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Sunday / August 9

Helping Students Learn How to Monitor Their Own Progress

From the series: Developing Students’ Ownership of Learning—from a Distance, too!

Check out Post #1 here.

This week we’re back and ready to focus on a new aspect of developing assessment-capable, visible learners. As you probably remember, we’re interested in helping students take responsibility for their learning  so they can become their own teachers. We started by explaining how to help students think about what learning means, understand what they are learning, and identify when they have learned it. Those are important starts, but they only represent the very beginning of the journey to developing assessment-capable, visible learners. The next step focuses on helping students monitor their progress.

The Power of Student Self-Assessment

It is likely that you have all kinds of systems in place for students to help them monitor their progress. And it’s likely those systems have been compromised as we moved to distance learning within the context of the COVID19 pandemic. At this critical point in time, let’s not forget about the power of helping students monitor their learning. We need to help them develop the skills they need to determine how large the gap is between where they are now and what they need to know (learning intentions). Success criteria communicate to students the final destination. But how will students know the stopping points along the way? In other words, how will they know if they are on the right path toward proficiency?

Lessons for Developing Self-Assessment

Self-assessment tools can be very useful in helping students monitor their progress. In addition, self-assessment tools provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their learning—building some metacognitive skills in the process. It may be that you want to add a self-assessment tool for each chunk of learning that students need to do. They could even use these tools as checklists as their learning progresses.

In these lessons, you’ll find tools that will help students self-assess so they can monitor their progress. Here are Lessons for Grades 6-12: Teacher Pages and Learner Pages and Lessons for Grades 3-5: Teacher Pages and Learner Pages.

Looking Ahead

What is the difference between a complex task and a difficult task? And how do we find a happy medium between student work that is either way too hard or just too boring?  In our next post in this series, we’ll answer these questions as we explore the important question of how to help students accept the challenge of learning.

Written by

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is Professor of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an IRA Celebrate Literacy Award, NCTE’s Farmer Award for Excellence in Writing, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. He is also the author of PLC+, The PLC+ Playbook, This is Balanced Literacy, The Teacher Clarity Playbook, Grades K-12, Teaching Literacy in the Visible Learning Classroom for Grades K-5 and 6-12, Visible Learning for Mathematics, Grades K-12The Teacher Credibility and Collective Efficacy Playbook and several other Corwin books.  Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is Professor of Literacy in the Department of Educational Leadership at San Diego State University. The recipient of the 2008 Early Career Achievement Award from the National Reading Conference, she is also a teacher-leader at Health Sciences High & Middle College and a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California. She has been a prominent Corwin author, publishing numerous books including PLC+The PLC+ PlaybookThis is Balanced LiteracyThe Teacher Clarity Playbook, Grades K-12Engagement by DesignRigorous Reading, Texas EditionThe Teacher Credibility and Collective Efficacy Playbookand many more.  To view Doug and Nancy’s books and services, please visit Fisher and Frey Professional Learning. 

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