Do you agree with giving students scales with standards on them?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mr.Literature, Jul 12, 2018.


Do you like to give your kids the scale with standard, and levels of understanding?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  1. Mr.Literature

    Mr.Literature Companion

    Jul 31, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Jul 12, 2018

    My district is big on giving students physical copies of the standard, with a scale, and a break down of each level. I will say that I have seen some teachers do genuinely cool things with these scales and have had kids put them into their interactive notebooks. However, I don’t enjoy using these scales. I put my learning goals up on my whiteboard because we are supposed to. But I don’t ever say, “Hey, look over there! That’s what we are learning today!”
    I had a conversation with someone the other day about these. Again, I’m cool with everyone’s choice. But for me, I rather not spend time having kids look at a scale that they can barely understand and bore them. I rather just get to the engaging lesson. To each his own, but I’m curious to other opinions on having so much focus on these scales and goals. I’m also curious if other districts do this type of thing.
  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

    Sep 16, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Jul 12, 2018

    I think it depends on the age and grade as it being an acceptable practice. I can see how it is helpful for some students. It can help those who struggle to see the main idea of the lesson understand the purpose of the lesson. Some kids really struggle with this and will learn all of the superficial details but never get the big picture even though you do present the "whole" to them in your lesson. It helps those students see what is important.

    Of course, this is a choice of presentation, but I do see it as something that has merit.
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
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    Jul 12, 2018

    Sometimes, but usually not. I find that motivation is so key in the classroom. Little happens without inspiring the students. Relating the material into language that is highly engaging so students can connect with it often is beneficial right away. If you lose the students and bore them to death, you lose the battle. I often find that bringing them to the standard and levels of understanding might have to wait until later in the lesson.

    I do realize I have a P that might require some things I must do. I try to do those while still doing what is most beneficial to students. Not always an easy dance, but one I have gotten use to each year.
  5. rpan

    rpan Cohort

    Mar 19, 2017
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    Jul 12, 2018

    I don’t have a scale per say but I do write the goals for the lesson at the start of the lesson and at the end of the lesson the students do a self reflection to see if they have met the goals of the lesson and this helps make the learning visible.
    If students can visibly see where they stand, then they have the opportunity to ask us for help to bridge the gap, or not.
  6. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

    Nov 20, 2012
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    Jul 12, 2018

    Our scales that we use as professionals? Usually not, except perhaps in late middle/high school.

    But students should have a very clear understanding of what entails a '4', '3', '2', and '1' (or A/B/C/D/F, or whatever system you use), in their own language. The more we can empower them with kid-friendly language of that, the more they'll be empowered with the opportunity to achieve what we expect of them.
    rpan, Ima Teacher and bella84 like this.
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Phenom

    Jun 27, 2014
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    Jul 12, 2018

    I just work up from a nap and when I read the title of this thread I thought it said, “Do you agree with giving students snails and bandaids on them?” I was like, wait what? But then I reread it and felt really stupid...
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Jul 12, 2018

    I haven't heard of putting a scale up, but every district I've worked in has required learning targets and something like a "criteria for success." The criteria in the schools I've worked in has just been what students need to do in order to master that lesson, not something specific as what earns a number or letter grade.

    In my first two districts, they would come around during walkthroughs and ask kids what the learning target and criteria for success was, and this left a really bad taste in my mouth about the use of targets and criteria. It got to the point where I felt like I was wasting half of the lesson making sure kids could spit out the target and criteria, and of course they never asked the kids who knew- they'd purposely pick the kids with disabilities who spent lots of time in pull outs or the kids who spoke very little English (when I taught gen ed). I would go over the target, remind kids for the one millionth time where it was posted on the board, have the kids recite the target together, have the kids tell the target to their partner, recite it again, and then call on a random student to state the target. Half the time the random student wouldn't know and we'd start the whole thing over again. Definitely a huge waste of time.

    So far, my current district hasn't done the thing where they ask the kids what it is, and I now feel much better about the target and criteria. I feel like it helps me plan better because it helps me stay more focused on what the target really is; I have to make sure everything connects back to the learning target. I also feel that it grounds the learning for the students and helps them understand the big picture, like a pp was saying.
    nstructor likes this.
  9. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

    Oct 25, 2014
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    Jul 13, 2018

    My district has been pushing scales for the past couple years -- this coming year we actually have them premade for each unit in our GVC, which is what we've been asking for for the past two years and they kept saying no. Thankfully there was a cadre this past year that built scales for all our new curriculum, which is amazing. All we have to do is rewrite it in kid-friendly language (which is still infinitely easier than building the scale from the standards!) They also changed how we were doing them from two years ago to last year, so I'm not sure how long this will last to be honest.

    This year, we are expected to post scales for math and reading, and then we will gradually have more, but those are the main two subjects anyone pays attention to anyway. It's sad, but the higher-ups (and most teachers, for that matter) don't seem to actually care much about science or social studies.

    Since I'll be teaching 1st grade, I most likely won't give students their own copy or give them the actual standards, but I will have the scale posted in kid-friendly language somewhere in the room, and a way for students to see and gauge what level they're at for a particular skill.
  10. Melani Glover

    Melani Glover Rookie

    Jul 17, 2018
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    Jul 18, 2018

    I think having a scale is beneficial, it is definitely motivating and inspiring, helping students state their learning goals and compare it with outcomes.

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