Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Ms. Seplocha from West Virginia!

May 6, 2015

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We are so thankful for all of the hard work that our teachers do to make our mission and program possible. One of the teachers who has really made an impact with out program is Ms. Seplocha from West Virginia. We were very honored to sit down with her this week to talk about her methods for success.

Reasoning Mind: Your fourth-grade students have maintained a 90 percent Level A accuracy for the year. To what (procedure, intervention style, teacher or student practice) do you attribute their success?

Ms. Seplocha: I attribute my students’ success to clear and high expectations. Each one of my scholars know what I expect and what methods they need to use in order to attain their Reasoning Mind goals. On-the-spot interventions allow me to provide my students with the best student practices possible. My learners are able to participate in 1:1 ratio with their classroom teacher, a practice that is hard to come by in a regular education classroom.

Reasoning Mind: Tell us about your love for data and if/how RM has satisfied that passion! Talk to us about what led to your awesome graphs and personal reflection (which will soon be up on our Support Center for all teachers to use!).

Ms. Seplocha: My love for student data has no bounds. I feel a sense of excitement when I observe the increase in my students’ percentages. This process provides me with a sense of accomplishment, that what I am teaching or facilitating is shaping these students in a positive way. I wanted my scholars to experience that same exhilaration, so I created several graphs that plotted their progress and allowed them to see the gains that I was witnessing myself. Once they began to see those results visually, I saw an immediate improvement in their individual scores. These data graphs provided the students with ownership of their Reasoning Mind learning. THEY were the ones in charge of making those percentages increase or decrease. Later, I introduced the reflection aspect to the graphs that provided the students a space to reflect on their results and make goals for the next monthly metrics report. Reasoning Mind has provided me with a plethora of data that my students can analyze, graph, and develop a plan to be even more successful than the previous month. Hearing, “Look, Ms. Seplocha, I’ve increased my Level A Accuracy to a 95! That’s an increase of five percent!  I’m on fire!,” makes the extra effort worth it.

Reasoning Mind: Your students are very involved in their own data, progress and goal-setting. For a teacher who isn’t sure that the extra time required in student reflection is necessary, what would you tell them? How are your students affected by their data notebooks (in all subjects!)?

Ms. Seplocha: In my classroom, I find that the student reflection process is a key to developing a true understanding of the instructional topic. Implementing data notebooks may take an extra five to ten minutes of our Reasoning Mind time, but the results are well worth it. Once the students have become well-educated in the process of filling out their data notebooks, the method becomes a quick routine. I highly recommend implementing this process in any RM classroom.


Post submitted by Desiree Sowards, Implementation Coordinator

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