Meet Kim who teaches Reading and Special Education to student learning English as a Multiple language in the South Bronx, New York City.
Kim describes her use of a wall chart and post it notes to monitor progress toward writing goals and project completion.
I use the chart daily to motivate students to make progress on their essays. Since I work with students who have special needs, they require a lot of scaffolding and often writing essays is an overwhelming task for them. I break the essay down into manageable chunks and steps represented by columns in the chart. As a student completes a stage of the writing process they move a post-it with their name on it to the next step or stage of the essay. This helps students to feel a sense of accomplishment because the essay is broken down into separate parts they can achieve in a shorter amount of time, rather than assigning the whole essay as one task.
Additionally, students are motivated when they see their name (post-it) move across the chart. They treat it like a race and want to get to the finish line. Seeing other students in their own class, as well as students from other classes (represented by different color post-its) move ahead, encourages individual students to do the same. The students end up celebrating each other’s’ accomplishments as well, often clapping or congratulating students who finish early or on time. I have also witnessed students help each other more because they want their friends and classmates to succeed, so they work with each other to help them finish their essays. Students have begun working much more independently too, which allows me to circulate and conference with more students one-on-one as needed. This allows me to give meaningful feedback to all students.
Finally, since peer reviews and editing are steps built into the chart, when I give feedback and ask students to revise their essays, they are more willing to do so. Rather than resist or complain, they see it as just another step or stage they need to go through before their essay is complete. They actually incorporate the feedback they are given because they know they will not be able to move to the next step until they make the revisions. I have seen great progress with this chart. For the first time I had 100% completion for an assignment! Every single student completed their Explanatory Essay. We are working on our second essay and more than half are already finished!
Here is an additional example of a chart to support behavior monitoring.