29.8.15

Teach students to self assess!

When I was teaching at the Pathways world school, School website, I had a routine where the first thing in the class was that I used to give feedback on their HW and grades. This is something all of them looked forward to for it gave them an instant feedback and gratification.

I developed a great relationship with one of my grade 7 section. One fine day, I told them, ‘‘Why should I decide what your grade should be? You decide it yourself.’’
They looked at me jaw dropped, “But how?”

I realised that they need step-by-step instructions. So I gave them a rubric —accuracy of work; amount of work finished; effort put to do whatever they had done.

The results were outstanding. I had students coming and telling me:
  • “I didn’t finish it all, but I deserve a B for I really worked at it.”
  • “I did it...but it was too easy for me, so a B minus is ok.”
  • “I did it all, and I didn’t give up! I deserve an A plus.”
  • “I am not very sure...I have done part of the work. It is correct. But I took a lot of time.”
  • “I have done it. But I was late due to laziness. I choose a B.”
  • “I have done it. But I was late due to illness. I choose an A minus.”

And on and on it went. It was pure 99% honesty, sincerity and healthy self-reflection. That is what I got from the students. So slowly, I could let go of them with confidence that they can self-assess themselves very well. 

They did not measure themselves to any standard, but to their own capacity and hard work.

We looked forward to meeting in each Maths class!


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