Google+ Badge

Monday, July 06, 2015

Setting and Tracking Goals

In Massachusetts educators are required to establish goals, rationale, action plans, and evidence. I like the process. And if utilized well in school systems, this work can lead to terrific conversations and teaching/learning growth.

I believe the best time to draft your goals is the summer months as you can take the time then to review the past year's efforts including achievements and challenges, and then determine how you will continue to deepen and develop your craft in the year ahead.

As I've mentioned before, I believe it's a good idea to chart this growth on a public or private ePortfolio. Hence, today, I worked on my goals for next year in my ePortfolio. As a veteran educator, I offer my ePortfolio as an example to examine and follow if you choose.

As I drafted my goals, rationale, action plan, and evidence plans, I realized that it was time to create or identify assessments to use as I track students' progress with SMPs (Standards of Mathematical Practice), problem solving, math writing, and mastering the CCSS.

I decided that I'll use the following assessments to establish baselines and track growth:
  • CCSS Unit Assessments (some are located our class website, Magnificent Math)
  • Problem Solving Assessments (PBA) 
  • SMP Assessments (to be developed)
  • Standardized Assessments: PARCC, GMADE, Symphony Benchmark, That Quiz tests
Since I'll be working with Leslie Laud, founder of thinkSRSD, to develop math problem solving strategy and skill all year, I developed an initial assessment using a 4th grade PARCC PBA and SRSD template to assess students' initial problem solving skill. I also developed a simple rubric to use to determine a student's overall problem solving ability. I created the rubric so that both students and teachers can use the instrument to evaluate the effort in an efficient, straight forward way.

Throughout the year I'll offer students lots of problem solving practice, share, and assessment in order to grow this work, work that embeds the standards of mathematical practice (SMPs). I'm excited about applying this structure as I believe it will empower students to develop their understanding and efforts in ways affirmed in this quote by Michael S. Schneider,

"Verifying number principles for ourselves is more important than just reading about them. No matter how conversant we are with the details of any map or restaurant menu, it's more informative to take the journey and more nourishing to eat the food. We can discover for ourselves the timelessness of nature's creating process by consciously participating in geometric activities."