Proficiency Templates 9-12


·       Template #1

DesDesigned as a worksheet  to help move us from Prioritized Standards to Proficiency Statement to Performance indicator to learning target.

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§  #1 Partially Completed Sample:

·       Template #2

was Designed as a way to communicate priority standards and indicators.

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§  #2 Partially Completed Sample:


A Priority Standard Is...

A standard that focuses instruction on the most foundational, enduring, and leveraged concepts and skills within a discipline.  (You may be familiar with Power Standards which are the same thing.)

For reference:

  • Priority Standards are "a carefully selected subset of the total list of the grade-specific and course-specific standards within each content area that students must know and be able to do by the end of each school year in order to be prepared for the standards at the next grade level or course. Priority standards represent the assured student competencies that each teacher needs to help every student learn, and demonstrate proficiency in, by the end of the current grade or course" (Ainsworth, 2013, p. xv).
  • Supporting Standards are "those standards that support, connect to, or enhance the Priority Standards. They are taught within the context of the Priority Standards, but do not receive the same degree of instruction and assessment emphasis as do the Priority Standards. The supporting standards often become the instructional scaffolds to help students understand and attain the more rigorous and comprehensive Priority Standards" (Ainsworth, 2013, p. xv).


A Proficiency Statement is…

A locally created expressions of what a student should know and be able to do at a particular time.  We write these a SWBAT or Students will statements. 

A proficiency statement should be specific, measurable, and observable. By “observable” we mean that the description refers to behaviors that you can see, not to what a student knows or feels. For example, you wouldn’t say that the student is “confident while they write,” because you have no way of knowing with certainty what the student is feeling. 


Question: I have new standards in my department.  Is my proficiency statement just the priority standard with “students will be able to…” written at the front?

Answer: This question has come up recently as some new standards or performance benchmarks that  have been written in language that mirrors proficiency statements.  The answer is really dependent on how the standard was written… consider these elements:

1.      Is the language in the standard easy to understand?

2.      Is the standard to specific, and do some of those specific items belong in learning indicators?

A good example of a standard written as a proficiency statement is the following ACTFL performance benchmark: I can understand the main idea and some pieces of information on familiar topics from sentences and series of connected sentences within texts that are spoken, written, or signed.

This is essentially a proficiency statement, which we would write as: Students will be able to understand the main idea and some pieces of information on familiar topics from sentences and series of connected sentences within texts that are spoken, written, or signed.


A Performance Indicator

Describes or defines what students need to know and be able to do to demonstrate mastery of a priority standard. A Good Performance Indicator Answers:

“What do we want students to understand and be able to use several years from now, after they have forgotten the details?”


Learning Targets Are...

The component parts of a performance indicator - that is, the performance indicator has been broken down into a series of progressive steps and digestible chunks.  These are written in student friendly “I can language”…..


Question: The old Curriculum used phrases like the following (Big Ideas, Essential Questions, Benchmarks, Grade-Level Expectations, Objectives) where do these fit in? 

For starters, all of these terms are still part of instruction in Killingly.  Many of the terms above apply to unit design.  In the past I have shared the glossary of ed reform, it is the best place to look for these terms:   Remember that at this time we are working with standards and how those standards are measured.  Unit design is a step the follows this step.  We need to know what we are measuring before we design the unit.