Three Page Template for Objectives

Using Evidence Statements to Write Objectives

February 3, 2018 4 Comments

I love using evidence statements to write my objectives for my NGSS aligned classroom.  This is one of the first steps in my unit planning process.

Edit: 7/17/19- I forgot to mention that I DO NOT post these objectives because it’s very important to me that I don’t take away the discovery components from my students.  If I am telling them what I want them to figure out, I am ruining the “punch line”.

Here is a brief video of how I use evidence statements for writing objectives and identifying vocabulary terms:

1. Read the entire evidence statement.

All of it.  It includes Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, clarification statements, assessment boundaries and observable features of the student performance by the end of the course.  You need all of that.

2. Use the evidence statement to write objectives for all three of the dimensions of NGSS.  

I just do this in order from top to bottom because it helps me make sure that I don’t miss anything.  I carefully read through and identify all of the things that students need to be able to do to meet this performance expectation.

For the particular evidence statement in this video, I came up with 11 objectives.  This isn’t typical, and I generally only come up with 2-3 objectives.  As you group performance expectations you will definitely notice some overlap, but you can take care of this later.

3. Write down vocabulary terms for each objective. 

You might as well get two things done at once, right?!?!  I find this is an easy way for me to start thinking about vocabulary.

4. Edit your objectives and start putting them in order.

After you have used the evidence statements to create your initial objectives, spend some time editing your objectives.  This includes identifying errors.  For example, in the above video above I wrote the objective “Using a balanced chemical reaction, create a diagram that shows how the total number of atoms on both sides of a reaction are the same.”   It is more accurate to replace the term “chemical reaction” with “chemical equation”.  

You can also go back and combine and remove objectives.

Thumbnail Unit Planning Organizer.pngTo access this unit planning organizer that was mentioned in this post, click here.

Want to learn more?


Erin Sadler

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  • Hannah schmidt April 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Hello! I am not having any luck getting your video to play, I am wondering if any of your other followers have mentioned issues? Thanks 🙂

    • Erin Sadler June 26, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Hannah,

      I am sorry that it took me so long. I had to reshoot the entire video and reload, but the video is available now. Thank you for bringing the issue to my attention.

  • Hannah Schmidt July 2, 2019 at 10:31 am

    This was very helpful! However, I am a little confused by your use of the word “unit”. My understanding of a unit was standards that have been bundled together to create a storyline. So for instance, I might pair three performance expectations together for my “energy unit”. It seems that you are calling a unit each performance expectation. Can you please clarify? Thank you so much! 🙂

    • Erin Sadler July 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Yes!!! Thanks for asking this question. I apologize… I have been trying to avoid the term unit, because it has a tendency to mean different things to different people. Instead, I have been trying to use the term “instructional sequence” because I think that is more general. It looks like I slipped here.

      So, you could do this process for a single performance expectation which is what I did in the video. However, ideally, you would do it for your entire unit at once so that you could build a coherent storyline. As you said, your unit would have bundled performance expectations rather than a single performance expectation. Your unit could vary in the number of performance expectations that you would address, but 3 sounds good to me. I appreciate you asking this question because it was absolutely unclear. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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