We are so excited to join The Owl Teacher and several other bloggers to share some Back-to-School tips and resources to start your year off right!
Mollie and I are always encouraging our kiddos to be in charge of their own learning, to take risks, and to celebrate the growth more than the outcome. We have found that having routines that support this thinking is extremely important so that it is not only on the forefront of our minds but also our students' minds.
One way that we encourage our kiddos to do these things is to have them take time to self-reflect. At various points throughout the day, lesson, unit, etc. we ask students to share where they feel they are on a scale from 1-4. These numbers come directly from our report card and are posted in our classrooms to help our students become familiar and comfortable with using them.
One of our goals is to encourage students to focus on their growth rather than their outcome. The idea is that to start out a new math unit at a 4 is perfectly okay! It is where many of us start when we are learning something new. Through time, practice and further instruction we ask students to monitor whether or not they are moving up the scale. We celebrate when someone starts a lesson as a 4 and ends it as a 3. In previous years students would walk away from a lesson feeling frustrated that they had not mastered it, now our goal of making small movement is much more attainable and encouraging. My students have even started saying "I started as a weak 3 and now I am a strong 3!" This attitude does so much for my little guys and gals to feel accomplished and motivated to keep going.
Here are some close up shots of each of the levels of understanding in case you want to create similar posters to hang in your room!
We also include this rating scale on things like homework. Here is a math resource we created that allows students to complete a couple of problems (rather than 30 or 40!) as homework as well as share their level of understanding with us and parents.
It communicates with parents where their kiddo is in any particular unit and it gives us some formative assessment to know where to go next in our instruction. You can check out the entire preview by clicking the pic below!
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Hop around to the amazing blogs below to collect more Back-to-School tips and resources!