I recently came across this article about student data walls in the classroom. I agree, data walls shame our students.
There are not many topics in education that I will stand up on my soap box for, but I feel very strongly about keeping student progress private. This is,of course, because of personal experiences as a child.
A few chocolate chips made of construction paper destroyed my confidence in math, which carried over all the way to high school.
In third grade, my teacher created a bulletin board with blank chocolate chip cookies. For each multiplication table learned we would earn a chocolate chip. The class would receive a pizza party when everyone had filled up their cookie with all 12 chocolate chips.
Guess who ended the school year with just FOUR chocolate chips?
That's right, yours truly. Imagine also that all of the other students in the class had successfully learned their multiplication tables and that by the end of the year you were the only one taking the weekly tests. . . . I was the reason that the class did not have their pizza party. My teacher was quick to tell the class that this was the very first year she had not been able to have said pizza party . . . Needless to say, I learned to hate math. (But not cookies, which is why I need to love the gym more)
Fast forward to 12th grade, when I was taking Algebra II for the second time. I was an honors student so this was extremely depressing for me. I had the most AMAZING first year teacher who completely changed my outlook on math and gave me an incredible amount of confidence. His teachings carried over into college and gave me a passion for math that I try to channel into my own students today.
I know that my case is probably an extreme one, but I will NEVER share student data with other students on a wall or in any other way.
I've proven in my classroom, that it is possible to motivate struggling students without a public competition.Sometimes all you need is a competition with yourself and a supportive teacher who will give you the tools you need to overcome every obstacle.
I would love to know your thoughts on this hot topic, leave your comments below. :)