Dr. Lee Jenkins, author of Permission to Forget, believes that the problem with America's educational system is that we allow students permission to forget material that they have learned in previous years. We spend too much time reviewing concepts already taught and not enough time with the standards for the current year. His model has a teacher "quiz" (not for a grade) his/her students weekly on all the standards for the current grade as well as major concepts and skills from previous grade levels. At the start of the year, students are expected to know few questions and the histogram resembles the letter L. If all goes according to plan and implementation is done correctly, the histogram at the end of the year will resemble the letter J because few students should have low scores and several students should have high scores.
Individual student scores are added up for a class total and their totals are graphed each week by the students and the teacher. Bar graphs, line charts, and histograms are used every week to show growth as the year continues. We take our quizzes the traditional method, paper/pencil, that way my students will have at least 200 questions they can use to prepare themselves for the CRCT in April. Students keep the quizzes and their graphs in a section of their binder. Periodically, a binder check is done to keep students accountable for participating in the L to J activities and tracking their progress.
If a class total is their ATB (all time best), we celebrate! A child is chosen randomly to roll a 24 sided die. We have a chart in our room with 24 different celebrations. When the child rolls, which ever number comes up - that determines how we celebrate. Some example of our celebrations are:
Various teachers/administrators performing the "Tooty Tah" dance (oh so embarassing for them and the kids love it)
Everyone dances to the "Cha Cha Slide"
"TRL" (total request live) of 3 songs from my ipod in class
Outdoor recess or social time
Children dress me up from a variety of costumes and I stand in the hallway during class change and shout that they received an all time best score
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