Academic Culture

Stamina Captains

Stamina captains track stamina among students at their table throughout independent work. Especially while working on differentiated or individualized practice, students may feel "alone" in their work and thus easily get distracted (whereas they might feel more pressure if all students are working on the same exact practice). Thus, through emphasizing the skill of stamina, students constantly think about their level of focus and ability to avoid distractions. When students begin discussing something that is off-topic, the stamina captain will write down their name on a post-it. After that, those students get a chance to "fix" their behavior by getting back on task. If their stamina is not fixed, they then get a phone call home as a consequence for their lack of focus. Through this closed loop, parents and students understand their focus and work at school.

Strategy Resources (4)
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is a Google Form that follows an independent practice session. Students evaluate themselves on their persistence and get a chance to reflect on their work.
Poster
 
 
This poster states the expectations I have for students showing stamina and persistence. Zone 1 means whisper voices.
Poster
 
 
This picture highlights expectations that we are currently focusing on, including stamina. At the beginning of each week, and when needed, we refer to this chart, reminding students of the expectations we have of them.
Poster
 
 
These post-its are generated by "Stamina Captains", who record the stamina (and lack therof) they see in other students.
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is a Google Form that follows an independent practice session. Students evaluate themselves on their persistence and get a chance to reflect on their work.
Poster
 
 
This picture highlights expectations that we are currently focusing on, including stamina. At the beginning of each week, and when needed, we refer to this chart, reminding students of the expectations we have of them.
Poster
 
 
These post-its are generated by "Stamina Captains", who record the stamina (and lack therof) they see in other students.
Poster
 
 
This poster states the expectations I have for students showing stamina and persistence. Zone 1 means whisper voices.
Stephen Pham
Rocketship Si Se Puede Academy
San Jose, CA


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Moderate
Subject:
Math
Grade:
Fifth grade
Similar Strategies
Feedback Systems
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Part of building a reflective classroom is giving students the space to reflect on all aspects of their learning from their behavior to the resources in the room. Goal setting is a way to teach this expectation, whole group, to students early in the year, and as a way to focus them during it. Each Monday, students write a Goal post it that has some sample questions to guide students. Ultimately, students can select their own topic, and that free range takes time to nurture into SMART goals. Many students write something like "listen in class" but when we discuss on Tuesday and say "Did you reach this goal?" the answer is not measureable. We want our students to see goals as a procedure that can guide their self-driven learning, not as a reaffirmation of the teacher's thoughts or wants for the student. 

 
Whole-Group Instruction
Whole Group Exploration

Whole Group Exploration is a form of whole group instruction where we work with conceptual models to understand the algorithm behind solving math problems. Students work with whiteboards at the carpet as we discuss and work through a series of problems that build and understanding of our skill. As students successfully prove that they are ready to work independently, I dismiss them to their seat with our practice, keeping the students who need additional support to go through more practice problems. This strategy allows me to give more support to students who need it and release students who are ready to excel.


 
Assessment & Data
Mild, Medium & Spicy Groups

I group my students into three proficiency groups - Mild, Medium, and Spicy. This is a system of general differentiation that allows me to easily assign practice or even homework. Students know their level and know that the assigned practice is likely best for them. Their level is also assigned to them based on various factors, including benchmark assessments, formative assessments, and informal observations made in class on a daily basis. I encourage my students to challenge themselves to try a "spicier" level when they're ready. This gives students the flexibility to try harder material and excel at an appropriate and personalized pace.

 
 
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