10 Nov Slice of Life: Getting Students in the Game!
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle
We were looking over the student checklist for narrative writing. We were about to launch the next phase of the narrative unit and we wanted the students’ to set goals.
Do you think this is overwhelming?
Will they just quickly check “Yes” for everything?
I am trying to envision how I would use this with my class.
Do you just hand it out?
Do you check it off the first time to model it?
Can they really assess themselves? Are they aware of their strengths and weaknesses?
After discussing the checklist for some time, we decided to introduce the tool to the students. We planned to simply show it to them, describe it and then have them work in partners to closely read it. We asked them to read together and jot down:
- What Do You Notice?
- What Do You Wonder?
Here is the student checklist they were using:
The students set off and we listened in with Messy Sheets in hand. As we noticed patterns we jotted them down with student names. Instructional goals started to emerge. We noticed that the students were quick to identify areas of focus. They also marked items they didn’t understand. They had great conversations about the difference between “Starting To” and “Yes.”
As we debriefed after the lesson, we highlighted the difference in the students’ disposition. They were identifying what they needed and leading the process of reflecting on their progress. Their voices were dominant – they were in the game. Black and Wiliam remind us, “Our profession needs to improve the quality of the feedback we give our students and the feedback our students give themselves”
When they know their role in assessment and in the process of learning they are more engaged. Student checklists or rubrics are often used to collect summative data. When we use them at the beginning or during of a unit of study the tool can collect more formative data. It can help us and students’ see what instructional steps they need next.
Research demonstrates that students need to know the expectations, where they currently are in relation to the expectations and the action steps they need to take to achieve the goal. Checklists help students see the expectation and self-assess where they in relation to the goal. Once the student understands where he is in relation to the goal, we can help him outline the steps he needs to take to reach his goal. It also teaches the student a process he can continually use to reassess himself and set new goals.
How do you use rubrics or checklists with your students? What role do your students have in the assessment process? How do your students know if they have reached their goal? We would love to hear your perspective!