Saturday, January 25, 2014

Personal Student Scales (FREEBIE!)

I don't know about y'all's county or district but ours is all about Marzano.  Scales, learning goals, the whole gambit!  While we have a whole class scale in our room that we use weekly/throughout a unit, there are still times I want to get a quick check as to where my students are without having to waste time on everyone getting up, moving their clip, and then possibly changing their mind because other people are on a different number than they are.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a scale and having students take responsibility for their learning as well, but sometimes this all feels like a show.  Possibly because it's not how I would necessarily do it.  There are so many different ways to gauge students understanding and learning and what might work for one, might not work for another...  AND THAT'S OKAY.  Luckily, I work with and for some amazing people who understand that.

To still stick with Marzano but make it more comfortable for my teaching I have stolen, yes STOLEN, an idea from another group of fabulous people in our county.  As fifth graders, my students go on the Mud Walk to the Environmental Center every year for a field trip.  It's a two day trip and the dry day is a more indoor learning experience and they had these fabulous little scales that the students used.  My team and I LOVED them and knew we had to recreate them for our classrooms.  In case you were wondering, the other day is the wet day.  Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like: Mud Walk Wet Day.  We literally spend an hour or so walking through mud and river water, but I love it!

Now we want to share them with you!  You don't even have to be implementing Marzano in your classroom to use these bad boys :o)  Here's how to set them up!

1.  First, click here to download your FREE personal student scale.  Go ahead, I'll wait...  Oh good, you're back!  Now print them on cardstock (they last longer).  You can laminate them but I did not because usually they don't stay folded if it's laminated, but your call!

2.  Once you have printed them off, cut down the middle to separate the two scales.  If you are OCD like me and want them to be exactly the same/perfect spacing, then measure your paper (length wise) and draw a line at the 5 1/2" mark.  Slice the paper right down the middle!

3.  Now that you have separated the two scales, fold them in half (hot dog style, as my kids say) to make a table tent.

4.  Cut a piece of yarn that can wrap around the front of your scale.

5.  Tape the yarn to the inside cover of your scale on ONE side.

6.  Choose a bead and string it onto the yarn.  Then tape the yarn to the inside cover of your scale on the other side.

7.  Your completed project should look like this...

Now your students can move their bead along the scale without distraction as their learning increases or if they are having struggles!  Another reason I really like this personal scale is because kids tell you how they really feel about their learning.  Even though it sits on their desk and everyone can still see it, this is more comfortable to them as opposed to getting up and everyone watching them decide where their clip belongs on the classroom scale.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


  1. I love this! We don't use Marzano but I love the scale idea! Thank you for sharing!

  2. We use Marzano as a whole group activity. However, I love this idea of personal scales. It would enable them to give an honest reflection rather than being influenced(or intimidated) by what their peers do when they rate themselves in front of others. Thanks for sharing!

  3. We use Marzano like crazy in FL too - I use a scale similar to yours but the students just put their finger on the number and hold the card facing me. I love the bead but my middle schoolers would definitely find a way to remove it so they could sling it!

  4. This is a great idea. Usually I just have them show me with their fingers. I could see them changing it during a lesson. Thanks for the freebie!
    Fourth and Goal in Fourth Grade

  5. Marzano has been thrown around a bit, but nothing has been enforced yet. I use "thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs in the middle" a lot, but I can see the students showing this on their fingers as 1,2,3, or 4 instead. I may make the shift over, before it starts to be required by administration. Thanks!


  6. I love this idea too! We have just started to implement learning scales this year. And I too like this better than kids getting out of their seats to move a clip! Thanks for sharing!
    A Tall Drink of Water