Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Revolutionary Tool To Make Students Responsible for Learning

About 2 or 3 summers ago I spent quite a bit of time reading up on Standards Based Grading and trying to figure out how, or if, I could implement it in my classroom.

I tried, but couldn't quite picture how it would fit and how I could successfully implement it in my classroom.

I got stuck on how to keep track of what assignments students were missing?  How to communicate to parents?  How to put into our mandated gradebook? just seemed overwhelming....

But I did keep one aspect of Standards Based Grading (SBG) that I feel has made a real significant difference in my classroom.

I call these "Keeping Track of My Learning."   These "KTOL" sheets have the learning objectives for the unit written in kid-friendly language, and very concretely, so that students can determine if the can meet the objectives.

My students tend to get easily overwhelmed if this is handed out too early.  Depending on the unit, sometimes I hand it out at the start of the unit to give students an overview, and see if there is anything that they know in the unit.   A good closure activity is to have students focus on just a few objectives (probably the ones that they just did).  They can rate themselves and then fill in things they want to remember for that objectives.

In addition, its a great review activity to do near the end of a unit. I found found students' attitudes very different when they know what they are responsible for learning, and I am less frustrated when we review, or at the end of lessons because we are speaking the same language.  I now get questions like

"What's another difference between plant and animal cells?  I only know one."  Instead of "I don't get this."  Or....worse yet...."Yep, I understand" (when they have no clue).

Here is a freebie of the KTOL for one unit.   A few others are posted and I'm working on getting more completed and posted.

Cell Division Student Self-Assessment "Keeping Track of Learning"Cell Division Student Self-Assessment "Keeping Track of Learning"

I have modified them over the years to allow for more or less space for students to write notes, to include vocabulary, etc.   I have tried the graphing at the top, but didn't find it to be key for my students....they could make a sort of graph or progress bar down below and it seemed similar.

A similar strategy is discussed in depth here

How do you communicate the objectives to your students and help them take responsibility for their learning?
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

1 comment :

  1. I like your blog very much and have nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award :) If you follow this link back to my blog you can read the rules and carry on the tradition. It's a blogger to blogger award to acknowledge and encourage new bloggers (Hope you haven't already been nominated - I didn't see it anywhere in your posts :)



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