A Cycle of Continuous Improvement

One of the best things about being a teacher is the opportunity for continuous improvement. In other words, we get lots of do-overs. Each time we teach a lesson we can reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and make adjustments as needed. Here’s a quick recap of a recent do-over in my life:

Plan. Last year, another literacy coach introduced me to TheLiteracyTA and their SPACE strategy. I added some graphics, sentence starters, and explanations of the thinking processes and then shared it with my teachers.


Do. I modeled it with a few classes and got some feedback from other teachers who had used it and it seemed to be going over well in the classes in which it was being used.
Check. As I visited other classrooms in my school, I noticed that teachers had the original out on their desk or tacked to a bulletin board (for easy access?) but when I asked about it, they didn’t seem to use it. I thought, to be effective, we need to get this in the hands of the kids.
Act. I’ve been working with juniors on ACT prep in the last month. We’ve done a lot of practice, but not a lot of reflection. With a month to go before the test, I wanted them to start to think about what they could do to improve their scores. To guide their reflection, I thought I would use the SPACE strategy.

I wanted them to choose the process/sentence starter that worked for them individually, so I knew I needed them to have the document in their hands, at their desks. When we do our ACT practice, their desks are cluttered with papers—answer sheets, practice tests, and their math homework (Wait!  What’s that doing there? This is reading class!). They didn’t need another piece of white paper.

I took to the copy machine with colored card stock and my SPACE handout. I cut off the header (as much as I love the Space Shuttle, it really doesn’t add anything to the point of this exercise), reduced the graphic, and copied two per page. I cut the pages in half, laminated the individual cards, and now I have an easy-to-find, ready-to-use formative assessment that I can leave with each teacher for use with any lesson!

SPACE2 - pink

And, I’ve revised the product on TeachersPayTeachers, too! Now, in addition to the original with my cool Space Shuttle graphic, I’ve included the landscape, two-per-page version (so you don’t have to mess with scissors, tape, and percentages at the copy machine). You can follow my lead and copy them on colored paper and laminate them for multiple uses, or if you use interactive notebooks in your class, these are the perfect size for cutting/pasting into a composition book for easy reflection or formative assessment.


And did I mention that it’s FREE on TpT? 

Go get a copy!  Let me know how it works with your students!

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