Character - Claim 1:
Since the founding of REALMS student character has been an imoprtant focus. In 2001, our opening year as a school, teachers developed what we then called "target behaviors" to help guide students in successful academic behaviors. We knew that if students were to reach their full potential, we had to help them become more aware of their learning habits and mindsets, not just their math or reading skills. Since those early years our vocabulary has changed, our understanding of the importance of performance and relational character has evolved, and our systems for engaging students in this kind of growth have become more refined, but our commitment to growing the character of our students has remained constant.
One of the most important things we are learning now about HOW's at REALMS is that meaningful assessment of students' HOW's is challenging and brings up as many questions as it does answers. How "consistent" are we across grades and classes about the definitions of each of our HOW's? Is student self assessment more valuable than teacher assessment when it comes to HOW's? Ought we to raise the "bar" when it comes to HOW learning targets as the year goes on and as our students grow in their Participation, Determination and Responsibility? And if so, how does that impact our ability to use the "numbers" to see patterns of growth school wide?
This claim is supported by two types of evidence. The first section, Definitions and Data, focuses on quantitative evidence that our emphasis on HOW's is helping students become effective learners as they progress through middle school and into high school. The second section emphaiszes some of the "qualitative" evidence - the student voices and student work that show exactly how HOW's come to life at REALMS.
Habits of Work come to life on several different levels at REALMS and this is intentional - we weave HOW's into the following:
HOW learning targets are used at the daily lesson plan level
HOW standards are reported on report cards each semester
Curriculum, geared towards HOW's, is a focus of Crew
HOW targets live on rubrics for guiding students' work on tasks in classes
students self-assess their HOW's during Student Led Conferences and Passages
Habits of Work: Our students are well prepared with the academic mindsets and habits they need to be effective learners in High School and beyond because of their focus on Habits of Work (HOW’s) across all classes at REALMS.