Man on Fire & Success Criteria


During our PLCs today, we watched 4 short clips from the movie Man on Fire to illustrate how our students sometimes feel – defeated, down on themselves;  but a good teacher will come alongside, point out a student’s strengths, but also their area for growth;  we often may not like working on something that makes us feel like we fail – but with focus, feedback and perseverance, we can grow…  maybe even win the race.

man on fire

He says to her – there is no such thing as tough – either trained or untrained.  I believe this goes along with “there is no such thing as a math-brains.”

Anyway, some good reminders today of what formative assessment is and is not.  My big take away was being reminded we can do lots of cool things to collect information on student learning, but until we reflect on it and have a follow-up action– its all useless.

Checking for understanding can also lead to developing better study skills for our students – successful students restate material in their own words;  ask themselves questions about the material; and think of examples related to material.  This reminds me a lot of what we read in P. Brown’s Make it Stick a couple of summers ago.

We wrapped up the session discussing feedback – that helps students formulate new goals and action plans – eventually toward higher achievement.  Helping students focus on what they do know, maybe by using plus and delta…

Two things in the article we read stated “it is not fair to students to present them with feedback and never give them the opportunity to use it;  not fair to present them with constructive feedback – then use it against them in a grade or final evaluation.”

In some of her sharing, she told about a math teacher who had success criteria defined for each of her learning targets.  This made me think of the level-up quizzes I played with a couple of years ago and made me want to learn and do more of them.


So I asked her if we could work on that some this semester.  I am looking forward to improved lesson planning this semester.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on Feedback | the radical rational...

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