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Friday, September 30, 2016

Scores and More: Last Friday in September 2016

Students used this template for making charts, plotting points, and explaining relationships.

This morning the team talked a lot about scores and what those scores revealed about our teaching/learning efforts. It was a rich conversation. One that I put to work right away as I taught the day's math lessons related to plotting number stories on coordinate grids and looking for patterns.

It's been a bit of a painful few days as I tore into the scores looking for truthful trends and advocating for honest analyses, trust, and a deep look at our collective and individual work. During this morning's conversation so many good points were shared including discussion about the relationship of language learning and math skills, lesson pace, need for repetition, and organizational matters.

As I engaged in this discussion, I was able to profit from the trusting, rich conversation, one without finger pointing and conjecture, but instead a conversation that acknowledged our collective dedication to good work and service to children.

In the future, I'll use the model that was developed for this analysis prior to the start of school so that I'm ready for discussions like this at the start of the year. I also hope to develop this model of analysis for future work.

I continue to be a fan of streamlined standardized tests and scores as it's potentially one rich way to assess our programs and develop our collective and individual work if the scores are used with good intent, collaborative discussion, reflection, planning, and goal setting. I'm not in favor of using these scores to rate, punish, or conjecture about programming as this only serves to diminish a sense of team, silence educators, and obstruct progress.

I was really excited about today's math lessons. Most students really enjoy learning something new, and this was evident as they created math stories, charted data, plotted points, looked for relationships, and in some cases, presented their work to the class. The presentations were terrific. In fact, I ended up changing the math lesson from group one to group two as I really liked one of the problems group one created and used that problem instead of the original problem I shared. We'll continue this lesson on Monday, and then we'll start our place value unit on Tuesday by making base ten place value models. During the rest of the week and the week after that we'll study place value in many ways.

Next week includes greater focus on our math tech integration, read aloud, and a field study too. It's time now to start the long weekend. I'm ready after this busy, but profitable week of learning and teaching.