Reflection: Student Communication Patterns, Progress Reports, and Practice - Section 2: Progress Reports and Project Return


I have found it exhilarating to watch and to participate as "Growth Mindset" has become a widely lauded and accepted part of the educational lexicon.  It feels to me like all educators buy the idea that we want students to understand that they can get better at learning, and we're all working hard to find ways to help students buy into that idea.

Generating strong student buy-in is our current challenge, and the key idea for me to recognize now is that it doesn't happen all at once.  Today, when I distribute these mastery-based progress reports for the first time, there is plenty of pushback from students.  Invariably, some students ask, "Why don't you just grade like other teachers?"  It's so important for me to patiently provide students space to ask that question.  At this time, we as teachers have had months or years to process the idea of growth mindset and what it means for our classroom practice, but we're still teaching students who have, for the most part, been raised in the old culture of passing tests, earning grades, and moving on from there.  We're still teaching kids who believe that some people are good at math, and others are not.  A shift in mindset does not happen immediately.  

So when kids push back, I say, "I'm going to show how to use this progress report to learn as much as you can this year.  That's what you're here for: not to show me what you're already good at, but to show me that you can learn something new, and at the end of the year, your grade will reflect how much you've learned."

If you as a teacher are experimenting with standards-based grading or grade reporting, or ways to build a culture of growth mindset in your classroom, please do not be discouraged when all the changes you've dreamed of seeing don't take root right away.  Kids have to grow into growth mindset and all that accompanies it.  And in my experience, they always do.  I provide students with a progress report like this one at five-week intervals throughout the year.  Every five weeks, buy in grows, until in the Spring the question changes from "Why don't you grade like other teachers?" to "Why don't all teachers grade like this?"

  Growing Toward Growth Mindset
  Student Communication: Growing Toward Growth Mindset
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Patterns, Progress Reports, and Practice

Unit 3: Solving Linear Equations
Lesson 2 of 12

Objective: SWBAT consider where they've been so far and where they're going this year.

Big Idea: We're halfway through the first quarter, so now what's your plan?

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3 teachers like this lesson
Math, Algebra, Linear and Nonlinear Equations, mastery based learning, summative feedback
  43 minutes
example progress report 1
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