During a comparison lesson, with inspiration from a learning progression, three students owned their learning.

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## Spencer

**“Today I’m going to level up.”**

As Spencer began to compare the number of beans in each cup, his goal was to show his thinking so that a reader could understand without having to ask him a question… Level 3.

After using the number line to find the difference, Spencer flipped his paper over and said, “Today I’m going to level up! Changing tools, he began drawing tens and ones to represent the totals.

Typically a quiet and independent worker, Spencer motioned me over.

“I leveled up and showed my thinking another way, but I didn’t get the same answer!”

Because this learning progression nudged Spencer to make sense of the problem another way, we were able to compare and connect his two strategies.

## Asher

**“I’m stuck! **

Asher, Spencer’s partner, was influenced differently by the learning progression. Showing the difference between 71 beans and 90 beans, Asher chose to use a number line. Rather than hop by ones or tens and ones to find the difference, Asher hopped one big hop of 20, from 71 to 91. Knowing he only needed to count to 90, Asher didn’t know what to do about that extra hop.

Seeing his struggle, I suggested approaching the problem with a different tool. He collected tens and ones pieces, however he just couldn’t make sense of the problem with them.

With his head lowered, cheeks resting on his fisted hands Asher began to shut down.

“I’m stuck!”

At that moment, I referenced the learning progression.

*“Let’s see where you are right now on the learning progression.”*

Asher immediately knew he was at Level 2. He knew the answer to the problem. How to show his thinking was where he was stuck.

Understanding his place on the learning progression lightened his mood. Asher became willing to go back to look at his work again, using that original number line, to make his own sense of the problem.

## Hampton

**“This is the first time I have a 3!”**

As Hampton worked to determine the difference between 22 and 41, he chose to level up. Hoping to show his work so that the reader could understand without having to ask a question, he labeled the additional amount of beans in the second cup as difference (difrincis).

When reading his work, I made a point to thank Hampton for his label, appreciating how it helped me understand his thinking as he compared the two amounts.

Meanwhile, in another part of the classroom, two of Hampton’s classmates struggled to clearly illustrate their thinking. I invited Hampton to join us.

“Hampton, these friends are trying to show their thinking so that the reader can understand without having to ask a question. Could you share the detail you added in your recording?”

After Hampton shared his recording with his teammates. I added how Hampton’s label made it much easier for me to understand what the numbers in his recording meant.

As the class gathered for the Lesson Summary, Hampton proudly declared to all,

“This is the first time I have a 3! I showed my work so the reader could understand without having to ask me a question!”

The learning progression provided the guidance Hampton needed to determine for himself what he had accomplished.

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Three students.

Three different uses of a learning progression.

Spencer was encouraged to level up.

Asher understood what he knew and what his next steps would be.

Hampton realized a goal that was met.

These students were the owners of their learning.

Gough, Jill and Kato Nims. “#LL2LU Learning Progressions.” *Experiments in Learning by Doing*, 30 Mar. 2018, jplgough.blog/ll2lu-learning-progressions-smp/ll2lu-learning-progressions/.