I talked to an educator whose school implemented a new online program that keeps track of the attendance and puts the homework assignments and quiz dates online for students and parents. After the work has been graded or a test scored, the grades can be released online. I applaud this program for making students and parents aware of what topical information is going to be covered and then providing the grading on these. This creates a grading accountability.
However, I think that the program is typical of a summative approach to learning. There is no learning accountability. If the program had a comment box where teachers could put in a comment or two about specific ways for the students to improve then the students would know how to be successful in the course. They could do better academically in the class. Such an online program would be formative and not grade-this-quiz summative. Likewise if each homework or quiz was labeled with a specific standard such as 1.1 or 2.3, then the program could report on standard learning accountability. If the program could group all quizzes and homeworks by the standard, such as all 1.1 work, then the online program could report out standard learning success. Parents and students would know more than just grades, they would know how far their child had progressed in each of the standards.
What does your online grading program do?
A business teacher was telling me that she used one task as the pre-test for her course. She had the students word process a a business application business letter and email it to her. She checked whether they could 1) use business email procedures, 2) do attachments, 3) use the proper format for a business letter, 4) write in a business style, 5) do an application letter, and 6) write well. She scored each skill on a scale of 4 (above proficiency) to 1(does not demonstrate proficiency). The students took about 25 minutes of class time to do the task and she took about 1 hour to rate each student’s work and record the information. However, with only 1 1/2 hours of time, she knew how to change the course to best fit the needs of the students. She could modify her plans so that students would be successful. She could skip those skill areas that all students had demonstrated. She had used just one task to get a richness of information (6 different skills) about the students.
What authentic task do you have your students do that enables you to analyze how well students can demonstrate the many critical skills for your course (or unit)?
Published September 26, 2007
21st Century Skills , Country , Culture , FL , Flickr , Foreign Language , Hispanic , Image , Modern Language , Photo , Spanish , Speaking , Transportes , Writing
As a Spanish teacher you can use the following Flickr images to show your students the variety of transportation in Spanish speaking countries. These images also provide great speaking and writing opportunities. If you do not teach Spanish, please share with your Spanish teacher. Gracias.
El tranvia -Buenos Aires, Argentina
Transporte popular – Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
Transporte publico 2 Tijuana, Mexico
Transporte ecologista-Malecón, Centro Habana, Cuba
Transporte – aeropuerto, Madrid, Espana
Transporte – Parque Tezozomoc, Azcapotzalco. Mexico
Transporte publico taxco-Mexico
Transporte publico -Monterrey, Mexico
Servicio de bicicletas – Sevilla, Espana
El transporte -Habana, Cuba
Medio de transporte-izabal, Guatemala
Imagen -transporte Valparaiso, Chile
What other flickr images have you found for Hispanic transportation?
Other Spanish (Hispanic images) for conversations or writing
Spanish streets – Calle
Spanish sports –Deporte
Spanish restaurant Restaurante
Spanish Language Menu
I did some painting this weekend. I had to scrap off the old chipped paint, apply a primer, and then paint. I wonder how we preparing students for their learning?
Do we pretest them and report the information back to them so they know how to improve. For the first day of class, I had them do a task which is one of the two tasks on the final. I assessed it according to the writing rubric (analytic assessment with no total) and then returned it to them. In a spreadsheet, I kept track of their analytic scores as well as a running record of their common errors and misconceptions so that I can focus on helping them be successful.
Do we let them know the standards and the specific parts of the standards for which they are responsible? Do we let them know how they will be assessed in the course? “What’s the purpose of this course?” is my favorite question to my students, followed by “How will you show it?”
Do we break the information into section that can be assessed for feedback? I had the students learn the format for a business letter without the content. I assessed their letter format and returned with comments for improvement. Then we practiced the structure of the introduction, body, and conclusion parts of the letter. I assessed their “body paragraphs” and returned with comments for improvement. Then we learned different types of letters (the actual content) and how to modify each structural part for that type of letter. Each time they do a letter of a certain type, they hand it in and I identify their strengthens and areas for improvements with specific prompts.
How do you help prepare your students to be shiny bright in your subject’s standards?
My front porch is shiny white due to my scrapping, priming, and painting. Hopefully, my students will be shiny bright in their proficiency in the standards.
I have my students doing a WIKI to better understand the concepts in the class. I explained what they were to do it and how to do it. When I looked at their first WIKI standards-based assignment, I discovered that they had not done it as I wanted. I realized that my error was in my not showing them what I wanted. Spoken words can easily be envisioned in many ways. However, when students see the actual model then they “see” how to do it. I made up a model and showed them how to format it. The students did the next assignment to a much higher quality due to the modeling. I knew that they were learning the information in a comprehensive and in-depth manner due to the modeling.
How do you model the end goal that you want for the students?
Often we may go through a course, teaching topic after topic. The students do not see the connection between the topics. However, if we could give them an over arching scaffold, then they could fit things into it. For example, an English teacher may teacher a standard format for writing within the writing process (introduction; body with paragraphs to supply the examples; and conclusion). Students can use this format whenever they have to write in class. They learn that they only have to slightly vary the body organization and content to achieve the specific purpose of any writing. Therefore, each writing task does not seem like a completely different type of writing. One teacher had the full writing steps printed out on business cards so the students could always have the scaffold with them.
What do you have in your course that provides an over arching scaffold to the students? What serves as “the great connector” for all the learning in your course?