Sunday, November 17, 2013

Strategizing Math/Reading Open Response Efforts

Mnemonic for Math Open Response Problem Solving
Now that we're moving into the year with more deliberate effort and greater stamina, I will focus more on open response work in both math and reading. As I assessed last year's score it was clear to me that I needed to provide children with more independent practice in both areas.

Using the successful persuasive writing unit as a model, I'll begin with planning the unit structure, then benchmark assessments. After that I'll employ a series of weekly strategies, adaptations, and independent practice. Next there will be a midpoint assessment, more teaching, and finally a summative assessment.

The roll-out plan includes the following:
  1. Contacting the teaching team about collective approaches, strategies, and efforts.
  2. Establishing a plan including graphic organizers, mnemonics, mnemonic visuals, supporting videos, teaching strategy plan, supporting materials including math open response problems and reading response articles/questions.
  3. Hosting the unit materials on a website that is easily shared with students, colleagues, and family members. This is the initial creation of the math open response website and reading response website.  
  4. Giving an initial benchmark assessment in both areas. Analyzing student results and needs--both individual needs and classroom needs. 
  5. Further strategizing.
  6. Teaching, adapting, strategizing, formative assessments to reach the teaching goal which in both cases will be fluid, facile, accurate, independent success with math open response problem solving and reading response answers.
One way to elicit memory and investment with a mnemonic is
to have children make an illustration with the mnemonic
like this example. 
We're beginning to embed Hattie's wonderful research in Visible Learning for Teachers, Maximizing Impact on Learning a reality in our schools. By matching our work with real-world problems and text, student investment, and a successful roll-out of strategies, adaptations, assessments, and coaching we are teaching well.  If you could have seen students' faces when they noticed their extraordinary progress and growth related to their persuasive writing growth and success, you would understand how powerful this work is.