Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Conversations - Student Growth!

     What a great day Thursday! I don't know how often you can say that about a day as an educator where you had a WHOLE day meeting about RtI, but through our discussions I'm hopeful that we will bring authenticity to the whole data analysis thing and our problem solving process.

Imagine a Day     It makes me think about the book Imagine a Day by Sarah L. Thomson. The description reads..."Imagine a day when your swing swings you higher than the highest treetops. Imagine a day when you can ride your bike up a path of falling leaves into the very tree they are falling from. Imagine a day when you release a handful of blue balloons into a cloudy, gray sky to create a postcard-perfect day. Imagine a day when the ordinary becomes the extraordinary...a day when anything is possible." This is what we do for kids when we collaborate and keep them at the forefront of our conversations! Anything is possible - imagine a day like that!

     As a team we talked about how we want to bring more formative assessment data to these meetings. And I loved it that some of us stopped the meeting and said, "Wait, what does that look like?" I'm so glad we clarified this. We talked about how it means we want to bring authentic student work (or analysis of it) to the table. It's by looking at this work and our conversations with students through our conferring that we will impact student growth scores. If we really want to see student growth, we need to focus on these specific reading, writing, and mathematical behaviors that we identify along with the students to move them forward, not merely selecting a goal from the list of skills generated from a writ score from a MAP test. Do we use that to help guide our instruction and narrow our goal? Yes. But is that a "goal" for a student. No. There's so much more to setting goals. I guess I'm excited that the goal setting we do with students in the classroom, as my dear friend Ann Marie Corgill talks about "Growing Readers..." and "Growing Writers...", will now become part of our core conversations in these meetings. That's how we'll see student growth - just imagine!

1 comment:

  1. We talk a lot about the 'behaviors' we want to see at school, & I think that's what you are describing, too, Jennifer. I love the way you wrote it & connecting with that picture book. I know that book & have forgotten about it, so thanks for that too. Sounds like a very good start for you! Lovely to hear.