August 26, 2021
Seventh grade students in Mrs. Sandy Thorson's class are starting their school year learning the importance of owning their learning.
To introduce a unit on the nature of science that will continue through September, Mrs. Thorson offered students learning scales and goals to self-assess their prior knowledge and learning along the way. She presented students with a five-point scale (like FSA), emphasizing that they should aim to learn at the highest level 5, but that a level 3 should be the minimum that she will accept from them or that they should accept for themselves. She also encouraged students whose learning might only be at a level 1 or 2 right now, as their growth will evolve as new concepts are introduced.
She asked students to look at the provided learning scales and goals and self-evaluate, asking how many concepts they already know. Then she asked them to take a look at how far their learning will likely advance as they explore the new unit.
Mrs. Thorson encouraged her science students to build knowledge about nature of science concepts from their notes, textbook, and digital resources all along the way. She emphasized that though she will deliver the content in as many creative ways as possible, the load of the learning should fall on the students and that they should self-assess all along the way.At Walton Middle School, our teachers work hard to create the right conditions for students to learn, then we partner with them, holding them accountable for the success they find along their own paths.