Statistics and crime map…
Jun 09 Published in Untagged by Purple
This is a continuation of my journal from my 2001-2002 school year. Please read the previous posts to give this entry context.
One half of my final exam is that students write an essay on three things they learned in the class. These can be curriculum or life lessons. These are very rewarding essays to read; they force the students to review and to reflect. Metacognition. Spell check doesn’t recognize that word.J
As I do my own reflection, I am pleased with my incorporation of rubric scoring after attending the Kate Kinsella workshop. It never occurred to me before how unfair holistic scoring of writing is. How frustrating it must be for the student to be graded on everything! The student who came in with poor skills has little chance of earning an A.
However, with a rubric, students know exactly what will be expected of them. Every concept on the rubric has been covered during this class. The concepts can be challenging, but none of them is a mystery. If a concept has not been taught, I don’t grade for it.
The rubrics make me clarify my goals and expectations. The assignments are clearer to the students. The grading is less subjective.
The Gas Pedal as Lie Detector
I might think something doesn’t bother me, but if I look down and my fingers are gripping the steering wheel and I’m driving seventy-five, I know it does.
This morning as I was driving to work, I was thinking of Brandon, probably because I saw him in the office again during fifth period yesterday. I looked down and I had the pedal to the metal.
Since I’ve taught hundreds and hundreds of freshmen, I think that I am an expert on fourteen and fifteen-year-old behavior, at least in a school context. Brandon is more than a couple of bubbles off plumb. I wish there was some gentle, tactful way to tell a parent that.
The Proof Is In the Pudding
When Deborah starts her essay, “Every student goes to school to learn, but not everybody learns everything teachers say,” and then goes on to say she’s learned how to start an essay with a universal statement, I feel good. The essay itself shows that she has, indeed, learned the skill. Knowing how to use a universal statement has made her “more confident.” “When I have to write and essay or report, now I can start quickly . . . .”
This is certainly much more satisfying than when Amanda writes, “In addition, I learned the dependent and independent clauses. A dependent clause is a clause that cannot stand-alone. For example, He smiled.” Ouch!