What a difference a day makes

We are now using a rubric to assist students in self-evaluating their mathematical syntax. I will also use the rubric to provide students kind, helpful, and specific feedback on their mathematical syntax.

Today students went back in time to the very first week of school and reviewed some of their initial math work. Using the rubric, they evaluated how they displayed their work, labeled their work and/or added sentence frames, and how neatly their work was shown. Students determined if they were working below grade level, approaching grade level, or were at grade level.

Take a look at the rubric below or click HERE to see a full-sized version of the rubric. This will be used for the next two years to help determine quality of work and grades for syntax.

The difference in work shown yesterday versus today was night an day difference. What a difference a day…and a rubric…make! Congratulations to students for taking their time and pride in their work to do their best! Ask your child to show you their work tonight. Compare it to the rubric on the blog. See where they’re at? Ask them to evaluate their work with you and see how you do analyzing your own child’s work! 🙂

math syntax rubric

Chris Van Allsburg Letters Progressing

We are writing to author Chris Van Allsburg. First drafts of letters have been written. Today we looked at drafts using a rubric.

It was interesting to see how accurately some students were in self-assessing their writing. Others had highly inflated scores for themselves.

Self-assessment is a success skill in life.

When we can evaluate our effort and performance honestly, we can focus on the strengths and weaknesses of our work. We always assess to find what’s working and what needs improvement.

Assessment is NOT about a letter grade.

While an A, B, C, D, or F is easy to understand-Excellent, Above Average, Average, Below Average, or Failing-the letter grade does not really give us much specific, kind, or helpful feedback.

Feedback informs students what they need to do and what next steps should be. 

I’ll attach the rubric we used for today. Click HERE to see the rubric. Here’s a snapshot of what the rubric looks like. PLEASE ask your students to share how their letters scored out on the rubric for Salutations & Closing and Ideas.

We found a sample letter to help with formatting. You can see that by clicking HERE.

Letter Writing Rubric

Building our Class Culture

We’ve been working a lot on team building and collaborating. We’ve got a wide variety of learners and skills in our class, and we’re definitely going to need to rely on each other to be successful.

To promote that, we’ve been using the Buck Institute for Education’s Collaboration Rubric along with a series of team challenges involving ropes, strings, and even toothpicks. Students are learning how to work with each other effectively.

Today we worked on brainstorming ideas for working agreements on speaking, listening, thinking, and behavior in class. These will be transformed into classroom rules.

We’ve had three brief class meetings so far to hand out compliments, address concerns, and brainstorm ways to work effectively with our classmates. These will be ongoing on an “ad hoc” basis. (Remember what that means, students?) If not, you can look it up by clicking HERE.

Finally, we’re using the ideas of educator Ron Berger to develop an ethic of excellence. We’re learning that just because we’re “done” doesn’t mean we’re finished.

I’d like to share with you a video that we watched in class today about Austin’s butterfly. It’s a true story. It’s an amazing story. And what’s most impressive is how the 2nd graders in the film display what an ethic of excellence means: revision, hard work, perseverance, patience, accepting feedback, reflecting, accepting that we can always do better.

Please take 6 minutes and 30 seconds to be inspired by Ron Berger and the 2nd graders in this film.