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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Improving Scores: Teaching Well

Teaching is not all about scores, however, those of us in the field know that scores matter to many. As always my teaching/learning goal is to help students learn in engaging, meaningful ways and also get good scores.

If you've been reading my blog during the last few days, you've probably noted that scores have been on my mind. How do we help all students achieve better and more in this regard?

I'm not the only one thinking about this. Many are re-looking at programming, time, and effort to make a difference in this regard.

This week's analysis points me in the following direction:
  • Continued student-centered teaching/learning efforts with a goal on making the teaching program an enriching, engaging experience.
  • Regular professional learning, share, debate, and discussion.
  • Fidelity to the standards and time-on-task for the program goals.
  • Regular student response, feedback, and encouragement.
  • More opportunity for repetition, practice, and "just right" goals (reach, challenge)
  • Apt employment of staff to meet the goals.
  • Regular informal and formal formative and summative assessments to target program/student needs.
  • Employing additional efforts to support areas of challenge.
There is substantial programming that supports our students; programming that includes the following elements:
  • After school homework clubs
  • Preview programs
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Extra time for math technology integration and student support during the day
  • Terrific tech access, math software programs such as Symphony Math, Khan Academy, and TenMarks
  • Lots of math tools including manipulatives, games, rulers, dice, number cards, and more
Right now my most important goal is to look at recent assessments and student work to see who is understanding latest concepts and who needs more support. Then I'll make time to provide the supports and also move the program to the next goals. It's a step-by-step effort that depends on all of the criteria above and daily attention.

As I always note what I like about teaching is what I also find most challenging--you're never there, and there is always more to learn and develop.