jGR Self Assessment

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35 thoughts on “jGR Self Assessment”

  1. This didn’t work for me. Some kids would answer yes to all the questions, which made me read every quiz and isolate answers that were lies and then confront the kid, then the parent. Too much work for me, since I am ranked #12 in the all time list of Laziest Teachers in the World (Guinness Book).

    1. For me, one of the first times I have them do this, I leave myself an extra 5 minutes and when they are finished with it, I turn on a song or a short video and walk around and change their score to what I observed. With some classes I do this more if they’re not quite getting it.

      So should I bump my interpersonal grade up next quarter to 65%? I saw that you and Grant do that Ben. I like it, it is so much more important right now than the other modes.

      Ben… lazy…. haha.

        1. I’m not sure if my intended meaning was relayed accurately, but that was meant to be “Ben? Lazy? Haha, that’s ridiculous!” No lazy person has ever written 8 million blog posts and 8 books and helped thousands of teachers to feel comfortable and confident in their profession. Impossible. But yes, here’s to being “lazy” for useless paperwork!

          1. Thank you Jim. I am lazy to the old ways. They are just so lame. I am full of energy for the things we do. They are not lame, because they give people hope. So I guess it’s a relative term. In terms of grading, oh yeah, I’m the laziest. It is not on my list of important things to do when teaching children a language. So I seek an ultra simple way of coming up with a grade that fools administrators into thinking that my grade book is full of grades. Quick Quizzes and jGR provide that for me. Putting terms like ACTFL Skill Grade 1, or Quiz 6, or ACTFL Three Modes Grade 5 satisfies the admins who enjoy snooping around in my gradebook. I have never been confronted by a badge about how I grade using quizzes and jGR, by the way, so those newer teachers who spend so much time making their grade books look pretty, in my opinion you are wasting your time.

          2. Thank you for saying this, Jim. It offsets a very snarky comment on the moretprs list by Meg Villanueva yesterday in response to my posting the Failure of TPRS article there two days ago. Her comment made me feel pretty bad, like I hadn’t done anything in the fight:

            Very good points, all of them. And now, what are your solutions?

            Meg Villanueva
            General blog: http://megvillanuevaauthor.wordpress.com
            TPRS Story blog: http://meggiev777.blogspot.com

          3. I followed that thread. I’m not sure whether that comment was intended to be snarky or whether or not it was a genuine request to hear what we can do. . . you could start by saying that your blog has saved many a career, enhanced the instruction of all reading members, and helped many to spread the approach!

          4. Jeffery Brickler

            I read that also. I wondered if it was rude. I don’t know her, but I know that this blog has helped me tremendously.

            Thank you Ben and everyone.

          5. I know it was done in a mean spirited way because it happened ten years ago – same person in fact. I’m ok now. Didn’t mean it to be a big topic of discussion except to say that anyone questioning why the PLC is set up this way sees a good answer in this little story. I don’t do well with snark. OK – dropped.

          6. Thanks Jim. Your response to Meg is especially well-crafted. I don’t read there hardly ever, and should not have last night. I don’t think it’s all paranoia on my part. I do think that in this work people can be critical of others, and it is why I prefer the safety of this group.

          7. I also posted in support of you, Ben. It should come up soon. (I only get the digest and ignore most of it.)

          8. Robert’s post was very well written. I think about how it would be for me if I hadn’t joined this PLC 2 and a little years ago:

            – I would’ve had a MUCH harder time with my very demanding & challenging 7th & 8th grade classes 2 years ago. I was so helped back then in a time of crisis!
            – I would’ve continued to flounder between textbooks and some CI, not very well executed, like I was before then, giving students way too much vocab, and using themes with long lists of unhelpful nouns.
            – I wouldn’t have internalized that languages are acquired unconsciously, which I find I have over time.
            – I wouldn’t have met such a great number of other CI teachers nor had so much fun talking virtually & sometimes in person with them.
            – I would’ve have found other teachers in the Chicago area which were so great to meet with.
            – I wouldn’t have been prioritizing my mental health and time outside of school so well. (It was not the norm at my previous school to do that, and not my pattern before.)
            – I wouldn’t have found my current job! There’s a long chain of events and people that led to that.

