In my last blog, I talked about MClass (which measures fluency, accuracy, and retell) and how hectic the week of assessments was. At my school, we are very careful what to tell the students because we don’t want to hurt any feelings. I decided to try a new approach this year.
Instead of walking on eggshells about how the students did on their assessments, I thought I would individually discuss the scores with each student. I called them up one at a time, explained what each section meant and told them the 4th grade goal and where they were at the beginning of the year. To my surprise, a few of them already knew.
The week before this was progress report day. In the envelope with progress reports, I sent home a detailed page explaining what each of the assessments were, how the child was doing compared to grade level, and activities that could be done at home to help with their deficits. This was another attempt of mine to get parents more involved in their child’s education, and it seemed to have an effect!
One child sat down with me and I started reading her each of her scores. I began by asking her if she knew what fluency meant and she said, “yes, it is how fast and smooth you read. I know that I got a 72 in that and the I should be at a 90. My mom told me.”
Wow. I could’ve jumped for joy at that very moment. Not only did her mom read the scores, but she understood what they meant AND talked to her child about them! I asked the child if they have been working on the strategies at home at all. She replied by telling me they haven’t yet, but her mom makes her read more at home now to get that score up. It’s a starting point.
One by one I called students up. They were more inquisitive than I could’ve imagined. I got comments like, “wow I can do better than that,” or “I need to bring that score up.” Twenty-four students and not one student began to cry or even remotely got upset about their scores. In fact, each child made their own goal of one area they wanted to improve. They wrote in on a post-it note and placed it on our “Reader’s Goal” chart. I told students that as soon as they reached that goal, we were calling their parents together and telling them about their accomplishment, and then making a new goal.
They were so excited and that day during stamina reading, I saw students using different strategies that we talked about.
One of my favorite conferences occurred when I met with a student significantly above grade level in each category. I told her this and asked her if she still thought she needed a goal. I knew what her answer should be, but I was curious if she would reach the same conclusion. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, “of course I need a goal Miss Haley. I got where I am by wanting to get better. I can always get better.”
Now I can’t say I have seen huge results since I just started this idea of talking to students about their assessments, but I am optimistic about it. We are strong advocates of a growth mindset in our school and classroom, and it showed going over this data. No one had a meltdown or acted ashamed of their scores. They all genuinely were interested and loved setting goals and the idea of calling parents during school to tell them when they reach theirs.
I am hoping this adds motivation for the students to want to get better and continues helping to reach my goal of having more parent interaction.