# Getting your Students to Define the Objectives of the Day

Objectives, in this day and age of education it seems that objectives are a focal point for Administrators.  I have had a long history with objectives, and I finally decided that I won’t ever do them again- but my students will.  Here’s how it goes (this is for you @mr_stadel).

So, the CCSSM Standard that I typically start the year off with is:

CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.B.5
Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.

I find it odd that this standard is one of the last listed in Functions, I feel that this is one that provides students a great foundation for Functions that is more accessible for them throughout the year.

So my Objective of the Day from this Standard:

• Students will be able to describe (verbally) and record (write a paragraph) of what a graph is displaying.

One of the activities I (and students) enjoy is Making Stories from Graphs or Making Graphs from Stories (I use part of this link, I do not have CBR calculators).  I start out with this handout:

It really took me a while to find the right type of format to present students (and I have even modified this one if you look closely, and have another post about cutting out what you don’t need from a differrent part of this packet) but there are a couple of reasons I really like this one.

1. It gives students essential information about the graph
2. It does not give students too much information
3. There are no guided “hints” within the sheet

There are a lot of graphing resources out there and you have to be careful which ones you choose, pick something that asks students to supply the information, not some type of scripted sheet that student thinking becomes a matching game instead of critical thinking about the topic.  The only thing I took out for this sheet is the defining of D=0 and T=0, it is one of the first questions students address and is important for them to think about, not be given.

I give students around 8 minutes to complete this sheet, and after discussing it the total time spent on it is ~15 min.  That is how long it takes for me to get an Objective of the Day done.  Then I write on the board “Objective of the Day” and hand out half sheet of paper.  I ask students to write what they think the objective of the day is based on the activity we just performed.  This is also a great assessment for me- it gives me feedback on what type of activities I choose and how they are interpreted by students.  Choosing the right intro activity is essential to make this whole process work.  Students are given ~3-5 minutes to write down their responses, and we share a few of them (this is where I am allowed to filter) and decide which one best fits the activity and that becomes your Student Objective of the Day.

Here are some examples from one class:

I shared these with the class and we all agreed upon a slight blend of the upper left and middle right.  The Student Objective of the Day became:

• We will learn how to read a graph, create one of our own, and write a story about it- giving good details.

compare that to what mine was:

• Students will be able to describe (verbally) and record (write a paragraph) of what a graph is displaying.

I think they did an outstanding job with it, especially since this is the first time I we have done this for the year.