August 10, 2011

Star Students

I've always loved the idea of star students and student of the week, but I never really had the time to fit it all in.

As I was preparing for my observation (which was in the middle of June with 5th graders days away from graduating), I needed a quick, simple bulletin board that could manage itself.

Here's what I came up with:
I took one of our math writing assignments that received a 4 (which is considered above grade level)--the student went above and beyond with this work. I was so amazed--she clearly explained her thought process, wrote a rule, created her own problem, used appropriate math vocabulary, and explained the problem solving strategy she used. It was one of those papers where you saw exactly what you taught- a true 'I love my job' moment!

The student work had the assignment, rubric, and my thoughtful comments with positives and next steps. Under the work, I posted an invitation for other students to view the work and make their positive comments. (Those are the other post-its under the work.)

During the morning meeting, I talked about the work on the board and I made the child 'famous' (I made a really BIG deal out of this!) During morning routines I gave the other students an opportunity to check out the work and make comments. (We also discussed how to write comments to others about their work in the beginning of the year.)

The board was a delightful way to add to our classroom community--the students loved giving the compliments  (in the process they saw exactly what I was looking for when I graded their work) and the star student, well, she felt like a star!


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