Before this unit, I printed a list of the Common Core "learning targets" rewritten in kid-friendly language for my students. We had looked at this list as our unit started and made little folders to keep them in.
Throughout the last few weeks, I have been giving the students exit slips and pulling them for extra help based on their results. This is the method I typically use . . . we often go through 6-12 exit slips in a unit as I take the temperature of the group to know where to head with my large group lessons and who needs to be pulled for small group or one-on-one work.
Today we passed out all 7 of the exit slips we have done so far and we studied them and cross-checked them with the learning targets on the blue sheet. As we discussed what each target meant, I showed an example on the Smartboard to make sure they knew what I was talking about and the students "self-assessed" with a plus to mean "I know it so well I could teach others." or a check to mean "I know it well enough to do it on my own." or a minus to mean "I am not feeling confident YET." (YET is a big word with me . . . not "I can't do it!" but "I haven't learned how to do this YET.")
Students then looked at their exit slips and decided how they lined up with their plus, check, and minus marks. Many students were shocked at some of their earlier exit slips and were excited to be able to say "I know how to do that NOW!"--which is exactly what we want!
When we finished reflecting, we packed them all up in the folder and put them away. We will do this one more time on Friday with the remaining exit slips and then I will send the entire folder home for students to "teach" their families as part of their review for their summative assessment. I ask them to show their parents their formative work, to try some practice problems at home and put them in the folder, and then have the parent sign the folder and send it back to school. This really helps parents know what is expected, what the problems look like, how their child is doing, and what THEY can do to help. It sure makes a difference; my students should be as ready for the summative assessment as they developmentally can be!
What do you think? Are there other ways we can get students to be more accountable for their own learning? How else can we communicate with parents so they know what is expected and what the level of rigor is? I'd love to hear your ideas below! Share your best ideas so we can all learn from each other. . .
Thanks for stopping by--word problem wonders tomorrow!