An Idea

I may have at least a basic plan for bringing Robert’s assessment ideas into my classroom in the fall. It might do to start some discussion:
Twice each grading period – once in the middle and once at the end, I would give about thirty minutes of self-reflection writing time in class. This is in line with Kate’s idea that we must encourage self reflection by kids if we are to grade them accurately.
I give the kids the self assessment rubric (this site on the resources/posters page), asking the students to use those questions as prompts as they write out a description of the degree to which they address the three modes of communication in my class.
There may be a way of coming up with some sort of instrument that combines the participation rubric with the description of the three modes in the ACTFL documents so that the child has a clear idea of what I want from them in this assessment piece.
I would not give this assignment as homework because I would need/demand a response from each kid. I would count their response to the prompt as 25% of their term grade. The kids would have the option of writing it out or coming up to my desk and just talking.
Just throwing it out there.



5 thoughts on “An Idea”

  1. If you do not want to put emphasis on grading….why are you assigning a grade to the self-evaluation?
    The beauty of a self-evaluation is to celebrate gains, appreciate depths and look for a direction for the future.
    If you don’t have to, don’t put a number on it.
    Let it have its own pure value.
    ever the dreamer,
    with love,

  2. Yes and I completely forgot that (what Kate suggested of no grades on self evaluation). It shows you what I’ve been doing in schools for 34 years, right? Thank you for the reminder. Now, the next question is, how to we get that self assessment in without the force of the grade? How do we get them to do it? All they know is grades – it is their world.

  3. The Black Box article suggested that every assessment have a student reflection piece. That might be too much for a start, but maybe once a day we could ask for some form of self assessment:
    “Close your eyes. Raise your hand if you are focused on the lesson and therefore learning. Now raise your hand if the teacher is going slowly enough for you to understand everything.”
    Then there could be a check-off rubric on the bottom of fast writes (or, in my case, the kids could copy or write a variation of one of the following statements from the board into their notebook):
    I can use today’s target structures easily.
    I am unsure about how to use the target structures.
    I am trying to use a variety of vocabulary.
    Once in a while, we could also give level 1 and 2 the Novice-level ACTFL proficiency rubrics for them to mark where they are operating in speaking, reading or writing. I’d like to break those down a bit but it might not happen this summer. If others felt like looking at those at NTPRS, it could happen more quickly with more brains on task.

  4. …every assessment have a student reflection piece….
    What I got from Kate was adding a few self assessment questions to the regular quiz. I don’t know if she meant that, but that is an option. I don’t know what form it would take.
    …close your eyes. Raise your hand if you are focused on the lesson and therefore learning. Now raise your hand if the teacher is going slowly enough for you to understand everything….
    This is powerful. I will definitely pilot this in the fall. I just have to remember now to do hand checks, “what did I just say”, and now this. Excellent. Especially the hand raising. We already know who is learning. It outs the space cadets.
    On the other one, that is a bit much for me to keep up with, since I am one one mild and lazy dude (said as if Steve Martin were saying it).
    (Actually, on the hand raising, I am going to ask them to close their eyes and raise their right hand to indicate focus and their left to indicate speed response.)

  5. One self assessment that I’ve done with folks is to use a self-reflection by asking students to choose a number between 1-5 to rate their attention and the same for their energy when they come into the room. Then I do some kind of quick engagement activity that is stimulating whether that is movement or a song of something or a game that involves the whole classroom. Then we rate ourselves again. They are amazed that when they engage physically they engage mentally. This is a first step self-assessment. How do I feel?
    But Ben I am with Laurie and Michelle. You shouldn’t grade self-assessment. By not grading them you teach your students that the power for assessing their work truly lies in them. They want to believe that. They need to in order to be independent thinkers.
    GRADES ARE REWARDS! But they are imposed outside the student by an arbitrary authority (the teacher and the system’s rubrics). Now you as a teacher must do this because you are mandated to do so and they understand that part. However, as educators it is also our reponsibility to prepare them for the realities of life outside education. And that includes the very important task of evaluation of self and actions.
    The self-reflection part is the not easy part for them to accept nor for you to do. Which is why I said make it easy. Put it at the bottom of every quick quiz answer paper you do every day. They will do it or they won’t but it is there stating to them that it is equally important to you EVERY DAY that their thoughts (evaluation-ungraded doesn’t count towards a grade) are valued. Eventually they will make the shift and use it as a personal tool or won’t use it.
    I like Michelle’s idea of a self-assessment during the class. How do you remember it? Put a sign up next to one of those posters you use DAILY in your classroom. Make it just a hand raised in the air (no words) tap into your visual cortex. I can’t wait to show you the poster I designed for myself to remind me to circle when I see you in St. Louis.

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