Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Student Self-Monitoring and Reflection

Part way through the year, I got tired of hearing my 5th graders saying they didn't care about the score they got on an assessment.  They didn't really understand how their assessments added up to a final grade on the report card and they didn't see the "big picture" when they scored well on a single assessment but not well on many others.  

I knew I needed the kids to "buy in" to their own grades.  So I tried several things in my classroom and they seemed to pay off.  I thought I'd share some ideas with you in hopes that these might help in your classroom, too!

1st:  Data Wall:

<-- When students scored 100% on an assessment, they got to put a sticker on our data wall chart.  I wish I'd been doing this all year!  I started to hear kids mumbling about how they "really wanted a blue sticker" when they had gotten a few wrong.  

Each time I passed back an assessment, I called the kids with 100% to the front of the room. While those students were putting stickers on the chart, the rest of the class was recording their scores in their STAR folder (I'll explain those next).

This fall I plan to have a different chart for each subject area.  It was hard to see improvements when everything was lumped together like this. 

2nd:  STAR Folders

 <-- I made a set of folders with this cover for each student.  Each time I handed out assessments, we also quickly handed out these folders to each student.  Inside, students kept records of their assessment scores on a chart with a bar graph.
 Some of the charts had our school's scoring scale on it.  -->

Our school uses a 1.0-3.0 scale with a 3.0 meaning they've mastered the objective.  
<-- We used a separate chart for our weekly spelling tests because they always had 10 words on them.  This way, students could easily see how they were doing over time specifically on their spelling tests.  I wish I had done separate charts for each subject last year.  I will definitely do that this year!  
Want to use these STAR materials in your own classroom?  I just posted this STAR bundle in my TPT store.  You can check it out here, at a discounted price for at least the next 2 weeks! 

3rd: Racing to a Goal

My students take the NWEA 3 times each year.  After their 2nd test, I put up this racetrack to show them the progress they had made (or didn't make!).  My school determines a goal for each student after their fall test.  The winter test provides them with feedback toward their end of the year goal.  Some of my students performed worse in the winter than they did in the fall and didn't seem to care about it.  This racetrack set made a HUGE difference!  In case you can't see the words, they say "START," "Personal GOAL," "College Readiness." Some of my "high" kids had not made any progress toward their goal after 4 months of school.  Some of my "low kids" blew right past their personal goal.  The cars on the track gave us a chance to discuss habits and study skills for everyone, rather than high or low scores.  I loved this!

My students also got a new set of name tags on their desks. Each name tag had a space to write their goal.  We put their end-of-the year goals right on their desks so they could see it every day.  If you're interested, I've got the desk tags for sale at TPT, too.  

So, really long post, but three HUGE ideas for helping students develop self-monitoring skills and motivation.  Hope this helps!  Got any more good ideas for me?  Please share in the comments section! 

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