Student Friendly Proficiency Scales and Their Use in the Classroom
Student Friendly Proficiency Scale Examples are arriving, with many already in your current Bridge to Curriculum Units! We here in C & I are excited for the opportunities that these scales will offer to you and your students! This attached Student Friendly Scale Overview provides information about how the scale examples were created, as well as shares other examples of how the scales might be customized for your students.
WHY use proficiency scales with students?
Our work during the last two years with Marzano research has helped clarify the reasons why using proficiency scales with students is so impactful. In The New Art and Science of Teaching, Marzano encouraged teachers to ask: “How will I communicate clear learning goals that help students understand the progression of knowledge they are expert to master and where they are along that progression?” (p.6) Proficiency scales are designed to be the answer to that question. And our hope is that using proficiency scales with students will help them in their understanding of their current performance related to the grade level expectations. Students can reflect on their current performance using the 2.0 elements on the student friendly scales.
Student scales also enable students to set goals for their own learning as they work towards mastery of the 3.0 elements on the scale, and beyond. The scales are designed to be interactive, with space for students to either highlight, check off, or provide examples of content they have mastered. Students might also take notes for themselves to provide clarity about their understanding of the learning objectives. They can then record what their next steps will be in order to master the 3.0 elements on the scale.
Research shows us that goal setting with students focuses their attention on the task and learning target. Working towards a goal can stimulate the student’s effort and increase their persistence towards meeting their goal. Having goals can also improve students’ capacity and desire to adopt new learning strategies. Students can be encouraged to share their goals and progress with their families using the student friendly versions of the scales.
Proficiency scales can also help students see the connection between the assignments they complete in their classrooms and the learning presented on the scales. The “why do I have to do this” question often asked by students is answered by looking at the content of the proficiency scales. Increased clarity for students will lead to increased engagement and stamina in completing assignments with high effort.
HOW do I use proficiency scales with students?
The student friendly scale examples that we’ve shared vary slightly in format between contents. They are written in age appropriate language - meaning the text of the teacher proficiency scale may have been modified. This is quite evident in the scale samples at the younger grades. They are also constructed, differently than the teacher scales, with the 2.0 content at the top or left of the scale. The 2.0 content is what students should master first, so it was included at the beginning of the scale for students to make it easier to read.
The scales also include space for either student work samples or notes, or student goals to be recorded. It is intended that teachers will work with students in the use of the scales to set appropriate goals and/or record meaningful notes so that the scales are helpful for student learning.
The style and format of the scales are open for change. Teachers are welcome to use the scales just as they appear in the samples. All of the content is there and is aligned to the teacher scale. However, there may be language specific to a resource or strategy being used in the classroom that teachers might want to modify the scale with. Or visuals that have been used in the classroom, perhaps especially helpful for English Language learners or early readers, might be added to the scale to customize it.
We are very eager to hear and see how you are making use of Student Friendly proficiency scales in your classroom!
Curriculum & Instruction