Sunday, January 5, 2014

Onto the New Year and Formative Assessment

Hi All!

Well, if you haven't started school yet, I am sure you start tomorrow just like me. Happy First Day back with your kiddos in 2014! I am the type of person who approaches getting back to school after a break like a race car after the flags go up. I like to go back to full speed ahead and make all my new ideas happen overnight. As hard as it will be for me with how busy the next 3 months will be, I am going to try to start back at a reasonable pace and do my best to sustain it most weeks. I know that getting between 6-8 hours of sleep each night and spending some time with my fiance without thinking about my to-do list will help me be a more energetic and refreshed teacher with the minutes I share with my students. I imagine a lot of you out there have been at this same point of reflection after the break. It is so much easier said than done... I am the first to say, I am not good at knowing my limits of work hours/stress. This school year has been the most stressful yet, so it is a true lesson of learning how to take care of myself and my students. Are some of you with me in that place? In addition to balance and healthy work habits...

My personal goal: Stop and enjoy the blessings... even just for a few extra minutes of the day! I am in a very blessed season of my life right now, and I am so grateful. I am planning a wedding and life after the wedding with a man I have been waiting to marry for a long time! I couldn't be happier... As we are 167 days away from the wedding, I hope to enjoy all that needs to be done (with care and creativity) rather than view it as extra work. I also moved back to live with my family for these last few months! I am so close with my family. I hope to enjoy every minute with them, especially my 17 year-old brother.  We have the best times together! As I make the most of these blessings, I want to remember to praise God along the way!

My professional goal: I will further my work with formative assessment to differentiate instruction for students.

At the end of each math lesson, I often review the target for the day with my students and have them close their eyes and show me with a thumbs up/thumbs down rating of their understanding. I often find that they really have no idea if they have met the target or not. Therefore, I spent sometime making an exit ticket that follows the exact same format:

Standard Number (for my reference)
I-Can Statement
How do you know if you met the target? Then, I list the criteria that they need to be able to do to meet the target. 
A place for them to circle where they are- I've got it.     I'm starting to get it.      I need some more help.

I will read this out loud to my students each day as they do their exit ticket and have them mark their understanding. I think this will help scaffold the self-assessment piece and make it more informative for everyone.

Below that, I created a problem that matches the CCSS/I-Can statement for the lesson. The exit slip should take the students 5 minutes or less.

I also have a folder where I have a whole class checklist with student names and each CCSS standard for the unit. I mark +, √+,  or - for the standard based on our class time and the exit slip. It is quick and easy but helps me see which students and standards need reteaching and continued practice. Then, I tabbed my folder so that it has a page with a list of all the CCSS and a note section space so I can keep more detailed notes about each student as needed. The more I know about my students, the more I can effectively plan and utilize the one hour of math time we have. It always flies by and half of my students are from other second grade classes. I have to be extremely intentional with each minute because the hour is all we have-- not a minute more!

If you are interested in using the formative assessment exit tickets with your students for second grade math CCSS, find them in Marie's TPT store.

Have a wonderful, winter week back to school!

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