In central Ohio there is a common language circulating among districts: The "I Can" Statement. I can statements are being added to course of study guides, classroom walls, and student work spaces. "I can get ideas for my writing." "I can write a story with a beginning, middle and end." "I can use periods at the end of my sentences." I can understand the thinking behind these statements. However, statements like these can lose their authenticity when they are prescribed by a course of study. Statements like these can lose their power when students are not the ones making them, but they are being posted on walls. Statements like these become overwhelming when they are written for every teeny tiny skill written in indicators, but not focused on bigger ideas of conceptual learning.
I can understand the thinking behind these statements. There is power in getting students to articulate their goals and work toward them. There is power in helping students to build an understanding of ideas in all subject areas. There is power in student ownership. In our classroom community, I find self-reflection, self-assessment, and goal setting to be a powerful way to shift learners. In our classroom talking about your strengths, your challenges, and setting your own goals is a part our learning across content areas.
Today at the 2010 Dublin Literacy Conference, Deb Frazier and I talked about the way we use self-assessment in our classroom to help our students have ownership in their learning. In our classrooms, students reflect on the key understandings we have been learning and write a goal for their learning. This goal shapes the instruction we plan for our whole class focus lessons, our small groups, and individual conferences. In our session, we shared the way we set goals with our students in our classrooms. We also discussed the way we use this information to plan our instruction across our workshops. Through student work samples we demonstrated the power goal setting provides in shifting students. Goal setting not only helps students to find purpose and direction in the work they do, but also gives them ownership of their learning. Thanks to everyone who attended our session.
I have attached a link to the powerpoint and documents we used.
Templates of the reading and writing goal sheets will be added 2/22/10