Monday, November 18, 2013

Stars and Stairs

This weekend I sneaked (or is it snuck?) away from life... this cold that has been hanging on, my piles
of reports, my personal list of emails to send, grocery shopping, cooking, tending to my neglected plants... you get the picture. I left it all behind and headed to the beach to celebrate a friends birthday.

While I was away from work, I still managed to bring along some educational journals to read. I know, I know. You are saying to yourself "Ms. Rorey, really, on the weekend?" But yes, they bring me joy and I find great teaching ideas like this one, Stars and Stairs, I am going to use in class just this week.

Stars and Stairs is a strategy to give feedback to students. It can be used in any subject and I am going to start off using it in math. This year my school has decided to send home math tests so that parents can get an idea of their performance in class. As a grade we have decided to incorporate this into our homework routine by having students reflect on their test with their parents, but I worried about whether this activity was positive and beneficial. Are students feeling good about their successes? Are parents only looking at the wrong answers? Can students find on their own the concepts they need to work on? My worries are still there, but now I have a tool for guiding the process.

Stars and Stairs is a way for me to give students an idea of things they are doing well and where they need to grow. Read more about it here. If you are a parent in my classroom, be sure to leave some feedback for me on how the new routine has worked for you.


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