Two weeks ago I attended a meeting and they were talking about how students in the 21 century want the answers now and they do not care about the process just the product. What is happening to our kids? I have some students that want the answers for their math problems now, they want the teacher to write the sentence now, they are not 100 percent involve in the process. This is not just my third grade class but I found out in the meeting that other teachers have the same exact problem. Their students also want the answers now.
The question is:
What do I do now?
We need to involve the students in their own process of learning by having them evaluate their work. Teachers can use an evaluation sheet or rubric to evaluate the student’s work. A rubric will be great because the students can see their areas of strengths as well as their areas of needs. Then, the teacher can also involve the student on creating a goal that will help the student to strive for that specific goal that will help him or her to master a specific skill. The teacher can also make a visual graph so the student can see his or her progress. By giving the students fill out a self evaluation form or a rubric students, teacher, and parents would be aweare of the area of needs and strengths. Also, the educator will know if the student has master the skill or concept of that day. The teacher and student then come to an agreement to work on the are of needs. The teacher will write a plan a goal for that student to achieve. In addition, at the end of each lesson or learning center you can have your students fill out an exit sheet and a learning target log.
Remember you always to give your students:
- constructive feedback
- positive feedback
- engage them with their interest
- have activities that will get their attention
- build a routine
I know that the process is not easy and trust me I know. Their are some success and some struggles throughout the process. I have come to a conclusion that I have to look at the positive all the things that happen and how I can improve them.
In meetings, teacher lounge, and after school gatherings some of my co-workers comment about how their students will not complete work, read, follow directions, or listen to the teacher. I have come to a conclusion how can teachers ask for their students to do all these things if they themselves do not follow directions, listen to others, communicate, or complete work. The teachers want everything now but they are not doing anything to get it. We need to be the role models of our students.
This school year has been very interesting and exciting at the same time. Yes, sometimes my class can be challenging but I have people in my life that give me support and great advice to continue on. This year our school is sending the teachers into training. We have Center for Math and Science Teaching (CMAST) and Core Instructional Model (CIM). Even though the two programs are different they have some commonalities. Both programs are preparing us to lesson plan and to involve children in the process of self-evaluation.
More and more I am called to think about the term self-evaluation. I think that during this process educators should spend their time assess their teaching, strategies, and students activities. As an educator I am not afraid to take risks, I am not afraid that my lessons may not be received well with my students, I am not afraid to change or rethink my lesson plans, and most of all I am not afraid that my lesson plans may not be a ten or even a nine in the end. I say this because I believe as a an educator we must first seek ourselves and look into the mirror and ask, “Am I doing everything I can for my students?”
I do not get offended or discourage when my students do not understand the topic that I am teaching or when they give me their puzzled face. Instead I take my lesson into a different direction. I always try my best to execute a lesson that will encourage all my students to be engaged in the lesson and not being afraid to take risk. I have come to the conclusion that if we examine ourselves and make changes then, our students will be more comfortable on asking questions. Then, we will see that our students are making an effort to learn and we will be able to notice the changes.
Two weeks ago we had a meeting with CIM and CMAST. The topics that we were instructed on were on assessment. I agree that students should be involved in the assessment progress and they should evaluate their work and at the same time they can make some goals, so that way they would have a clear picture of the skills or topics they need to work on. My students are able to point out there areas of need and what to do in order to achieve success. They are able to do this because they had the experience of evaluating themselves in second grade and were doing the same procedures in third grade.
This week I had an epiphany on how to create an evaluation sheet. During art class the students were talking about wizard hats as well as about how to obtain stars for their hats. I thought that was a brilliant idea to have. I decided to instruct the children to do a wizard hat and to decorated. I am going to use the hats for math if the students score a for on the rubric they will be called math wizards and they will get a star on their hat. In addition, the students came up with the expectations of becoming a math wizard. These are their responses:
- solve by the problem by yourself and do not give up
- know all mathematical operations
- look at the problem and read it
- re-read it and look for key terms
- look for what the problem is asking for
- draw a picture, symbols, and equation to solve the problem
- use strategies
- know vocabulary
- justify your answer
I was very happy because the students came up with their own expectations. When I read the students responses I noticed that their expectations of becoming a math wizard align with the Mathematical Practices.
I have link some great websites and a video to demonstrate how to incorporate the MPS into the lesson.
CLICK HERE- FOR MATHEMATICAL PRACTICES