The Activity Goal tells you precisely what a student should be able to do after you have taught the activity.
- The goal should be described in terms of a performance, not a state of mind.
- Most activities will have a single goal since it is difficult to learn more than one thing at once.
- The What to do section of the activity should include an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the goal, though this can sometimes be difficult to arrange in whole class teaching.
If you are having trouble formulating the goal for an activity you have created, it may point to a pedagogical issue with the activity itself.
To keep your activity goals consistent with other FreeReading activity goals, use the template "Given _______, the student _______" to write them. An example of an activity goal (this one is the goal for oral blending) is: *Given multiple letter sounds, the student can blend them into a word ( /a/ + /b/ + /c/ -> "abc" ).
The mini-formula at the end of the goal statement is called a production rule. It says the same thing as the goal, but in shorthand. The production rule in the example means "take three letter sounds and put them together, in order, into a spoken word." Not all goals need to include production rules, but in many cases production rules can succinctly represent what may be more difficult to put in words.
The symbols used in production rules to represent letters, sounds, words, etc., are as follows:
- a means the printed or written symbol of a letter
- /a/ means the sound of a letter
- "a" means the spoken name of a letter
- "abc" means a spoken word
- |a| means the action of writing the symbol for a letter
- a* means a printed word beginning with this letter
- *a means a printed word ending with this letter
- *a* means a printed word containing this letter
- irregword means an irregular word, i.e., one that is not pronounced correctly by sounding out (eye, for instance)
- rhymeword means a word whose ending rhymes with another rhymeword
Note that the letters used in production rules are placeholders for any letter, so a -> /a/ refers to any letter, not just the letter a.