One of my favorite sayings is "Goals without a plans are just wishes." To achieve any goal, you need a plan, and all good plans have way points. Think of a diet or exercise program. If you don't weigh in every so often, how will you know it's working? You won't. How will you know if you need to adjust your plan? You won't.
Marzano's second element is to track student progress. The concept is the same as with dieting. If your students don't monitor their progress, how will they know if they are learning properly? They won't. As importantly, how will you know if your teaching strategies and methods are being successful? You wont. The more frequently you monitor and track the success of your instruction, the quicker and better you'll be able to adjust to meed the needs of your learners.
In my classroom, I monitor and track student learning very frequently in both formal and informal ways. Informally, I ask a lot of questions or have my students quiz each other verbally. Listening to their responses gives me an idea of what misconceptions I need to address on the spot. The Learning Logs my students keep daily tracks their progress (or , at least perceived progress) more formally. The real measure of their learning, though, is how they do on assessments. Students record and graph their personal progress in the "Data Section" of their Social Studies binder, and class-wide progress is graphed and posted in my classroom as well.
This element is heavily built in to both the pre and post level of understanding rating in my Interactive Notes resources and in the unit overview days and each individual day in my Complete Units and Assessments resources. Click the links below to check them out, and don't forget to follow this blog, and my store for more great Social Studies teaching ideas and resources!
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I'm an 18 year veteran teacher that loves teaching, coaching, writing, and my family.