Friday, October 7, 2016

Student Notebooks, Part 2: Common Core Standards Bubbles

All of our students have data notebooks that we are using to keep track of their academic goals, achievements, and progress. Research shows that students that keep track of their learning goals and achievements are more successful than students that passively receive (and disregard feedback) such as quiz scores and test grades. On average, students that tracked their own progress had a 32 percentile point gain in their achievement. You can read more about Marzano's research HERE. We decided to implement that research this year by creating student data notebooks.

If you missed our post on how we use notebook covers and learning inventories, you can view that HERE.
Student Notebooks: Common Core Standard Bubbles
The minute we start talking about common core or use the word "standards", there's a little fireworks show that starts firing rapidly inside of the human brain. The idea of anything common core related makes parents anxious, and whenever I mention that we are working on a standard with a student, their shoulders start to snuggle up towards their ears.

Although I LOVE the common core standards, I know that not everyone else is with me, so I knew that I needed another way to motivate students to work through the standards this school year. Instead of calling them standards, I call them "bubbles" and don't think I have a single student that has figured out that "bubbles" are standards yet. How's that for subliminal teaching?!

Here's what a sheet of bubbles looks like for kindergarten:
There is one circle ("bubble") for every common core standard for that grade level, and the standards are broken down into two sheets: one for math, and one for language arts. These bubbles are kept in the notebooks so that students (and parents) have access to them. Once they have mastered the skill, they get to pop a sticker on top of it.

What are the benefits of keeping track of students' understanding of the standards?
Sometimes, the whole school year can seem so daunting. School can seem like an endless series of worksheets and tests and routine and homework. What can feel like learn-practice-learn-practice-review-QUIZ-learn-practice-learn-practice-review-TEST is actually a well-crafted series of tasks meant to gain proficiency with standards.

When we keep track of their proficiency with the standards (ex: you get a bubble for OA5 because you can fluently add and subtract numbers to 5). The addition math stations that they did in class and the math facts worksheets that they did for homework become more than just 4 things on the to do list; they're 4 related tasks that all help them work towards being able to add and subtract numbers to 5, which is just 1 of 24 standards that they need to accomplish this school year for math.

As our kids work through the concepts, they earn #nailedit stickers to cover the bubbles with. Adorable, right? The stickers are really motivating, and they provide a great visual for students.
How do our tutors keep track of their students' progress through the standards?
Our tutors keep folders with copies of the standards enclosed. When a student earns a sticker, we mark it off on our standards lists and include the date. We make sure to revisit it a few times during the school year just to be sure that the students don't forget their skills.

How do you know which standards to work on for the week/month?
In our office, we have spreadsheets with information about each of the LBUSD units, including which standards are covered over which dates, and the dates of the unit exams. We go over the standards taught in each unit during the corresponding dates.

We use our one-on-one tutoring sessions to help monitor students' progression towards standards mastery!

Want to see what's next? Read Student Notebooks, Part 3: Growth Mindset!

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