Category Archives: PGES

Feedback & Perfectionism #MTBoS30 Post 5


I’ve had some major a ha ‘ s this spring.  Mostly about myself but as I dig in to reflect, I realize I am not so different from my students.

As part of my Master’s program 15 years ago, I earned my certification for Gifted & Talented Education.  Quick shout out to Dr. Julia Roberts of WKU’s Center for Gifted Studies.  She was an amazing instructor. Everything we did pertained to our classrooms, our students. She helped me build an even stronger foundation in my educational beliefs.

I quickly realized so many of the topics we discussed and strategies we learned could apply to all of my learners, not just those identified as GT.

One is perfectionism.  I have struggled with more students this year failing to complete tasks.  As I dug for reasons why, many shared the fear of doing something wrong, so they chose not to do it at all.  OR when faced with a challenge, they felt their end product wouldn’t be high standard so they chose to let it go.

I say I believe growth mindset.  I encourage my students to learn from mistakes.  But do I truly live it myself? 

My philosophy, if it’s worth doing, do it right the first time.  Meaning to put every effort in up front, planning before I begin the task.

Step back.  When is the last time I challenged myself to really try something just beyond my reach?  Something that I could not achieve on my first attempt?

It’s hard to experience failure.  So is that why so many students give up before they ever begin to try?  Even with nudging and attempting to support a culture of growth in my classroom, I feel that I have failed certain students.  So what can I change to move forward again?

Another A-ha for me this year…  Are my students not moving forward because they are waiting for feedback?  Rather than reflect for themselves, are some waiting for my “seal of approval” before the next step?

Ouch.  Timely feedback.

If I expect it, then I must model it.  Rather than awaiting pending approval, it’s time to sit down, make end of year adjustments and keep moving forward. 

It’s my classroom. They’re my students.  Ultimately, their progress is in my hands.  I am a professional who can reflect on my practices and make decisions that will have the greatest impact for my learners to move them forward.

Yes.  This post is a bit out of frustration.   It’s just that sometimes we ask for fresh eyes not to tell us we’re good teachers and class went smoothly that day. I ask for feedback because I am constantly trying to improve my craft.  If I have even one student not moving forward…I want to do better and I need to do better.

SMART goals #MTBoS30 Day 4


So, in Kentucky we are piloting PGES – Professional Growth and Effectiveness System.  Component are based on the Danielson Framework for Teaching.  I, personally believe it is an opportunity for major impact on student learning…

Back in the fall these are 2 goals I wrote for my classroom…  Wondering what feedback anyone could offer (please and thank you).  Do these follow the SMART goal format? What adjustments do I need to make?

I completely understand these should have been revised earlier in the year but it’s been a learning process for me. 

Goal 1:  Student Growth

Student Growth

My goal is for all Algebra 2 Learners and will be measured using Discovery Education Benchmarking Assessments.

My goal is for all students to improve their overall score by 15%  on the next Discovery Education Benchmark assessment.  If this is accomplished, 90% of my students would move up at least one proficiency level.  This is an achievable goal considering an average of 8% will move the class averages up one proficiency level.

Looking over commonly missed questions, I found there were gaps in the areas of Quantity and Functions for my students.  I plan to address these by:
• Using resources like Estimation180, 101 Questions, Visual Patterns as bell ringers for class discussions to build learner confidence and numeracy reasoning.
• Our most current unit is an Overview of Functions – through interactive, engaging instructional activities, learners will have an opportunity to talk about and discuss things they notice about different types of functions.  This will allow for conceptual development of learning targets.  Intentional formative assessments will allow me to adjust my plans daily. 

Goal 2: Professional Growth…

The Classroom Environment

I want to provide more meaningful problem solving opportunities for students to engage in discussion with their peers through activities that highlight and allow for students actively use the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practices.

3 goals for my administration/ peer observations:
Better questioning to draw out student ideas / strategies;
Provide quality tasks and structure the class time in a way that allows ALL students to be engaged in learning and discussion.
Develop a better culture of listening by lessening the amount of times I repeat what a student says – encouraging students to listen closely as their peers are talking.

I will read Powerful Problem Solving by Max Ray and participate in an online chat – then implement strategies discussed, reflecting, adjusting and sharing either through chat or blogging.
I will use suggestions from 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions by Smith & Stein to plan learning sequences that will impact student engagement and learning.