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Extra! Extra! Read All About It: 6th and 7th Graders Acknowledge Self-Assessment and Progress Monito


Channel 127 News Crew

Last year, the students in my middle school literacy classes were more than just a modern marvel! Truthfully and with pride, I know they were true game changers in the realm of creating learning goal scales. They were definitely masters in the creation of learning goal focus targets and building our scales! Moreover, when they were up to the challenge of taking on the leadership and execution of their own progress monitoring and evidence for learning, I was more than flabbergasted!

You see, these students understood that self assessment and progress monitoring could help them learn, so much so that they inspired each other to self assess on purpose. Through this thought process, our very first classroom newsroom was born, and we called it Channel 127!

So, here's the thing, how could we have a newsroom without a set and briefing area? Didn't we need to put our imagery into action? We, of course, needed a collaboration table to make this realistic.

Therefore, we set side a part of our classroom to build a backdrop and created a banner highlighting "Channel 127 News" (reflecting our room number). We constructed banners and build a media table. I organized some clip boards and deemed this area "The Briefing Room", where each Friday, a group of students met with me to discuss our learning goals for the following week. I made it a practice to piggyback off of where we were presently, and from there, it was simple for the students to brainstorm the skills and academic vocabulary we would need for "Level 2" on our learning goal scale. Once we were clear on our goals and completed our scale, we were prepared to communicate it to the class, whole group, each Monday. The students understood what activities were part of the instruction, aligned with the scale, and they also conceived various examples of student evidence they might see of alignment to our learning goal targets.

During each lesson, the news crew circulated the classroom with their clipboards, which contained a copy of the scale. They observed to see how their classmates were doing (progress monitored) and for examples of student evidence. They queried in a manner that increased in complexity based on their findings of their peers' learning, such as "What is your learning goal today?" What evidence can you share that demonstrates you are reaching your goal? How does this task connect with your goal?"

I, too, circulated the classroom, monitoring my crew and the class, the types of interactions they were having with their classmates, along with the reactions of all of the students in the room. I listened for engagement by all parties and the appropriateness of the questioning. I also observed to learn what kind of feedback the crew needed, or redirection was necessary, because how they interacted and the evidence they provided me told me how close they were to reaching their goal.

There were numerous wins in the implementation of our newsroom:

1. All of the evidence is observable!

2. Student learning skyrocketed.

3. It allows for immense teacher and student reflection.

4. It is interdisciplinary and meets the CCSS x a million!

Side bar: We later created a news rap, shot video clips, and even translated the news in Spanish for our ELL learners.

Want to know more about this? Contact me and I'd love to help you out!

Theresa Staley

 

"We are all here to make a difference, so let's do just that."

This blog is created to share my ideas and inspiration with fellow educators and our world.

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