The results collected from the three lessons provided us with many points of reflection. The data collected will help us deliver lessons more effectively because it helped us to gain a better understanding of our student’s perceptions. For example, overall we were satisfied with our Grit Lesson. We believe this is an important topic for middle school students because too often we find them giving up within the classroom by not engaging in classroom discussion or not taking advantage of the districts retake policy. Our data showed that only 67% of our students understood how grit was defined and by the end of the lesson 95% of students could clearly define grit. Typical class periods run forty five minutes, and on early release days when we teach them, classes are only thirty five minutes. Therefore time spent in the classroom was not as long as we would have liked. Utilizing technology, students were able to answer pre and post test questions on Google docs, giving us the opportunity to effectively analyze perceptions.
Our second lesson, “College and Career Success with some help from Monsters” brought up a few concerns with our pre and post assessment questions. We focused on two questions, one which identified the different parts of a college webpage and the second, identifying three key terms. After reflecting on the pre and post assessment data we decided to go back and adjust our questions based more on what we want our students to gain from the lesson. After reflection, we realized that not all students had similar post-secondary options. Therefore, in future college and career lessons, we want our students to have the opportunity to explore all post-secondary options, including branches of the military and trades. However, we do realize how important it is for students to understand how to navigate a university website and believe that this activity was still beneficial to students exploring branches of the military as well as various trade options, as it gives them practices to explore new websites.
Our data helps target our ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors by carefully selecting those that coincide first with the lesson topic then serve as an anchor standard for the rest of the lesson. For example, our lesson on Classroom Communication had identified B-SS.6.Use effective collaboration and cooperation skills and B-SMS 1. Demonstrate ability to assume responsibility as the foundation of the lesson. We were finding that students were struggling in eighth grade to effectively communicate their needs with each other and staff. Therefore, Ms. Coster developed an engaging lesson that would run deep for the students to reflect on based on the selected ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. We knew we were successful when 89.3% of our students answered “Yes” when asked if they were able to communicate tactfully and effectively on their post assessment. We felt making the activities something they could relate to especially during the last challenge they would be reflective of their own actions.
The lesson that stood out the most when looking at the data results was the second “College and Career Success with some help from Monsters”. We felt as though the lesson limited our students into only exploring post-secondary options that required a university education. Similarity, we were also unhappy with the questions we developed for the pre and post assessment. They were not clear enough and believe this caused some confusion among our students. This also caused us to make a count on how many career lessons we taught throughout the year and and built off one another. For the following school year we decided to take a look and adjust our college and career lessons. We want them to be meaningful at every grade level and relate to each other. This would look like sixth, seventh, and eighth grade each having their own Career focused topics that build off each other every year. When we present our core curriculum to the entire school on early release days, these lessons should be impactful and cover important topics both developmentally and college and career focused. This is difficult due to the time limitations but through collaboration, teamwork, and building rapport with staff we believe we can overcome these barriers in future school years.
Another area for improvement would be our level of questioning. This is an area we can better develop as a team. Rather than Yes/No questions we will utilize different strategies such as Likert scales, open ended questions, or even multiple choice questions.