            So thank you for hosting this forum, Ben!

          9. You not only have solutions but are implementing them with us every day. I believe big change happens one on one often and spreads outwards like a pebble falling in the lake. Before you know it huge waves will be coming to all those that educate others in language, and hopefully in all subjects.

      1. …I walk around and change their score….

        This is so badass. It’s like, “Naah, I don’t think so! Let me help you with this!” And it would only take a few minutes because you know exactly whom to go to.

        Very nice, Jim.

        1. Yes on the 65% Jim. And if I didn’t have the tool of the quick quizzes, it would be 100%. I truly feel that on this distribution percentage of 65% jGR and 35% quizzes, I am meeting the requirements that this way of teaching languages requires.

          My view, and I hope I don’t offend anyone, actually I don’t give a rip, is that most teachers who get this work in theory and who also get it in their classroom in their teaching, fail miserably to get that most of their grading categories are not reflective of this way of teaching. They are applying the principles of mining to rocket science – it seems kind of connected, but it’s not.

          I challenge all teachers who teach using TPRS/CI to take lots of steps backwards away from the canvas and honestly re-assess their grading categories. If you do you will see how bogus much of what you do is, and you do it because of the received ideas from days that you left long ago. You think grading in TPRS/CI has to be complex, because in your own experience it always has been, with all these bogus percentages. It is not complex, so why not simplify it?

          You may say that you are required to grade in ways connected, for example, to output, because you are in a project based school, etc. My response is that people don’t learn languages by doing projects, but by listening and reading, which are about as un-project like as one can get.

          So what will you do, what those who don’t know tell you to do, or what you know is a true reflection of the work that goes into learning a language? You kind of have to choose between the Arnie Duncans and the Stephen Krashens of the world at some point.

      1. With elementary kids we sometimes do a 5 finger self-assessment on the way out the door.

        Each finger respresents some “rule” i.e. do not talk over my voice/ do not blurt in English/ listen with the intend to understand/ use the stop or slow me down sign if needed/ respect the 1 second laughter rule (or whatever …) I review the rules in French, like motherse talk.

        On the way out the student and I count silently to 3 ( à la paper scissor rock) and we compare our “rating”. We do this discreetly so no one else sees it. It matters to little kids.
        I give them a high brow/low brow approval or disapproval and we giggle.

      2. Love it. You give the double quiz and do what jen first suggested here years ago: as soon as they are out the door the self assessment quizzes are filed in the circular file. Now, you could keep them and pour over their content, I guess, to justify the big bucks and job security we all enjoy. But you could file them, too. Nice move, Eric.

          1. You’re right James. HaHaHa.

            Wouldn’t suggest it past 3rd grade.
            I wouldn’t last very long in High School, would I ???

          2. I’m a big fan of the one finger assessment in high school. They don’t care, anyway. All I need is to give them comprehensible input in a loving way.

  2. I will be doing something similar here soon. I have the shortened jGR copied on the back side of their Glorified Scantron Quiz Sheets and sometimes I have them flip over and self-assess.

    My issue has always been the disparity in perception between the kids for whom it matters and me. They think they are making 90% eye contact. Hell, they don’t know what 90% means.

    When I’ve done checklists for jGR, they’ve not been so effective. I think this list is better than what I’ve done, though.

    I may change #1 to a spectrum . Something like this:

    didn’t try Gave the best effort of my lifetime and should be given an award
    It might spark more reflection – Could I have done better? Have I arrived at 100% in the category of eye contact?

  3. I did this today and had better focus by the students and myself. I told them that I am doing one each day for myself on my lesson plans about staying in the language for the 10 minute periods. This let them know that I was holding myself accountable as well.

    I did tell them that if they wrote “no” on any then they could leave me a comment. I also said anyone that wants to can leave a comment and I will read each one. It gave me a lot of insight and it didn’t take much time. I was surprised how honest many of them were by answering yes or no. I also chose the few that didn’t do these things and checked how they graded themselves. If they graded different than I would have I wrote a message to each one about why I disagreed. Tomorrow I will hand them back and try it again.

