Sunday, August 31, 2014

Helping Students Track Progress FREEBIE

Happy Sunday, friends! And I do mean *happy* Sunday because we have one more day off, so no Sunday-night blues! I just wanted to drop in with a quick freebie for you fabulous followers. :)

Okay, so last week I had to administer a writing assessment to my class. Our school's focus this year for improvement is writing, so in order to show growth, we needed a baseline assessment from each student. Any guesses at how excited my students were? Yep, you guessed it--not at all. I tried my best to make it sound like a fun time for all, but by the blank stares, I gathered I was the only one with enthusiasm. And even that isn't completely true because after the writing comes the reading of all 17 papers and grading with a rubric, but that's another story. Anyway, then a thought came to me.

Make it relevant to them. Help them understand why I'm asking them to write something called a "baseline assessment." Well there's a novel thought, for once! 

So here's what I did: I drew a picture of a road map (and by map I mean a square with an X in the middle of it--really, that's all), and explained how awful I am with directions. I told my friends we were going to pretend I was lost on my way to the mall and therefore needed directions, and asked them if they could help. Almost every student raised their hand, and luckily for  me, the first genius said, "Mrs. Lopez, how can we give you directions to the mall if we don't know where you are?" 

Amen. My point exactly! We discussed how just like with road directions, in order to grow in subject areas, such as writing, we must know where we are starting. We need a starting point--a baseline--to figure out our individual directions for reaching our goals. So here it is: 

I plan on using these for goal-setting with my students, and conferencing with them about these goals and the steps along the way. My students already track their grades with graphs, so they will just add this to the front of their data notebooks. I like it because I think it's a good visual for them to see. The beauty is that each students' will look different, and perhaps their "where I want to end up" may be different as well. 

Here's a blank copy if you'd like to use this with your students. Click on the picture below and enjoy! 

Enjoy your long weekend, friends. You certainly deserve it. 

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  1. I.Love.This!!! What a great visual and so easy for them to set their goals on their road to success. I appreciate you sharing this and look forward to using it with my 3rd graders this year.

  2. Mandy, this is such a great idea! I loved reading the conversation you had with your students about this! What a concrete, powerful example! I pinned this idea and will refer back to it often, I am sure! Thanks for the freebie!