Whether you call them Learning Intentions, Learning Objectives, WALTs (We Are Learning To) or WILFs (What I’m Looking For), these snapshots of what students are expected to learn in any given lesson are more than educational buzz words – they’re a robust pedagogical practice.
Learning Intentions form an important part of your lesson as they encourage students to focus on learning and understanding rather than simply completing the task. In the case of maths, this learning mindset can encourage higher-order thinking and reasoning.
iMaths Online (Year 1 to Year 6) now includes a Learning Intention for every Topic, saving you the time of formulating your own.
Here are just a few ways you can make the most of Learning Intentions in your maths lessons:
Project and explain
Navigate to the relevant Topic at iMaths Online and access the projectable Learning Intention from the Teaching Resources column.
Read out the Learning Intention to the class and take the opportunity to ensure students understand key words, in particular any cognitive verbs. Discuss the meaning of, and differences between, words such as identify, describe, interpret and compare.
Write them down
As suggested in the Teaching Plan, have students write down Learning Intentions to help consolidate their understanding of what they should be able to do at the completion of a Topic.
Reflect and discuss
After students have completed the activities for the Topic, have them mark their work using the projectable Student Book answers from iMaths Online. After marking is complete, ask students questions to prompt discussion and encourage them to reflect on their learning. For example:
- What did you learn?
- Can you give me an example?
- What did you find challenging?
After the discussion, you may choose to project the Learning Intention again to close the lesson. Re-read it as a class to reflect on the skills students have learned and revisit any key words to consolidate understanding.
Share with parents
Given that Learning Intentions are short, sharp snapshots of what students are expected to learn, they’re perfect for keeping parents in the loop of what’s happening in the classroom.
Many schools are turning to social media to connect with parents – so why not consider setting up a Twitter account for your class that parents can follow? Throughout the week you can tweet the Learning Intentions for the Topics being taught in class.
Encourage parents to refer to the Learning Intentions and ask their children about what they learned in their maths lesson that day.
Whatever your approach to using Learning Intentions, they are a great way to help your students stay on task and focus on the purpose of each maths lesson.