May 26, 2013

This is What Happens When You Make Student Progress Public

There has been a big push at our school, and at many places, to use data, and to share that data with students. The idea is that we are all "speaking a common language" of data. I understand the sentiment, but am not sure which data is meaningful to students, and how to present it in a way that is valuable, and confidential.

Personally, while I want them to know that they need to catch up, and develop some sense of urgency, I'm not sure Lexile levels and Aimsweb or NWEA scores will do that for them. Also, those scores don't tie directly to their grades, or anything else tangible and valuable to them.  In my classroom, I do two things to make some of their data visible to them.

1.  I post students current grade score sheets, by their ID number, every Monday. Kids get very quickly used to coming in on Monday morning, looking at their grade, and then trying to look across and see why their grade changed from last week (you know it's very mysterious!). 

That looks like this.

If they have been absent, they can match up the titles of the assignments to figure out what they are missing.  They can then go to a file crate with all the past work filed to find the assignments that they are missing.  I just keep the assignments in sequential order, and try to match up the titles.  I have seen another teacher who numbers them, which might be an idea to try for next year, particularly if you have a lot of attendance problems, and need students to be able to make up work easily.  

2. The second way, also updated weekly, is to post a graph in the hallway for a competition between classes. The two lines shown are class average and amount of homework turned in.  There is going to be a prize for the winning class. I also update this every week.  This allows them to see their part in the grades and progress of the whole class.


What do you do to share data with students?  Or do you?  How important do you think that is?  

Please share in the comments! 


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