Saturday, October 26, 2013

Learning Scales

I know what you are thinking...this looks familiar right? It looks like Pinterest exploded all over my white board! Actually these are Pinterest inspired, Teacher Pay Teacher bought,  classroom décor done right!
Here is a picture of my original white board at the beginning of the year!

This post is NOT about my room décor, it's actually about reading!
I switched the ideas on my white board to reflect a better learning scale. Did you notice? I have four response choices now. Why is this important in reading, you ask? Well let me tell you.
I was teaching and asking if they understood "Story Structure" I got  a lot of one fingers up or three fingers up...which at the  time was , one finger =I am not sure, and three fingers= I think so...
I continued on with my mini-lesson and used the words Beginning, Middle and End. They all understood that! So I asked again, this time I got all five fingers up, that means you see the flaw here? They couldn't answer my question, because my choices were so narrow! My new scales are so much better! Well okay they aren't "mine" in the sense I created them, oh no my friend over at "Run, Miss Nelson's Got the Camera" created the awesome BEE themed scales, and they are terrific! So much better, so much more CLEAR...
1= "I'm just starting to learn this, and don't understand it yet"
2 = "I kind of understand but I  still need help"
3 = "I understand and can work on my own"
4 = " I fully understand and can work on my own and teach it to someone else."
The feedback is so much better and the children seem to answer honestly. We spend a lot of time at the beginning of school getting to know the scales and how I expect them to use them.
Which brings me to my next point. Reading - Story Structure. How much time do you think it took me to teach story structure? With the new scales, in no time! I made a small group real fast of the kids with a one or two, and worked with them, modeling what it is, my TN said to me, "If they don't understand in the first group, I keep them for the second group to keep them working on that skill." Brilliant! You know what I am doing when I start teaching tomorrow? I am starting with my ones and twos and keeping them in my group until they feel comfortable as a 3. (Unless they have to go...I mean they can do the skill.

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