variety of passes, and give-and-go.

ES- (when the meet goal, this is the next step): I can critique my team on our ability to maintain open space.

PS- (still working towards goal): I can create open space by staying spread on offense.


** As you can see, PS is a simple task where you are just looking for the student to stay spread on offense (this would be the beginning step to teaching them to stay away from defense in order to start making offensive moves). MS is the goal and we are looking for the students to be able to make the passes and get away from the defense. Once this is met, they move on to ES where they can now critique their teammates and draw out plays. They may record using an iPad and “coach” their team as an example of evidence. **

Always make sure to discuss the learning target in the beginning of class (have the students discuss with each other first) and then the student’s progress at the end of class. I will show our trackers in a later post.

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Things to think about when creating the lesson or learning target:

Take the standard and create your lesson around the standard. There are no more “Soccer” units- it becomes “Striking” So instead of saying “Today we are going to be playing soccer today…” You would have a student state the learning target which would say “I can demonstrate how to lead my partner with a pass.” You can still play soccer, but the focus becomes the standard or concept it works on, not the actually game.

Thoughts to ask yourself….

  • What are you going to be teaching?
  • How does it align to outcome of your curriculum?
  • What is meaningful and relevant to the lives of students?
  • What standard being measured?

Then create a learning target. Does the learning target align with the standard? Is the learning target followed by a measurable verb (with a depth of knowledge level that challenges your students?)

What will the lesson look like?

– Reinforce prior learning, but the focus is on the new learning.

How will you assess the lesson? Is your assessment aligned with your learning target?

– Take the LT and create a rubric that students can assess their progress on (remember to have the different levels of “ES/MS/PS/LP”).

ShapeAmerica National Standards in “I Can” statements

Standard 1: I can critique my motor skills..

Standard 2: I can create movement strategies.

Standard 3: I can explain how to stay fit, while exercising regularly.

Standard 4: I can demonstrate how to play fairly.

Standard 5: I can show personal value for physical activity, fitness, & health.


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