From Chapter 3: Grading Strategies that Support and Motivate Student Effort and Learning of Grading and Learning: Practices That Support Student Achievement, Susan Brookhart writes:
First, these teachers settled on the most important learning targets for grading. By learning targets, they meant standards phrased in student-friendly language so that students could use them in monitoring their own learning and, ultimately, understanding their grade.
One of these learning targets was ‘I can use decimals, fractions, and percent to solve a problem.’ The teachers listed statements for each proficiency level under that target and steps students might use to reach proficiency.
The [lowest] level was not failure but rather signified ‘I don’t get it yet, but I’m still working.’ (Brookhart, 30 pag.)
How are we making learning progressions visible to learners so that they monitor their own learning and understand how they are making progress?
Yet is such a powerful word. I love using yet to communicate support and issue subtle challenges. Yet, used correctly, sends the message that I (you) will learn this. I believe in you, and you believe in me. Sending the message “you can do it; we can help” says you are important. You, not the class. You. You can do it; we can help.
Self-assessment, self-directed learning, appropriate level of work that is challenging with support, and the opportunity to try again if you struggle are all reasons to have learning progressions visible to learners.
Making the learning clear, communicating expectations, and charting a path for success are all reasons to try this method.
In addition to reading the research of Tom Guskey, Doug Reeves, Rick Stiggins, Jan Chappius, Bob Marzano and many others, we’ve been watching and learning from TED talks. My favorite for thinking about leveling formative assessments is Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain.
As a community, we continue the challenging work of writing commonly agreed upon essential learnings for our student-learners. Now that we are on a path of shared models of communication, we are able to develop feedback loops and formative assessments for student-learners to use to monitor their learning as well as empower learners to ask more questions.
By learning to insert feedback loops into our thought, questioning, and decision-making process, we increase the chance of staying on our desired path. Or, if the path needs to be modified, our midcourse corrections become less dramatic and disruptive. (Lichtman, 49 pag.)
Are learning progressions visible and available for every learner?
- If yes, will you share them with us using #LL2LU on Twitter ?
- If no, can they be? What is holding you back from making them visible?
Brookhart, Susan M. Grading and Learning: Practices That Support Student Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2011. Print.
Lichtman, Grant, and Sunzi. The Falconer: What We Wish We Had Learned in School. New York: IUniverse, 2008. Print.
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