I have learned that students do not seem to understand grades or data unless they are working with it. My first few years of teaching I was so frustrated that the kids were not motivated to improve. Didn’t they see the potential that I did? The answer was NO. They didn’t see their own potential and their grades meant nothing to them. When I first started student data notebooks I realized that kids were amazed at what their grades meant. I would conference with them and we would talk about their grades. I would help them graph their progress and they became more inspired.
Math facts are allowed in some schools and not in others. But I still do math facts. They go to it atleast once a week. If they need more practice they go their more than that. They set the time and begin. Afterwards they have a partner check their paper with an answer key and graph their progress. It takes some training, but my 5th graders get it pretty fast. Third grade took a little longer, but they can do it.
Unit tests are graded by myself and we graph these together in math conferences. We talk about their pre-test scores, where their weakness was, and how we can improve. I let them tell me what I can do to help. I make notes on carbon paper to send home to the parents so they know what we talked about as well. We celebrate the post-test growth also and talk about how we can keep growing!