Jaclyn DeForge, our Resident Literacy Expert began her career teaching first and second grade in the South Bronx, and went on to become a literacy coach and earn her Masters of Science in Teaching. In this series for teachers, educators, and literacy coaches, Jaclyn discusses different strategies for ensuring students hit end-of-year benchmarks in reading.
These days, the words testing or assessment tend to bring up many conflicting emotions among educators, but determining where your students need to be at the end of the year and how you (the teacher)are going to keep track of individual progress toward each standard is a key part of proactive planning.
With my students, it was really important to me that they feel ownership of their success by being able to clearly see how their actions affected their achievement, so we did a lot of individualized goal setting and consistently measured our progress toward said goals. The result was a classroom full of empowered children who were aware of where they were strong and what they needed to work on, and confident in the knowledge that there was a plan as to how we were going to get there. This transparency in teaching can absolutely yield huge rewards, but it does take some proactive planning.