First thought at the title ... that won't work in my community! Second thought ... write a comment on every paper every time? No way! Third thought ... but imagine the possibilities in awesome conversations!
On Wednesday night we are discussing this blog post on #EduRead. We meet online at 8 central time and if you have even a few minutes I hope you will join us for the discussion.
Maybe you already grade differently than the norm. I read a LOT about SBG (standards based grading) online. Our school doesn't participate and in fact a few years ago, when the math department tried it, there was a district wide uproar. I know I can't go down that road.
But there is no reason I could not withhold the grade until after the conversations around the feedback occurred. The idea that students might actually examine their papers, read the feedback, and talk with classmates about their work is powerful!
I have these questions ...
- In recent reading I realize that students need quizzing often, even daily! Would you write comments on 150+ papers daily? Or is this routine saved for the more developed quizzes or tests?
- And over time would you develop a set of typical questions to put on papers to help automate feedback at least to some degree? I realize it couldn't be canned feedback and be helpful.
After listening to the video and re-reading the blog post, I went to the article that Ashli noted - Working Inside the Black Box: Assessment for Learning in the Classroom. Two key ideas from this article that I plan to put into action include: better questioning and student reflection using the red, yellow, green ideas.
IDEA 1: One simple and effective idea is for students to use “traffic light” icons, labeling their work green, yellow, or red according to whether they think they have good, partial, or little understanding. These labels serve as a simple means of communicating students’ self-assessments. Students may then be asked to justify their judgments in a peer group, thus linking peer assessment and self-assessment.
IDEA 2: Another approach is to ask students first to use their “traffic light” icons on a piece of work and then to indicate by hands-up whether they put a green, yellow, or red icon on it. The teacher can then pair up the greens and the yellows to help one another deal with their problems, while the red students meet with the teacher as a group to deal with their deeper problems. This would create a student self-assessed opportunity for differentiation.
IDEA 3: A useful guide is to ask students to “traffic light” an end of unit test at the beginning of the unit: the yellow and red items can be used to adjust priorities within the teaching plan. This could be especially helpful in Algebra 2 - first semester - when much of our content reviews Algebra 1 topics. You could also then review the traffic light pattern towards the end of the unit to help students determine an efficient review plan.
I look forward to hearing what others already do, and how they will respond to this article!