Improving student success is the most important job a teacher has and also the most daunting. In Texas, there are now 3 levels of passing on our state assessment and just passing is no longer good enough.
A question I continue to ask myself is how do I get students to go from approaches to meets or meets to masters? This year I have found the answer!
Marzano’s High-Yield Strategy
Setting objectives and providing feedback is one of Robert Marzano’s high yield instructional strategies for improving student success. You can find his other high yield strategies in Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement(2001). Setting objectives is what I have used this year to push my students to new heights! According to Marzano(2001), setting objectives and providing feedback can yield a 23% gain in student success! Why wouldn’t you use this?
What it Looks Like in my Classroom
This year my students have a data tracking folder and we go over our test data together in order to set goals for students’ individually and as a class. After a test, I show the class a graph of how many students were at each performance standard. We discuss how the graph compares to the previous test and make a goal for the upcoming test. I currently teach 3 different classes and I never compare class to class. I want my students to see the entire grade level as a team, working together to improve our school. So, I show the students how the school did as a whole. We compare our current results to the previous test results. We do not make a school goal because if each class is working towards a class goal, then they will be helping the school improve.
I do think there is value in competition, but I do not want my students to compete against one another on tests. Instead, I have us compete with the other schools in the district. The final slide I show my students is one with bars representing the results from all the elementary schools in the district. We discuss how we did comparatively to the other schools and talk about what place we want to be in the next time.
To get the PowerPoint I use to discuss test data click here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Data-Tracking-Presentation-for-Class-4187307
I have also found posting our goals in the classroom to be very powerful. During the test I have the final slide in the PowerPoint on my screen. This is a reminder for the students of their goal and what they are working towards. I tell my students to put x’s and checks on test questions according to whether they feel like they got the question right or wrong. This helps me when I help students set individual goals as well.
Individual Data Tracking
My students also have an individual data folder. In this folder they record their test score and make a goal for themselves on the next test. For the first two tests I help students set their goal in order to practice achievable goal setting. After the first two tests, I allow them to set a goal on their own. I meet with each student individually to go over their tests and we talk about what they did well and where they can improve.
Other Data Students can Track
I do not believe test data is the only information students should be tracking.
In their data folder, students also track their reading level progress. Every time a student moves up a reading level, they are able to color in the next level on their data page.
Students can also track how many books they have read. It is so important to have students read for pleasure and not just for taking quizzes. One idea is to have a competition to see how many books a class can read. How do you know if they are reading the book? Have the students complete a summary of the book. You could also have the students write an interview with a character, complete a story map, write a different ending to the book, or write a comic strip of the main events from the book.
You can find these activities here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-Response-Templates-4206035
You can also find my individual data tracking folders here:
If you feel overwhelmed, I always tell myself to start with one thing and then build from there. Choose one thing to track with your students and provide meaningful feedback, then set a goal for the next time. Please comment below with which one you will start with!
-Teachers on the Block