Culturally Responsive Assessment in Teaching

Unit 2 Composing and Decomposing Learning Objectives

When you encounter a complex or unclear standard, the process of deconstruction is recommended. Deconstructing standards is the process of breaking a broad standard, goal, or benchmark into smaller, more explicit learning targets that can be used to guide daily classroom instruction. 

During the deconstruction process:

Step 1: Determine the target type (knowledge, reasoning, skill, disposition, or product). To determine this, consider whether the content standards are the acquisition of knowledge, the development of reasoning capabilities, the demonstration of physical skill, or the creation of a product. 

Step 2: Identify the prerequisite or the underlying knowledge, reasoning, and/or skills. At this step, consider the following questions: 

  • What does a student need to know and understand to attain mastery of this standard?
  • What patterns of reasoning, if any, are required to attain mastery of this standard?
  • What skills, if any, are required for mastery of this standard?
  • What products, if any, would students need to be proficient in creating to master this standard?

Step 3: Check your work for alignment and reasonableness. Check for alignment means checking to be sure that all of the learning targets you have listed are truly necessary to accomplish the ultimate target.  Checking for reasonableness means paying attention to how many enabling targets you have listed. 

Components of a Learning Objective/Target

Learning objectives/Targets contain a verb (an action) and content ( usually a noun) and often contain special conditions (how).

  • The verb refers to the cognitive level of understanding needed to master the standard (remember, infer, construct, contrast, justify, predict, etc.). 
  • The content describes the subject matter or concepts (knowledge) that students are expected to learn (math, fractions, poem, civil war, life cycle, etc.). 
  • The special conditions refer to how the learning objective will be accomplished  ( ... by tens, prompting, using manipulatives, etc,).


Checking for Understanding

Using the attached Decomposing Chart, complete the assessment and use the linked  Unpacking Document or  for support. 


Revised Blooms Taxonomy