Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Responsive Teaching

Nowadays there is more pressure than ever to be a responsive teacher. This means that, as kids are learning, teachers are in tune with what their student’s understand and can demonstrate mastery of and what they still need to practice. Gone are the days of spending 4 weeks on a unit and moving on to the next one, regardless of student success. As teachers, we truly are responsible for ensuring that all kids are making growth and are responding positively to our instruction and teaching.

As a specialist in the building, I too am met with the challenge of collecting information or data about students’ learning and responding to the results. And this is done through a process called progress monitoring. In this process, students are asked to complete small tasks every couple of weeks. These tasks relate specifically to the skills being taught in the small group. For example, if a student is working on addition math facts then he would complete a progress monitoring task every two weeks asking him to complete addition math facts. I then use this data to help me decide if my instruction is working, which is shown through positive growth on progress monitoring tasks. And then, it is up to me to respond appropriately. If all of the students in the group are making growth, I would stay the course and continue with what is working. For students who aren’t showing growth, it might be appropriate to change the skill being taught, the amount of time spent on a skill and/or how the skill is being taught.

It is amazing to see how students react to this information as well. Each progress monitoring round, students are eager to see if they can “beat their last score.” They work really hard to do better than the last time in order to prove to me and their teacher that their learning has grown. And when a student’s score goes down, it is a great chance to reflect on the reasons why and problem solve to address the lack of growth.

Overall, responsive teaching through progress monitoring is a simple method that typically produces high rates of learning for all students.
+3 Correct on February 24th
+8 Correct on March 15th

+11 Correct on April 5th! Yay...she is making great growth!!!

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