Drew’s End of Year Survey

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6 thoughts on “Drew’s End of Year Survey”

  1. Drew, thanks for sharing. I like this a lot, especially that it helps us give students a voice on areas that are specific to a CI classroom. I plan on using it.

    In the past, I’ve used a short survey that heard about from Bob. I think it is good as a self reflection for the students and I find their comments helpful too. I have them put their names on it – it’s part of their final exam. It is three questions:

    1. What has helped you ACQUIRE Latin BEST this year?

    2. What has helped you ACQUIRE Latin LEAST this year?

    3. What are some suggestions you have for me for next year that you think would help you and others ACQUIRE Latin? Or write anything else here that you would like to communicate to me about the class. Please be constructive. Thanks!!!

    And… increasingly, I write a brief note for my classes too. Below I include one I wrote this year to my two Latin 1 sections to acknowledge the great work they did this year.

    In this letter I’m trying to communicate to the students that in the big picture, the class is not only about Latin, it’s about language, communication and relationships. I like inviting my students to look at their experience through this lens, especially because it takes us from the “academic exercise” learning of language, to real communication and relationships. Here’s my note that I’m giving my Latin 1s this year:

    Salvete Discipuli! June 13, 2013

    It has been an honor being your teacher this year! You have been a fantastic Latin 1 class, creative, hard-working, kind, and respectful to one another and me. I am so appreciative of your input in class, your attention, communication, willingness to do class jobs, and of course your awesome artwork!

    As I’ve told you before, we work in a partnership to make this class interactive, interesting and fun – YOU have taken ownership for making our language learning effective and memorable because of your participation, work and contributions. I thank you for this! We wouldn’t have great stories without your willingness to contribute to, and participate in them; and without good stories, we wouldn’t learn the language.

    Remember that YOU and I wrote and illustrated our textbook this year, and that is something to be proud of! I believe you will remember it better than a regular textbook because you yourselves were the authors of it! You will not do this with many classes in school, but language is deep and personal, and this is how we have to approach it, through relationship and story, NOT as an academic exercise. I hope you are discovering that language is part of being human and part of being in relationship. Language is only really alive when we actually use it to communicate with other real people, and that’s what we did this year in Latin 1. The stories we created this year are personal to us and they will live deep in your subconscious brain for a long time, perhaps forever.

    I look forward to seeing many of you in Latin 2 and continuing our story then! Thank you so much. Rest, have a great summer and… VALETE!

    Mr. Maust

  2. I love this David. Truly you are at the core of this work and so are your kids. I just would not be able to use this with my current groups and feel truthful. It is something for me to aspire to next year. It is everything I feel about this work, yet somehow I am failing to communicate it. I will probably put those three questions out there on my exams. In yesterday’s exam I did something similar, except it was only to get positive feedback bc this group had multiple interventions and other feedback opportunities in which we focused on all the negative stuff, so I wanted them to leave the exam with sweetness as their last “taste.”

    Drew, I also really like your survey, but I feel like if I gave that out I would get skewered. I am not afraid of honest feedback, but some of the questions would be misinterpreted by my students. I feel like I still have not truly “won over” the kids and I feel like they would still evaluate comparing my class to the old model they are used to, and also compared to their other courses. Of course I am projecting and caving in to self-doubt. Not what I want to be doing. Just how I am feeling at this moment because I’m completely worn out, have been sick for 2 1/2 weeks and had a trying year (which we all know means big learning, so I will reap those lessons as they simmer in the summer heat).

    Thank you both for sharing these.

  3. Thank you Drew and David!

    I was going to do an exit slip on the last day and ask a couple of open minded question, more in line with what David wrote but I think I’ll do a combination of both and compare the results.

  4. Jen,

    I know exactly what you mean. I was where you are at now, in terms of weariness and frustration, last year and the year before. And I couldn’t have wrote the same letter to my Latin 1 class from last year, or the year before – they weren’t there yet, and neither was I. This year’s group was an improvement over the past for several reasons I think: I was much more consistent, fair and proactive about discipline with this group, I made class jobs a focus, I didn’t use a textbook (but just short readings starting in 2nd semester with very sheltered vocab), and my own Latin fluency was more confident.

    I also think I had an easier group of kids this year, but then again maybe I didn’t – it’s hard to know. I think my lack of consistency with discipline is past years allowed students to act out more – so I can’t say for sure that my Latin 1s this year are “better” or not. However… in past years I had a number of really tough kids that teamed up together and looked for ANY weakness to “work the system” and wreck the class. This year those kind of kids were split up by my teacher chosen seating chart (kids NEVER had an opportunity to pick a seat all year) given jobs right away and kept in check better with me immediately addressing problem behaviors so the bad habits and acting out didn’t emerge as frequently as in years past.

    You also said in referring to Drew’s survey, “I feel like they would still evaluate comparing my class to the old model they are used to, and also compared to their other courses.”

    This is huge. My kids have no other context for a language class and that means I can brainwash them, er… convince them, more easily right from the beginning of the year regarding how language is learned, THROUGH THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE OF IT. All kids, as long as they pay attention and follow jGR will experience language acquisition at some level by the end of the year. Since I feel like this happened this year (at different levels of course), I had little push back from even the four percenters who may have been upset they weren’t learning ABOUT the language with homework, worksheets, etc. If I had, I would have given them required, graded, supplemental work and homework and I think that would stop most of it. You definitely have more work to convince kids of the validity of CI, especially if students have experienced “success” in a grammar based class and knew how to work the system.

    Thanks for the honest sharing and I hope you are refreshed this summer!

  5. I just finished the last final and am looking forward to reading them (essential sentences and an original story or variation based on our last class story…FUN :).

    Thanks to this thread I added a letter similar to David’s for my French 2 class. They are my original pioneer group that have been with me for 2 years of “full CI” (at least in intent). So it was good to have some closure with them, appreciating them for their adaptability and openness.

    I also added this: “List the top things we did that helped you acquire French. Beside each item, tell how it helped you.” It is not the same as a real survey. I will get there next year though 🙂 Quickly scanning them I can see a few things like the stories helped them because of context; hearing the language spoken helped them learn how things are pronounced; dictee helped them with spelling. Reading helped them “pick up new words and phrases.” And oddly (or maybe not) a couple kids wrote that speaking “helped them with pronunciation” and “helped them absorb the accent.” Interesting. I guess that is their perception, although how one can speak correctly without listening is puzzling to me.

  6. That’s great to hear Jen.

    One small correction to my post: I said that none of my kids had previous context of a language class. Actually two of them I know of did, but they had negative previous experiences. They weren’t four percenters and couldn’t memorize out of context well, understand the grammar and were bored with worksheets. They had both failed their first year of grammar instructed language and welcomed the CI experience.

    I think the only ones that are tough to convince are those that worked the system and now need to, but are unwilling, to show-up, be human, be in relationship and contribute positively to the class.

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