Friday, March 30, 2012

Yes, We Can!

The week's goals are written in "We can..."
statements using student-friendly language.
I teach at a school in Northeast Tennessee and our state was the first to be given one of the "Race to the Top" grants from the federal government. With that, of course, comes the Common Core Standards. Now, we will not be switching over to the common core standards quite yet in the 5th grade, but we are trying to get into the habit of putting our standards in "I can/We can" student-friendly statements. To me this is not much different from posting my Essential Questions on the board from when I worked in a Learning Focused school, but it does take some time to get them all done (especially in a self-contained fifth grade class). I had been writing them on my white board, but I have very limited white board space and I hated giving half of it up for "We can..." statements. I had a bulletin board next to my door that had other information on it that didn't need to be right there so I spent some time over our track break to rearrange/redo my boards and made a goal board.
Vocabulary is highlighted and intentionally
used in instruction
Under each subject I hung a plastic page protector so I can slide the goal sheets in and out (and hopefully preserve the standards statements for next year). Students put "exit ticket" sticky notes on the appropriate spot, put a sticky with a question on it if clarification is needed (similar to the parking lot idea through Responsive Classroom). Have I mentioned how much I love sticky notes??

We've been back a week now and I've been loving it! Before kids would bump up against the board and smudge the goals (or just erase them entirely) and this makes it have a much more prominent feeling in the room and in turn make them have a higher importance.

Until next time!!
Mrs. J

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  1. Love this idea, especially for Vocab. Do you have them copy this down and put into their notebooks/journals?

  2. Would love to see a pic with the stickies/exit tix on it, too. Fantastic idea. I'm in middle TN, 6th grade, and found you on Pinterest!

  3. Hi Carsonish! Yes, we "unpack" our standards (or "I can..." statements now) together and put the vocabulary into their math journals.