Nathan Black/End of Year Project

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1 thought on “Nathan Black/End of Year Project”

  1. Robert Harrell

    Michele wrote: I’d really prefer to do simple Ben quizzes, because honestly, how we mark grades doesn’t affect what the kids learn.
    I would prefer to do no quizzes, just informal assessments of what students are acquiring so I know what needs to be repeated, circled and “parked on”. However, the system requires that I submit grades. If I have to do that I want the grades to reflect what students demonstrate in class – so what’s important to me?
    A few years ago our district had a motivational speaker present ideas about teamwork, “take a second, make a difference” and several other things. As part of the presentation, he showed us the “Pike’s Place Market Phenomenon”. From among the concepts for making the workplace both more productive and more palatable, I took away these four:
    1. Be There (both physically and mentally)
    2. Choose Your Attitude (be positive about what you do)
    3. Make Someone’s Day (do something nice for other people)
    4. Play
    They are on large posters just outside my room, and I encourage all students to follow those precepts. The Interpersonal Mode of Communication allows me to incorporate those ideas and ideals into an “academic assessment” because #1 especially is part of the rubric for interpersonal communication – if I’m not there (either physically or mentally), then I can’t participate in interpersonal communication and therefore fail to meet the standard. If I have a bad attitude it detracts from the interpersonal communication standard. If I don’t “play” or “play the game”, I don’t meet the cultural norms of the class. #3 is the had one for me to think of in an academic sense, so that would be citizenship.
    That doesn’t mean that Ben’s quizzes are now superfluous. A second mode of communication is interpretive. That, in a sense, is what I’ve always seen those quizzes as: holding students responsible for receiving, comprehending and interpreting the messages. If a student sits in the class and doesn’t gesture, doesn’t interact, just “veges out”, but aces the quiz, then I would give a low interpersonal grade but a good interpretive grade because the student was obviously receiving, understanding and interpreting an oral text in the target language (though he seems to have been doing it essentially “in isolation”).
    Hope that makes sense. 🙂

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