Reflection: Student Ownership Solving Linear Equations: Assessing What You Know So Far - Section 3: Week 6 Homework Sheet & SLT 1.1 Progress Tracker

 

As an additional way to track student progress as they learn to solve more complicated linear equations, I've created a progress tracker on the back wall of my classroom.  (Click here to see what it looks like.)  

I made the leveled examples, and put up poster paper.  Then, I gave each student a sticky note, asked them to write their name on it, and to put it at the highest level they felt they could solve without help.

Each class chose a different color sticky note, which gives all of us a quick visualization of where each class stands overall.  In the photo I've shared here, the stickies have been moved and organized to reflect current student work, a few days after their initial self-assessments.  Notice how the spread is different for each class.  In one class, there is at least one student at every level, which means that I'll have to differentiate a lot, while in another class, the stickies are less-spread out.  

In addition to being useful to me, this visualization is very engaging for students.  Every time I move the sticky notes to reflect newer and better achievements, kids love to check in.  It's an elegant visualization of data, and a way to bring kids in on the kind of standards-based assessment that I engage in constantly.  It helps to provide a concrete example of how the grading system works in this class, and moving forward, kids can better conceptualize what it means to be assessed on each learning target, and how to progress from one level to the next.

At the risk of over-estimating its worth, I've noticed a few other terrific outcomes from posting this visualization, and I just love what it does to the vibe of my classroom.  It's compelling to look at, and it's attractive, which adds to the optimistic, workshop vibe of the room.  On open school night, parents loved to see this.  They were curious to hear about how their children initially assessed themselves, and how they've progressed since then.  When colleagues come to visit, they're immediately drawn to this poster, which has opened up new levels of dialogue on staff about standards-based grading and what it looks like in action.

  Student Ownership: Public Progress Tracker: Visualizing Our Progress
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Solving Linear Equations: Assessing What You Know So Far

Unit 3: Solving Linear Equations
Lesson 1 of 12

Objective: SWBAT review what they already know about solving linear equations, and make a plan for how they're going to learn more.

Big Idea: Students enter 9th grade with a wide variety of prior knowledge about this fundamental skill. My first step in differentiating is to give students the ability to identify for themselves what they know.

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u1 linear equation slt 103 progress tracker
 
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