Learning targets spell out expectations and plan of action

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 3/29/2019 12:00:00 PM

Educators know which specific skills students must master each step along the way from kindergarten to high school senior. To be successful, however, we also must make our expectations and our plan of action for each grade level clear to parents. When parents know which specific skills their children must master, they become partners in their student’s success.


To that end, Dr. Sandra Wilson, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, and Lisa Gifford, literacy/social studies coordinator, have produced the English Language Arts Learning Targets publication, which lists exactly what skills PPS students are expected to acquire in grades K through 8 in reading, writing, speaking and listening and language.  These detailed lists will help parents determine whether their student is falling behind or excelling past grade-level expectations in a particular area, and by working closely with their teacher, can help their student build skills to the appropriate level or devise content that will keep them stimulated and advancing.


Here is an example of how reading skills progress from kindergarten to grade 8:

  • Kindergarten – I can listen to a story and decide which parts are the most important to use when I retell the story.
  • 1st grade – I can explain how the key details reflect the central message or lesson.
  • 2nd grade – I can determine how a story, fable and/or folktale helps teach a lesson, moral or central message.
  • 3rd grade – I can use key details from a story I recount to determine the message or lesson and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
  • 4th grade- I can refer to explicit details from the text to explain and support my inference or conclusion.
  • 5th grade – I can determine the theme of the text using key details to support my thinking.
  • 6th grade – I can describe how the plot of a story or drama unfolds in a sequence of events and explain how the characters change as the story moves toward resolution.
  • 7the grade – I can explain how the contrasting points of view increase the complexity of the story but may limit the reader’s identification with (or sympathy for a single procrastinator.
  • 8th grade – I can use details from the text to determine the central ideas of a piece of informational text, analyze the development and relationship to supporting ideas, and provide an objective summary of the text.

The English Language Arts Learning Targets publications are available at your student’s school or at www.peoriapublicschools.org/curriculum/ELATargets or you can pick up a copy at your child’s school.


Soon PPS curriculum administrators will post similar publications to list expectations for math and other subjects.


By giving parents a comprehensive list of learning expectations, we empower them to become an even more important advocate for their student.