>Goal Setting for my Third Graders

>Here is a list of my goals for the rest of the semester:
1. Use student porfolios as a tool for assessing student performance.
2. Involve students in creating rubrics for their performance tasks. Create these rubrics more frequently.
3. Promote inquiry based learning in my instruction.
4. Improve the rate of homework completion in my classroom.

These goals were created yesterday as an assignment piece for one of my PD classes. In order to create these goals, I needed to assess my current teaching practices and analyze my strengths and challenges. It was tough, especially when I had to reflect on what I was lacking. In addition, I also created a plan, as well as a list of things that I propose to use as evidence of my achievement toward these goals.

I’m not sure of how many goals I’ll be able to accomplish by June, but I feel that I’ve accomplished quite a bit by creating them and logging them online. Creating them allowed me to reflect on my current teaching practices and how I can improve.

Today, I set out to tackle goal #2, Invlove Students in Creating Rubrics. During language arts, I asked students to create a paragraph on an animal they found interesting. Before starting the assignment, we had a discussion on what to look for in a paragraph. Students mentioned indentation, capital letters in the right places, punctuation marks, sticking to the topic, and so on. That led to another discussion on how they would grade their own paragraphs using a 4 point scale.

I posted a sheet of chart paper on the white board and wrote down the suggestions that the students provided. The rubric took about 20 minutes to complete, but in the end, I noticed that my students were attentive to the discussion and were participating in coming up with ideas for the scale. One of my students even mentioned how fun it was to create a rubric.

Creating a rubric gave my students an opportunity to be active rather than passive learners. It also gave them more responsibility over their learning, because they created the rating scale used for their performance. It seems that my students took ownership of their learning in this exercise.

I can’t wait to see their completed paragraphs tomorrow!

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