Saturday, July 29, 2017

Measure What You Value

It started with a little quote:

Unless you measure what you value you'll end up valuing what you measure.

This quote was passed along to me from a wonderful former teacher of mine whom I am now lucky enough to call a colleague. Now, we may not be saying it exactly the way it was originally spoken, but judge for yourself. She heard it here in a talk by Chase Orton called "Think Like a Fitbit: Measure What We Value".

Now this got me wondering...

1) What am I measuring?  To be honest, mostly multiple choice assessments. Granted...the questions are formatted to reflect the style of questions on end-of-year assessments, but really who are we kidding? And all this is just skills...whether or not they could answer that question that time. I WAS MEASURING THE CORRECT ANSWER.

2) What do I value?   Critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, perseverance, communication, kindness, collaboration...I VALUE THEIR THINKING.

3) I love my Fitbit. No more manually pausing the tracker on my phone when I run. And I can't afford an iWatch, but this shows me my text messages and it feels almost like the same thing.

So, this summer I have been reading (and re-reading) books I've had on the shelf for a while, all while reflecting on my past years as a teacher. Last summer I read Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler which I highly recommend. I poured through some of the key chapters again this year, then added to my reading list with these beauties:

Get it here
Our school was introduced to John Hattie's research by our new principal last year and I figured it was time to see what it's all about! But as it turns out I have devoured this book. Cover to cover. More thoughts coming on how it will impact my classroom this year.

Get it here
I'll be teaching a support class this year (again) and want to do a better job. Enter number talks. I'll admit I have not finished this yet, but I'll keep at it!

Get it here
I dove into this book a week after school was out. Easy to read and a VERY good guideline for those of us wanting to do a better job of integrating growth mindset teaching throughout the year, rather than just in the beginning.

So I've had a lot to think about this summer, and have had wild dreams of changing the classroom at a time. Then, I cleaned out my garage and realized I had some barstools from a used dining room set that never made it into our new house when we moved in...a year ago...oops! But guess what? We didn't miss them! So that got me thinking it would be really cool if I had a bistro table in my classroom. One thought led to another, then....boom! Flexible seating is happening. 

But more on that another time. 

I'll leave you with the same two questions as you consider your classroom and practices that started me on this self-proclaimed revolution:

What are you measuring?

What do you value?

Who is in the driver's seat?

I finally made it to the beach and am blessed to be spending one of the last weekends of my summer on the Central California coast with my f...