Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Rubrics and My Anchor Chart Must-Haves

The Growth Mindset is starting to make an impact in education.  Carol Dweck explains Growth Mindset,
 In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities. Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the worlds of business, education, and sports. It enhances relationships. When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.
In my mind this directly relates to rubrics being created and shared with students.  If you know what is expected of you, and you know what it takes to go beyond, you can set goals to get their.  I remember when I went to school, I was handed an assignment and told to read a section of the textbook.  I didn't really know what I was working on other than what the teacher told me to do it.  I would turn in my work and hope for the best.  I had no control.  It either worked in my favor or it didn't.

In my own job, I like to know what I'm being evaluated on and I like to know how to accomplish it.  I want to give my students that opportunity as well.  I want them to see that their education is their own and what they make of it goes with them wherever they are.

When a rubric becomes a part of your classroom your discussions change.  The students really understand the standards and why they are learning them.  It creates a culture of learning that is different than before.  I really focus on the growth students are making rather than their level on the rubric.  

My must-haves for anchor charts:

1. Essential question that is standards-based:  I like to create a culture of thought.  What better way than to ask a question at the beginning of the lesson?  This isn't a question that can be answered in one word. You will note that my essential questions are quite different than the reading textbooks questions.  That's because I focus on standards, not themes.   To read more about essential questions, look here:  Essential Questions &/or What is an Essential Question?
2. Rubric with several levels: To create growth, we must show the different levels of learning.  I try to make them kid-friendly statements.  They are discussed again and again.  I also show work at each level.  At the beginning of a lesson, the students goal set with a neighbor telling how they are going to meet that goal.  At the end of a lesson, they self-assess and share how they know.  

3. Steps, Tips and/or Language Stems for figuring out the standard: I want to go beyond what they're learning and teach them steps for getting there.  My students USE the charts.  During a unit of learning, my students get up randomly and walk to a chart and reread it.  Usually there is a "Oh, now I get it!" moment.

I have definitely gone through transformations with my anchor charts.  And there are times where I leave off one of my must-haves but it is usually for a reason.  During a unit, I may make a separate rubric chart to hang and then focus on different aspects on the anchor charts.  
Here is an older anchor chart.  I didn't share an essential question or rubric.  My, my, my, times have changed BUT I feel like I give my students more opportunities to be successful.  I love that as a class we focus on our growth and we know WE CAN LEARN ANYTHING!

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