Many times when teachers are instructing the students are unaware of what the learning goal is. Our target was to support students in setting their own learning goals and gain knowledge of how monitor themselves as they progress.
We wanted to make sure that we were not only teaching them how to set their own learning goals, but also how to assess themselves. This could be achieved by sitting down with the students during one-on-one student-teacher conferences.
All of our collective research pointed to the same belief that students feel a greater sense of ownership when they set their own learning goals and are a part of the assessment process. However, an interesting opinion was shared during a conversation with a parent who was interviewed during our research. She stated that she believed that students would have a difficult time with self-assessment because they would not feel comfortable rating themselves poorly.
To begin the intervention students had to define their individual goals. They needed to identify where they would work on their goals, who would help them reach their goals, when they would achieve their goals, why their goal was important to them and how they will reach their goals. During the weekly meetings students would be expected to provide evidence and reflect on their growth. At the end of the intervention they were guided in reviewing their data and determining where they were in terms of their goal.
Each student began the intervention by completing a goal organizer. We were focusing on three students from high, medium and low academic levels. We referred to these students as “Ms. High”, “Ms. Medium”, and “Mr. Low”. We’ll begin by sharing Ms. High’s data starting with her goal organizer.
Ms. High and the teacher worked on revising her plan on how she would meet her goal, as she had stated in her organizer that she would record a connection or a prediction on a sticky note on every page. With teacher guidance she decided that that might be an unrealistic goal and changed that to one per chapter.
This is an example of the work that she was completing the first week of the intervention. As you can see she was writing more than the main idea on the sticky note. Therefore, she was having a difficult time journaling about it because she’d already written so much on a sticky note.
Teacher worked with Ms. High to develop a rubric to assess her journal entries. The audio in this slide is from a part of the student-teacher conference during the creation of the rubric. Student is expressing that she a good journal entry should be based on one short sticky note that she writes on during her reading.
As you can see, after she began using the rubric to self-assess she was able to write short thoughts on the sticky note while reading and expand upon them later in her journal.
During the creation of Ms. Medium’s goal, the teacher asked her to define fluency. This helped both the teacher and the student to clarify the intent of the goal.
The teacher supported Ms. Medium in defining what she needed in order to reach her goal. A “good fit book” is what this classroom calls a book that is at each student’s individual reading level. It is not too challenging, but not too easy. This level is determined by the DRA reading assessment.
Mr. Low is reading at a 1.5 reading level. He expressed that he often only reads fantasy fiction and realistic fiction and he would like to have more experience with nonfiction texts. He said that this goal was important to him because it would “help him read better”.
This graph shows the variety of genres from he read. Although it hard to see, the darker boxes indicate books he had read before the intervention (two fantasy books and six realistic fiction books). The lighter boxes show books he read during the course of the intervention.
This slide shows a table of the progress and growth that was made over the course of the intervention of one month. Before the intervention Mr. Low had read from two genres that trimester, during the intervention he increased that total to eight. Before the intervention Ms. Medium read a passage from a book at second grade level in four minutes and sixteen seconds. At the end of the intervention she could read that same passage in three minutes and twenty seconds. Before the intervention Ms. High made short and infrequent connections while she read, making it challenging to complete quality reading journal entries. At the end of the intervention, using her rubric, she was able to make thoughtful responses to her book.
Because each of the goals was unique the method of assessment was different for each student. It was very easy to assess Mr. Low and Ms. Medium because the assessment was factual (Mr. Low read more genres that were charted, and Ms. Medium read the same passage at a faster rate). However, Ms. High’s assessment was based more heavily on student-voice.
Based on our research we came to conclusion that goal setting is a positive cycle of setting an academic goal, assessing oneself, and determining a new goal. Moving forward these students could use their self-assessment to set new learning goals. For example, Ms. Medium increased her reading rate, but realized after listening to a recording of herself that she was skipping punctuation. She expressed that this was something that she would need to concentrate on in the future, therefore she had already set her next goal.
Specific Learning Goals in Literacy Grades K-2 Classroom Inquiry Project ECU 531 Spring 2010 Meghan Miller and Kathy Ramich
Mr. Low Ms. Medium Ms. High Before Had read from 2 genres. Passage Rate: 4:16 Short, infrequent connections while reading After Expanded to a total of 8 genres. Passage Rate: 3:20 Thoughtful written responses relating to the book.
Chappuis, J. (2005). Helping students understand assessment. Educational Leadership, 63, no 3, 39 – 43. Retrieved on March 3, 2009.
Field, S., Martin, J., Miller, R., Ward., & Wehmeyer, M. (1998). A practical guide for teaching self-determination. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children
Hom, H.L., Jr., and Murphy, M.D. (1983). Low achiever's performance: The positive impact of a self-directed goal. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11 , 275-285.
Stiggins, R., Chappuis, J. (2005). Using student –involved classroom assessment to close achievement gaps. Theory Into Practice, Winter. Retrieved on March 3, 2009.
Schunk, D.H. (2003). Self-efficacy for reading and writing: Influence of modeling, goal setting, and self-evaluation. Reading and Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties, 19(2), 159-172.
Rubric 1- Broke a tooth on it. 2- Piece of Candy. 3- Candy Bar. 4- Candy Store. Explanation of the candidate’s academic inquiry. Vague outline of academic inquiry. Sketchy explanation of academic inquiry. Complete explanation of academic inquiry. Informative and thoughtful explanation of academic inquiry. /5 Results of the candidate’s academic inquiry. Didn’t have any examples. Didn’t have ample examples. Data evidence of student growth over time. Specific data evidence of student growth over time relating to academic inquiry process (research was relevant to student results. /5 Impact on K-12 student learning. It was all about you and not the students. Unclear explanation of impact on student learning. Explains impact on student learning. Shows and explains impact on student learning (in the classroom). /5 Engaging and timely presentation. The presentation was way too long and not informative. The presentation was informative. The presentation was compelling and informative. The presentation was in the moment, compelling and informative. /5 Total /20