  4. I tried this once last year. Some students were honest and some weren’t. I guess I’m jaded to try it again. I’m on maternity leave in a few days, so maybe I’ll do it to start with it when I return in the new calendar year.

    Jim – I really like going around and fixing their self-assessments right then and there.

    Question for all: Who does raw points and who actually weights the rubric to 65?

    Right now I put in all grades as points. So jGR is 10 points a day; quizzes are 5-10; dictations are 10 (if I count them and don’t toss them); free writes are 10; essential sentences are two points per box, etc. So jGR is probably more like 50%. Maybe I need to increase it to 65%.

    1. Leah, my practice is 65% on a 1,2,3,4 scale. I’m moving away from points and averages as there is nothing about language acquisition that can truly be measured on such a scale. I’m not getting any grief from parents (yet) or adminz.

      I find the jGR idea to be solid gold. I can virtually guarantee any parent that if their child scores 4s on all the items I’ve identified, they’re going to acquire a ton of Spanish. And, in contrast, if they are at 2s I can virtually guarantee they won’t acquire as much as possible.

      So, conversations w/ parents quickly transform into, “What do you want for your child? Do you want your child to achieve at the highest possible rate? If so, s/he needs to develop these skills and show me that they’re working on developing them through observable behaviors.”

    2. I weight Interpersonal Communication (jGR) 65% and use a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 scale. For the grading program I have to adjust percentages to reflect Standards-Based Assessment. 81-100 (basically all 4s and 5s) = A; 61-80 (3s and 4s) = B; 41-60 (2s and 3s) = C; 21-40 (1s and 2s) = D; all ones (or zeroes) = F (0-20). As you can see, it is difficult to fail if you try at all. At the same time, students have to be trying in order to get the A, not just filling a seat.

  5. Leah what you describe in that last paragraph is pretty much what I recommend. It took me years to settle on the 65% weight. To make it simple, I glopped all the quizzes and dictations and free writes into the simple category of “quiz” – with subheadings of dictee and freewrites to make the grade book look prettier – but the computer was set to calculate quick quizzes, dictee and freewrites as 35% and jGR as 65%.

    This simple equation of 35% quizzes and 65% jGR worked for me because the heavy weight of jGR immediately, from the beginning of the year, caused students to sit up and pay attention to it as THE major factor in their grades. Anyone who objected was told immediately that my hands were tied, that I had to connect their child’s grade to the national standards and so that was what I was doing.

    So much of what is described in this site as a pedagogical tool is really a classroom management tool, which is a sad thing to say but that’s what we have become. At least that is balanced by the fact that in this work of teaching using comprehensible input, classroom management and teaching using comprehensible input are really one in the same thing, as explained clearly in some of the articles in the jGR category here on this site.

    jGR at 65% has the added benefit of rousting out the helicopter parents who need to be confronted as early as possible in the year to get those confrontations and discussions out of the way so that I can teach. It either breaks or removes their little homework loving Fauntleroys from my classroom in August and September so I don’t have to deal with them after, say, mid-September and then only in my level 1 classes, bringing me peace of mind, because some of those little shits can drive a teacher nuts.

    I know that 65% is a lot, but that’s the way I do it, because I believe that grading in American schools has everything to do with controlling kids and very little to do with actually honestly assessing what they can do, which doesn’t seem to be the point anymore.

    I would add that whenever I looked at my paycheck I couldn’t justify not body checking those little misbehaving kids with something like the jGR to get them to behave properly in my classroom. I don’t know. Maybe that was just me. I can’t equate low pay with emotion-shredding employment and so I didn’t allow it in my own situation. It’s probably just me. There seem to be lots of teachers out there who like the combination of low pay and emotion shredding employment these days, but I’m not one of them.

  6. Great! Thanks Grant, Robert, and Ben.

    My replacement teacher is stepping in as of Friday for me. I want jGR to “bite” more than it is right now (at about 50%). I could just change it in the gradebook now, but I don’t want to have to “announce” a change. I suppose I will wait until the 9 weeks ends in three weeks. Then I can do it unannounced with no grades in the book and let it take effect.

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