Students may not understand state numbers attached to objectives and outcomes, but they understand they must meet specific goals. Therefore, be sure to post daily objectives and goals where students can review them. Write these in the order taught/worked so that students can anticipate upcoming learning activities.
For example, my students journal the first ten minutes of class time. During that time, they are not allowed to ask questions. They know once journals and sharing time is completed, questions are answered. Then, we begin work on active learning strategies in the order listed on the board. Now, they anticipate cooperative learning activities.
Another "why" to teach students is grade-level state requirements. Once students understand that all seventh graders in the state are required to write research essays, the task becomes less ominous. Also, they understand "why" they must complete specific tasks. When "everyone else is doing it" then students understand certain state guidelines are met by students in all schools.
When we think of explaining "why", state standards and requirements are often overlooked as being non-important to teach to students. But, before your next lesson, take time to explore "why" with students.
Take time to teach students the difference between middle/high school and college level writing with this lesson and activities--find the full lesson plan at: "What is College Level Writing?"
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