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Friday, July 20, 2012

S is for Stoplights

There are some FABULOUS stoplight behavior plans out there.

Proof is in any random google search.

There is also a WONDERFUL stoplight writing format that I used last year from Mrs. Prince.

Stop light paragraphs

Thanks to Marzano and our district's teacher evaluation model, I came up with a stoplight inspired system to check for student understanding. As teachers, we know what each of our students need to work on. However, we need to make sure the students are responsible for their understanding, too.

My principal was observed (to be certified) on her understanding of the evaluation model while she was in my class (by a "person" from the "official" company). After my lesson, we had to do a mock follow up conference to discuss my mock evaluation. An area I needed to work on was "how I know that the students know that they know." Yeah, it took me a while to wrap my brain around that comment from the "person".

I whipped out my trusty stoplight chart I formally used to monitor classroom noise level.

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I created some cards for each student to use during/after lessons.

Graphic representation =)
I wrote a parent letter.

And I made it into a packet you can use.

Click picture to go to TPT
Students use a crayon to put a smallish dot by their name on papers. They do this before they turn in any work or tests. When I grade the work/tests, I compare the grade to the dot.

100% and a red dot? That student needs some reassurance!

0% and a green dot? Yeah, that student needs a chat...

We also do it on our reading centers to-do lists so I can have a quick look at the students week on Friday.

                   See that "Dot" column? ^
I have found that it truly makes the students stop and think. I was worried they would always use green, but they actually wanted to be honest. They weren't embarrassed by putting red dots because we had a discussion on how we are all good at different things. We talked about how it helps us to be better learners. These dots have lead to some empowering conversations for my little darlings and some meaningful teaching for me.

So, thank you Mr. Marzano. (I guess...)  =)

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  1. I like the stop light method. I might need to try this this year.

    Last year I used a 4, 3, 2, 1 method. 4 I completely understand and can teach it to others, 3 I have a pretty good understanding but might need a little bit of practice, 3 I am confused and need some help, and 1 I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

  2. I really like this stoplight method. I have never used a formal checking system classwide. I have used a similar system with small groups of my class using numbers based on how much they understand. It makes senses to use it with everyone.

    Apples and Papers