I recently submitted my SMART goals to my evaluator using TeachPoint. Last year I wrote about my student learning goal, and thought I would share this year’s as well.

Our school is in the process of implementing the “Using Data Process” from Research for Better Teaching. We’ve spent some PD time diving into our MCAS results (the MA Standardized test) and trying to identify student learning problems. One that my colleagues and I recognize, is the gap between average open response question scores between our students who pass with proficiency, and those who do not. The average open response score was a 1.7 for my students who scored failure/needs improvement, while the average score was 3.1 for my students who scored proficient and advanced. There are six open response questions on the test, which makes for a pretty big gap when you multiply it out. Therefore, my SMART goal for the year:

I will incorporate MCAS open response questions on in-class assignments, homework, and assessments so that 80% of my Honors Algebra 1 students will score a 3 or 4 (using the DESE rubric) on at least two MCAS Open Response questions by the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

I am going to record students’ scores using an Excel document, provide written feedback to students, and have students peer/self assess on some of the questions. I’m also going to try to figure out why the scores are so much lower. Do students not understand the questions or not know how to do it? Are they simply leaving the open response questions blank? Are they only answering part of the questions? I’m not sure that I’ll be able to answer all of these, but I’m hoping to find some insight over the course of the year.

One of my predictions is that students are not fully answering the questions and explaining all of their work. Since I don’t want students to feel like they are doing MCAS questions all the time, we can practice this skill when doing any of our other activities. We’ll focus on explaining what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, and probing students to dig deeper. And that’s on me to ask the right questions.