Oh My! More Ideas About Goals, Rubrics, and Groups

Here at Chartchums we are excited once again to have a guest blogger. This week we will hear from Bianca Adamo Lavey, a staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, who works with the teachers at Holbrook Elementary School in Long Island, New York. She and the second grade teachers had been doing a lot of work this year on developing children’s independence and were inspired by last week’s blog to make this work not only visual, but also interactive. What follows is her description of what the teachers thought and did as they continued this pursuit.

I am so excited to share how teachers at Holbrook Road School were inspired by the idea of goal setting and rubrics written about in the Chartchums blog post, Goals, Rubrics, and Bears…Oh My! posted last week. It struck a cord because they too had been thinking about ways to help their students reflect, self-assess and set goals, but weren’t quite sure how best to go about it. The charts and rubrics shared by the teachers at PS 277 and PS 109 were just the thing to get all of us thinking and talking about how we might create some versions that would work with our kids. The second grade teachers, along with the help of reading teachers, Jen DeHayes and Jen Groen, got together and began to articulate their wishes and wants for the students under their care.

One big goal the teachers had this year was getting the kids to make the best use of partnership time and seeing this time not just as a place to give your ideas, but as a place to get and grow ideas. The teacher in this classroom, Julie Kelly, outlined some of the big goals her class has accomplished so far this year and then explicitly told kids what she’s noticed as possible next steps. Readers first reflected on what partnership time was like for them, asking themselves what they felt like they were doing well and what they felt like they could work on, looking to the goals chart for help. Partners also provided some feedback to each other and many kids decided to set partnership goals for them to work on together, rather than set different individual goals. Then her teaching assistant, Arlene Leporati, helped organize this information on a chart so it was clear and easily accessible.

Julie then looked to the chart as a way to form some small groups. She realized that although many of the readers in her class were quite aware about what things they needed to work on, they probably didn’t know exactly how to work on them. The strategy card above was given to the readers who wanted to work on “keeping the conversation going” during partnership time. Before partnership time they reflected on which of these strategies they had used in the past and made a plan for which ones they wanted to try today. During partnership time, they took the card out and referred back to it for tips.

Another goal the 2nd grade teachers had centered around getting kids to think in more sophisticated ways about their books and to show these thoughts with their jottings on sticky notes. So, we decided to look to what kids were thinking and jotting, create a rubric designed to help the kids work in more sophisticated ways, and then have kids look to their sticky notes to reflect and set goals. You’ll see from this chart that it is designed in a way to make it easy for the kids to think about where they are on the rubric. It also makes it easy for the kids to learn ways to move up to the next level. Once they match up their post it to the one on the chart, they can look to the next level and read the strategies listed to learn how to deepen their thinking and even set new goals. I feel honored to share what these awesome, thoughtful teachers are doing to create such reflective, involved students.

And we are honored to hear from all of the teachers out there who are doing so much to make teaching matter. We are also thinking about how the above ideas can easily be applied to other subject areas where children talk with partners and create goals for themselves like, math, social studies, gym, art, music, science . . . the list is endless. 

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Charting!

Kristine Mraz and Marjorie Martinelli

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12 Comments on “Oh My! More Ideas About Goals, Rubrics, and Groups”

  1. Intersti g post but the visuals are not showing up?

    • chartchums says:

      Yes, we have fixed that minor technical glitch. We are wondering if the charts you imagined in your mind fit with the charts made by these teachers?

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I like the partnership goals. I’m wondering how the goals were developed? Were these brainstormed with the children or did the teachers pose these as possible goals and then revise them with students? Just curious. Sometimes kids don’t have a clue as to what is an appropriate goal to work on and I’m always looking for more effective ways to help them do this.

    • Jennifer DeHayes says:

      Hi Elisa,
      My name is Jenn DeHayes. I worked on these particular charts and rubrics. We had a conference day at school with Bianca. We were brainstorming what we thought the children should be able to do. We started with the exemplars and then worked our way backwards. Sometimes it is easier to think that way. So it was teacher generated for the rubric. We had a goal in mind for the partnership goals. We went into the lesson with that goal in mind. Then the rest was student generated. Some children selected appropriate goals, where some children were “guided” to what would work best for them. Thanks for sharing!!
      I am excited to be a part of chart chums!! ~ have fun teaching…jenn

      • chartchums says:

        Thanks Jenn for letting us all into your thought process that led to your clear charts.

      • Jennifer DeHayes says:

        No problem! I love the idea that we can blogg about our learning!! Jenn

      • Hi Jenn,
        Thanks for describing your process. It makes sense that you went into this with some ideas of what you wanted the goal to be in case the children aren’t able to generate these on their own. Did you have any surprises in terms of the children coming up with an appropriate goal, albeit different from what you had in mind? If so, how did you deal with that?

      • Jennifer DeHayes says:

        Hi Elisa… we did!! We had two children with unrealistic goals… we guided those children to make appropriate goals that is all. They children were great about it…and also understood. One child aimed too high…and the other child aimed way too low… so we had extremes there… but it did work out.. Thanks for asking… jenn

    • chartchums says:

      Goals are often developed based on teacher and student conversations. We agree that on their own, kids may not know how to develop goals or be able to put them into language that is understandable and do-able. This is definitely a topic to explore further this school year.

      • Any ideas for how you are going to explore this topic further next school year? Just curious. I’m hoping to do the same and would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

      • Jennifer DeHayes says:

        As a reading teacher I will support the teachers in this process. I will go in and observe the first couple of lessons if the teacher wants…and then I can give support. I loved the idea of the cheat sheet…post card with partner prompts… I know the teachers will start off the year with that one and the goal setting… setting this up in September will certainly help during the school year. It is important to lay down that solid foundation…especially in partnership work!!
        Best of Luck! Keep me posted and I will to you too!!
        Jenn

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