For example, the first grade goals for number sense:
- I can count, read, and write numbers to 100
- I can compare numbers using <, >, and =.
- I can write a number sentence.
- I understand how addition and subtraction are related.
- I can add and subtract numbers up to 20 using drawings or blocks for help.
- I can count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s.
- I can tell if a number is odd or even.
- I can show 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, and 10 less.
These straightforward explanations are helpful, but three immediate questions come to mind.
- Why stop after grade 5? Every student and family deserve clarity on what they are expected to do in language that is accessible to them (there is a Spanish version as well).
- Why only ELA and Math? It is viable to do this in every subject area.
- How do kid-friendly targets provide larger purpose to learning? If, for example, I can count, read, and write numbers to 100, what does that give me the power to do? If I can write a number sentence, what does that give me the power to do? It’s not enough to drill down to develop short-term targets. Students need to see the forest and the trees; they need to know that if I engage and become more proficient at this particular skill, it will make me more capable at …. (e.g. solving real-world problems, comparing numbers to make predictions and/or find patterns). In other words, kid-friendly standards at this level should line up the larger aims of the subject area program and the school.