Butterfly #17: What are we learning today?

So far expectations, destination and student starting points have been established as fundamental starting points for lesson preparation and delivery.

This sets the scene, starts the journey and establishes the mind set. So what next?


This week Emma looked at objectives, outcomes and success criteria, and how this is imparted to the students and sets up and clarifies the lesson direction. If we use our cycle of Input, Activity, Review, they can be revisited and students assessed as the lesson progresses.


Ensuring we as teachers are confident and clear in our minds of the destination is the 1st stage, and this allows for a clear student explanation at the start, and throughout the lesson. From this point the lesson should be broken down into clear, manageable steps and stages



The objectives, outcomes and success criteria should lay this out, as this example from English shows:

Learning objective: We are learning to describe the characteristics of a detective.

Learning outcomes: By the end of today’s lesson you will be able to

  • Construct a list of successful vocabulary to describe your detective using the thesaurus. (l2/3)
  • Identify common characteristics that a detective might have (bubble/spider diagram) (l3/4)
  • Create a trump card displaying key information about your detective. (l4/5)

Success Criteria:

Remember to…

Look up words that describe your detective-think about looks and personality (tall, black hair, cunning, clever)

Think about detectives you know (Sherlock Holmes) in order to create a successful spider diagram

In this example, the Objectives lay out the journey, the Outcomes the stages, and the Success criteria the specifics of what is being sought of the students.

Outcomes lay out the manageable steps and stages for the students, and the Wheel below can be used to build challenge through the Blooms words (and align with grades and levels)


Success Criteria give that extra clarity to what it is that we as  teacher want:

“too often children know the learning intention, but not how the teacher is going to judge the performance.” (Shirley Clarke, 2006, p.22).


A basic checklist should include:

  • Do your classes know their target grade?
  • Is it written on the front of their books?
  • Do you include the learning objective after each review?
  • How do you measure the progress made against the objective and outcomes?
  • Can the pupils explain how they are at that grade/ level?
  • Do the pupils know how to be successful?

Time spent clarifying the lesson destination firstly for ourselves, then to the students is hugely important.

The outcomes and criteria will then unpick the journey for the students, and when revisited as reviews, will mark the progress of and for the students.

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