ST1.3: Students are empowered to personalize and self-direct their STEM learning experiences supported by STEM educators who facilitate their learning.
Self Assessment Score: 3
At Alice Drive Elementary we strive to personalize the learning experience for our students. Teachers and staff provide opportunities for choice in everyday learning activities. Choice empowers our students and helps them make connections to real life experiences. Students are provided opportunities to personalize their learning by setting goals and participating in authentic learning experiences. Teachers work to facilitate discussions to help learners critically think through their choices and make necessary adjustments to promote success. Choice boards are often used for homework and classwork. Alice Drive is strong with the workshop model in reading and writing. We continue to make gains in implementing math workshop and research workshop. We have also seen a shift toward the use of rubrics when assessing our students. We are weak in goal setting beyond the reading workshop. Student led goal setting is continuing to develop in the classroom with emphasis on tracking and documenting progress.
Reading, Writing, Research and Math Workshop are the classroom structures used throughout the school. These structures allow our students to make choices about their learning and be held accountable for those choices. During a workshop model, the teacher primarily acts as a facilitator while the students are actively engaged in the learning. Independent reading and writing allow students to be actively engaged in the process of reading and writing and develop the skills necessary to be successful in all areas of their life. During independent reading and writing students choose what they want to read and write. In research workshop, students direct their learning in order to gather more information about a project of interest. Teacher conferences give students immediate feedback and instruction. Math workshop allows students independence while providing small group and individualized instruction when needed to understand and manipulate numbers. Students may be allowed to choose a station or to choose the manipulatives they would like to work with to solve a problem. In addition, the teacher usually has some type of technology available for self directed learning to take place. The five core elements of STEAM are key components to all four workshop models.
Rubrics are a set of scoring guidelines that evaluate students’ work and provide a clear teaching directive. Rubrics are a powerful, authentic tool used to assess students’ work. This scoring tool lists specific criteria for a project or piece of work. The criterion helps students to have a concrete understanding and visualization of “what counts”. Each standard or criteria also includes a gradation scale of quality. The rating scale could be numerical, qualitative, or a combination of both. Rubrics seek to evaluate assignments based on the sum of a full range of criteria rather than a single numerical score. The teacher provides students with the rubric before the assignment so the student can use it as a working guide. After the assignment is complete the rubric can be used as a teaching tool for the teacher to provide feedback to the student. Using rubrics sets the expectation for students and puts them in control of the outcome of their efforts. Rubrics are a more concise way of monitoring student work and success using the inquiry model.
During small group instruction and independent reading students work on goals they have set for themselves. Students set goals based upon self reflection and teacher feedback. These goals help them to move forward and take ownership of their learning. After students take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) computer assessment, they are given a score based on normative data. The data is broken into specific areas for reading and math. Students and teachers meet and set goals for improvement and monitor their progress three times a year. These goals are also shared with parents and information is provided on how they can help their child at home.
Several of our teachers use choice boards. Choice boards are a form of differentiated learning that gives students a menu or a choice of learning activities. They can be created in a variety of styles and mediums but typically are in a grid format.