The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Daily Objectives

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. That’s what John Lennon said, right? I could apply this to my job. Teaching is what happens when I’m busy making other plans. Also, those other plans tend to get pushed to the wayside because of that teaching.

Which is why it took me roughly three months to do something I had planning on doing since I started posting my daily schedule way back in October. What I’ve been meaning to do is post our daily learning objectives right next to the schedule. I’ve even had the organiser posted on the board right next to the agenda organiser. Because it has been there, my students asked me, on a nearly daily basis, when I was going to put something in there.

I kept saying I’d get around to it. But other things took precedence, such as teaching, assessing, evaluating, re-teaching, re-assessing, and re-evaluating. I committed to get it done over the Winter Break and I almost did.

But I left them at home yesterday.

And they weren’t quite done.

You see, my daily objectives are based on the “I Can” statements developed by a team of teachers across my district, who used the Common Core State Standards as their guide. The statements were only developed for mathematics and English/language arts, but there are a little under 170 in all. I took all of those statements and, with the help of my wonderfully talented and patient wife, put them on 2″ x 11″ strips of paper. And now I am able to post them and refer to them throughout the day.

So after three months, this is what students see when they enter the classroom:


Not everything we do has an “I Can” statement, but most of it does. (And even for science, we will have objectives related to doing research once we start researching and experimenting during our electricity unit. Today was some review that didn’t quite fit in with any of the statements we have.)

After reviewing the daily schedule, I had different students read the objectives aloud and then we referred to them during the day. It was really neat to see how the students would glance up at them during our literacy block. When we were talking about how to write a summary, someone pointed out that the summary had to refer to the details from the text, which is exactly what the objective says!

For those who may be interested in using the document I created, I have made the PDF available here. (The math standards are listed first, then the ELA ones. I did not label them by category, though.) You are also welcome to email me ( if the link doesn’t work. I am glad to share the resources!


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