Eureka and Middle School Math · UDL in Practice · Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The Power of Data Collection: Student Reflections

As a teacher, I’m always poking at my practice, thinking about what I can do differently, hopefully better, maybe more efficiently while also more effectively.  For the past three weeks, I’ve been sharing data from a survey and an exam wrapper, reflecting on the patterns I see.  This week, I gathered direct quotes, generally as-is in terms of language and grammar.  As I read over the data, yet again, from all of my classes, a few trends emerged.

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Take-Away #1The time my colleague and I put into creating documents for the students, especially the answer keys and retakes, results in meaningful resources and learning experiences for students.  Students use them in effective ways to further their own learning.

  • The answer keys are super helpful with my understanding of the problems.  If I get a problem wrong, I can see exactly what I need to do to get it right and the process I need to take.
  • I always check the answer keys, because if I am doing the problem wrong, then I am wasting my time.  They help me see where I went wrong.
  • I like the retakes because it gives us a chance to retry if we totally blanked or if we forgot to add something or if you just didn’t know anything about that topic at all.  It helps because then I can revise my work and see how you actually do it.
  • The answer keys are very helpful for me because they usually have the work written and not just the answer, so when I am at home and cannot ask the teacher face-to-face, the answer keys are usually very helpful in helping me when I am stuck.

Take-Away #2:  Choice matters to the students.  

  • The best part about math class this year is that we can be more independent….we have more freedom and responsibility when we are working.  We get to choose what we feel will help us improve the most and I find it better….
  • The homework document is helpful because it is nice to have options for homework
  • In my opinion the best part about math class is how you have multiple homework options to do so you aren’t limited to just one sheet or packet.
  • My favorite part of math class is all the options.  I feel like I can learn more efficiently do’t being forced to finish things at specific times.
  • The freedom to decide what to do for classwork/homework is probably the best thing about math class this year.

Take-Away #3:  The students value independence, choice, freedom, and being in control of their own learning.  They also appreciate having instruction that is (more) tailored to their current needs.

  • The best part is how we get to work by ourselves and you are not standing up at the front of the class teaching lessons
  • Being able to work at your own pace.
  • I like how if you didn’t get anything wrong you can continue with your work and if you did get something wrong you can have it corrected in a group of people that got the same stuff wrong.
  • The best part about math class this year is that we have more independence and we can work on things that we need.
  • I like to be able to pick what I need to work on because that way I don’t end up with a lot of homework to practice something that I could have practiced during class.
  • [The best part of math class is] the freedom, I can choose exactly what lesson i need to work on and dont have to ask.
  • I like [small group instruction] because you get to work on the lesson that the whole class has been handed out while some of them work on there own while other will work on something different
  • I really like the small groups because other teachers just tell you the whole lesson at once but now you get to learn it in a group or try to work on it on your own

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