Hello darlings! Have you been using Learning Goals and Scales in your classroom? My school district recently adopted the Marzano Teacher Evaluation Model and Learning Goals and Scales were our top priority last year. I am not an expert by any means, but I wanted to share with you what works for me in my third grade classroom.
You may not have time to read all of this right now, so pin it and come back to it!
Here is a quick glance at the generic Learning Scale that my school uses.
Scale follows the Marzano
Scale of Understanding model. Students
need to be constantly aware of their own level of understanding.
students that they will be keeping track of what they understand and what they
don’t understand. I always explain to my kiddos that each of us have different
brains. Our brain will learn and understand things differently than our
friends. Some of us have brains that
work fast and some of us have brains that work more slowly. Our brains might be really good at math and
not so great at reading or vice versa.
That is OKAY. That is GOOD! We want our brains to be different. We don’t want to all walk, talk, and be great
at the exact same things. What we do
want is for our brains to LEARN!
what I read, but math is a little harder for me. I have trouble picturing numbers in my head
and I have trouble memorizing facts. I
can still do it, but I’m not as good as my friend Jamie. She is an expert with numbers and her brain
can memorize facts really fast. I don’t
compare myself with Jamie, I compare MYSELF to MYSELF!
their OWN learning. I use Data Tracking
Binders for all of my students. We use
pre-test data, which I remind them will most likely be horrible, and compare it
to post-test data. We graph this data and then we can see the growth that was made
by each INDIVIDUAL student. This is
where kiddos can see how much growth their brains have made. They are always so impressed with how much
they have learned and it motivates them to work hard.
front of my classroom right next to my Learning Targets (goals/objectives) and
refer to it at least 2 times during each lesson. Students are constantly rating their
understanding of each lesson.
the goals or targets for the lesson.
Make sure to have this visible throughout the lesson and refer back to
it often. Next, you want your students
to HONESTLY indicate their level of understanding on the Learning Scale. In
order to do this, YOU must establish TRUST in your classroom community. No kid wants to admit that they don’t
understand something, especially if it seems like everyone else gets it. They
become so comfortable in my classroom that I can simply say, “If
you are a three or a four, go back to your seat and complete this quick
check. If you are a one or a two, stay
on the carpet and let’s work together.” They
get to know themselves as learners and genuinely care more about “getting it”
than what their classmates think.
make mistakes. When you make a mistake,
own it. Let your kiddos know you are
human and even you make mistakes. I
simply say, “Oops! Everyone makes mistakes!” Soon my students mirror me and say it
when they make a mistake. You know how
they like to repeat everything you say!
Your kiddos need to feel SAFE in front of their peers. I let them know right up front I do NOT
tolerate laughing or making fun of others. We establish this everyday by holding Class Meetings.
you and your students and between students and their peers. Now you want to explain what the Learning Scale
why it is important, and what you do with the information.
with my kiddos. If you respect them,
they will respect you. I
explain that the Learning Scale is simply a way for us to check in with our
brains. We need to ask ourselves if we
really understand the lesson and could teach it to someone else, if we
understand it and can do it on our own, if we are starting to understand but we
still need help, or if we just don’t understand it.
as their teacher and for them. It helps
me decide if my lesson is effective or if I need to explain it a different
way. If most of your kids are a 2 or 1
after the lesson, then you missed the mark and need to present the info in a
different way. That’s okay! As teachers we can have a class one year that
has no trouble with regrouping and we can teach it the same way the next year,
and it just doesn’t click with that class.
That’s why teachers are humans who are flexible and can adapt. Teachers are not robots.
monitor your students’ understanding and adjust your teaching to meet
students for the first time, I want most of them to say that they are at a one
or a two. I want them to all feel
comfortable with the lower numbers and to understand that this is NOT a
grade! This is just a special
us to talk about what they “get” and “don’t get.” I don’t want my students thinking that a one
is bad and a four is good. That is not
what this is about at all. EVERYONE
should be starting off at a one or two for every new lesson you teach. (Your gifted learners may be at a 3 or 4, but
you know them.)
my dog as an example. You can use your
kids or even your cat. I start off the
lesson with all of my kiddos on the carpet with a dry erase board. I then ask kiddos to write down everything
they know about my dog on their dry erase board. Since this is the beginning of the year, I
have introduced myself and told kiddos that I have a dog named Cullen, and they
know he is black from his picture. But
that is it. I then start asking them
questions that I know they cannot answer like, “What kind of food do I feed
him?” “Where does he like to
sleep?” “How old is he?” etc. Kiddos are now just guessing.
their knowledge of Cullen. Explain the
scale and then tell them to hold up the amount of fingers to match their level
could teach someone else about him?
a lot about him?
but need to be told more information?
they not really know anything about him?
two. For the darlings that “think” they
are a 3 or a 4, ask them to prove it by answering some questions. This is your opportunity to tell your kiddos
that a two or a one is EXACTLY where you expect them to be! Give air high fives to all your kiddos who
held up a two or a one. Make a big deal
about it. You want them to know how
proud you are of them for being HONEST and KNOWING themselves as
your kiddos about your dog. Have them
interact with each other on the carpet.
Ask them to turn and talk to their partner about what they know.
their level of understanding. Most
kiddos will now be at a three. Three is
the GOAL! In a Marzano
Scale, four is really for your gifted learners who present information in a
different way. Sketch
a quick graph on the board with the 4,3,2,1 scale on the y axis and First score
and Second score on the x axis. Show
kiddos how to graph their scores. Now
have them make a quick sketch on their dry erase boards. Show them that the difference between these
two numbers is their GROWTH. This will
get them ready for Data Tracking!!
your kiddos are landing on the Learning Scale.
Here are just a few ideas.
Eyes: Easiest one! Have students close their eyes and hold up
fingers to indicate their place on the scale.
kiddos complete an assignment and place a 4,3,2,1 in the top right
hand corner and circle it. This is
private and allows you to see if their actual assignment grade matches with
what they think is their level of understanding.
erase boards: Have
students complete problems or answer questions and show you the answer. They can also write their score on the board
in the top right hand corner and circle it.
Card on Rings: Create
a mini flip card ring of the scale for each kiddo to keep with them. They can
turn to the correct card.
and Mini-Clothespin: Tape
the bookmark scale to each child’s desk. Do not tape the top. They can use a mini-clothespin or paper clip
to indicate where they fall on the scale.
Check: Create one problem for students to
complete. I just write it on the board
and have students complete the problem on an index card. On the back, they indicate where they are on the
scale and explain why.
and Talk: Have students turn and talk to a partner
and tell them their number and explain why they chose that number.
them up and moving. Only use this for
lessons you feel won’t have any outliers.
Name each corner of the room a number 1-4. Have students stand in the corner that
corresponds to their level of understanding.
to Back: Another
good one for movement. Have kiddos walk
around the room silently. Ring a bell or
say a magic word and students must stop and stand back to back with the closest
person to them. (no following friends around)
When you say share, they turn around to face the person and tell him or
her what level they are on and why. Ring
the bell again and students start walking around. Repeat a few times.
Thanks for sticking around! I know that was a lot to read but I hope it was helpful!
What tips or tricks do you have to monitor student understanding? Please share an idea or an Ah ha moment!