Tracking Growth follows the progress of students through careful review of results on classwork, homework, quizzes, assessments, and oral response. It is a valuable tool as it is motivating for students to see that they are making progress toward an important learning goal, even if they are not yet performing at the highest level as identified by a rubric. It also helps the teacher diagnose weaknesses, make more strategic decisions about future lessons, and plan time for one-on-one or small group interventions to reinforce skills that need mastery.
- Establish the goals and determine what the students are expected to achieve. Include students in the process as they will be more invested in their education.
- Provide a method for students to keep track of their own progress (Student Self Evaluation Template) and ensure that the steps for reaching the goals are outlined so students have a clear understanding of what will be required of them to meet each goal.
- Allow students to track their own progress on assessments using graphic displays. Provide multiple ways to chart student growth, i.e. color-coded cups, line or bar graphs, and reflection journals.
- Collect student progress information consistently to ensure the accuracy of data.
- Analyze the data and look for trends. Review and reflect on the data. Ask questions such as: “What does this tell me? Did the students perform as expected? Were there any surprises in the results? Have students grown as compared to previous measures?”
- Take strategic action by enacting a flexible plan. Consider the pacing calendar and curriculum to backward plan considering the students’ levels of mastery. What are the strong points that can be built upon? Are there weak points that must be reinforced? How will students be grouped according to their readiness levels? How will instruction be differentiated for each group to attain mastery?
- Repeat the process. Tracking progress is a yearlong process that can be valuable if done with consistency.