Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Building Student Success

Students need to set and achieve goals to build a sense of confidence, which leads to a willingness to try something else, which in turn begins a cycle that leads to higher levels of success. Success leads to success, and the achievements of small goals are building blocks to larger goals.
One of my former graduate students gave each student a file folder.  Each of the four panels represented a nine-week period.  At the beginning of the nine weeks, she talked about her goals for the class during that grading period, which included items such as, helping each student do his/her best, giving students opportunities to redo their work to be successful, and helping students to increase their learning (measured either by grades or scores on diagnostic learning tests).  Then, students listed their goals, with assistance from her. They could decorate their panel, illustrating success.  It was a visual reminder through the period reminding students of their goals.  Then, at the end of the nine weeks, they celebrated progress--even small steps.  Her students began to see their individual accomplishments, which built their confidence. 

You can use folders, vision posters, victory lists, Evernote, or any method you choose.  It’s also important to choose the time period that will work best for your students; sometimes you may need to start with one day or week at a time! 

Try it, and let me know how it works!!

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