Saturday, August 19, 2017

Exit Tickets and Self Assessment with Marzano



So we've all heard of Marzano yes? You know that vocabulary guy who has lots of research into best practices?


Well, one (out of MANY) ideas I've gotten from his books had to do with student self-assessment. I've loved the idea of having students be involved in goal setting and teacher conferences, so when I found another idea on allowing for student reflection, I jumped at it!

To assemble them, I grabbed two pieces of cardstock and cut one of the pieces shorter. On the shorter piece I made sure to glue the self assessment picture down, and then laminated both pieces of cardstock seperately I then placed the shorter piece on top of the larger piece, and used decorative duck tape to adhere them together by taping the sides and bottom. Voila. A pocket! I stapled them in order right next to the door so students could drop things in easily on their way out.


So, the idea here is that there are 4 levels of understanding. At the end of a lesson, I would have my students do an exit ticket or perhaps take their graphic organizer/work for the lesson, and place it in the folder that they felt matched where they were in their learning of the concept. They 4 areas they could choose from were:

Novice: This is where students were completely confused and had a lot of questions.

Apprentice: Students still needed help or partners with their work, but they had a basic understanding.

Proficient: Students understood the material and were able to work on their own although they may have a question.

Distinguished: Students got it and could teach it to others or get in front of the class and explain it in their own words.

At the end of the day, I was able to go through and check out not only students' work, but assess they're understanding of their learning. This led to great conversations of students who constantly rated themselves lower than what their work proved, as well as students who rated themselves much higher than their work proved. I used this with fifth graders, so since it was upper elementary, it was a great real world skill to teach!

This also plays right in to grade percentages too, but would be amazing for those of you doing standards based grading as well!

THINK:
69% or less: Novice
70%-79%: Apprentice
80%-89: Proficient
90%-100%: Distinguished

Interested in trying these out? Get them free here!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Strengths Finder 2.0

Okay, who has heard of this book?

 Amazon- BUY IT!

It has literally blown my mind.

THE GIST: So many people are focused on their shortcomings and what needs to be fixed rather than focusing on their strengths and how to grow them. How many of us as teachers know we need to do this for our students? How many of us actually have this mentality for ourselves? How many of us know what exactly our strengths are and how to continue to strengthen them?

"You cannot be anything you want to be- but you can be lot more of who you already are."

Whoa right?

Part 1 of the book explains this quote in greater depth and describes this mindset. It also mentions that while you have these strengths, there may be a few that are your POTENTIAL strengths, and thus, need to be nurtured.

From there, you go online and take a 30 minute-ish quiz that asks you two different things you might do/say/feel and then you rate either neutral, or decide you are SLIGHTLY or STRONGLY more of one or the other. It's timed as it wants your first reaction rather than you analyzing it for a long time. Once it's over, it gives you a personalized report on your top 5 strengths. Now part 2 of the book goes into all 34 strengths you might have. (definitely don't read this before taking the quiz... I feel like it could sway you when answering). This report I read BEFORE part 2 as it's much more individualized for the person who took the quiz. Based on how you answered, the quiz is able to pull from that and give you specifics about your strength and how it applies to you. Even though people may have the same strengths, it's not the same for everyone. So the blanketed description in the book gets way more in depth with the report you're given online.


After reading through my report I WAS EMPOWERED. So much was said about teaching being a good vocation for me as well as attributes that will help me as I move out of the classroom and into the role of behavior interventionist. I was completely thrilled to see that so much of what I'm doing in my career falls within these strengths. I can also see how I need to build on them. For example input is in short, a hoarder of something. For me, it's information... books. So often I gain all this knowledge on subjects but don't see myself as an expert and don't take enough opportunities to output it. It's something I'm working on (especially with doing PD) and I really think next year will give me the chance to grow this.

I also saw so many of these strengths in me as a CHILD. The book mentioned that many times our strengths can be seen as early as 3 years old... and reflecting back to how I acted or what I chose as a kid, those up there? SPOT ON. Totally freaking cool.

(Speaking of hoarding... I was OBSESSED with Nancy Drew when I was a kid...)

I just.. I just can't even y'all. This book absolutely blew my mind. My friend who recommended it to me and I have gotten 4 of our friends to try it. It's definitely something I'm going to suggest to my admin team to do too.

I feel so much more in tune with me, and incredibly proud and confident of what I have to offer. I know there's room to grow, but it's such a positive thing to be able to focus on growing what you're good at, rather than always trying to fix the shortcomings.

Y'all do it. Get this book. And then, talk to me about it. I find it FASCINATING. And if you have already done it, well tell me about it! :)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summertime and the living is GREAT!

Well after years (hey, only 4!), I've decided to give this a try again.

The biggest reason is that now that I have finished my DECADE... yep, 10, years of teaching, I have decided to take the first move out of the classroom and move in to becoming our behavior teacher at our school. I'll be the case manager for any students who are classified as a behavior and SPED student, and will provide social skills and other interventions for students who need extra support. I'm also excited to be given the opportunity to provide PD to our staff and to coach teachers this year on classroom management as well. After getting my masters in education, I knew that I'd be looking for something perhaps in administration, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to go more of a curriculum track or behavior track. I've had many opportunities in curriculum (well.. and behavior in the classroom), but now I have a chance to see what it would be to focus on behavior.

I'm not going to lie, I'm nervous! I know there will be really tough days, and self care is going to be EXTREMELY important. Plus giving up my current classroom, leaving my AMAZING fifth grade team, trying to figure out just WHERE my EPIC classroom library and various resources are going to go.... it's been a real emotional roller coaster. But I know that to grow I have to take on challenges outside of my comfort zone.

So here we go!

I've decided to resurrect this blog as a means to continue to post ideas on curriculum (because I CANNOT let that go), and to add ideas on classroom management, different ideas from the various classrooms I see, and life stories. Because let's be real... I'm sure to have A LOT next year as always!

I'm looking forward to getting back into the scene and can't wait to get to know y'all again!

And on that note, summer life is tough.. right?