Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Grading Processes

Today in Astronomy, we talked about grading (by we I mean the students and I). I started by listing possible categories for IC. Next, I asked the students to write down what they thought about each category. (what the meaning was, what it should include, what good and bad examples are etc.) We had a large group discussion about this. SInce it was first hour and the seniors are not quite with it, they really did not want to participate. I had a hard time with the silence. The students would even turn their eyes from each other. I am sure that they were uncomfortable with the discussion. Then I had the students write down what percentage of the course should each category be. This is where it got interesting. I had some students who were really into this and others who could care less.

I had the students pair up and try to convince each other of why the persentages should be the way that they decided. Then they were to agree on percentage assignments. Next, the students had to pair up with another group and do the same thing. The groups kept getting larger and larger until we were back as one group. We then decided as a class what the percentages should be.

Some students left happy and others were unhappy. The group of students that concerns me is the group that did not care. Do they really have no input? or has no teacher ever asked them? I wonder what this will look like if I do the same activity with a single assignment and not the course? I know Cara has tried this and I am excited about trying it also.

1 comment:

McBride said...

I think that this was a great idea and I think that putting them into the groups was a way to break the silence.
Although some students left "unhappy" this is something that they have not seen before... its better then nothing!

As for setting up expectations, I did a similar thing. I had the students first individually write down expectations and qualities that they look for in a teacher, a student, and a class. I then opened this up to the class and we wrote them on the board. I had them think also in the subcategories of participation, behavior etc. We then agreeded on the expectations as a class, I typed them up and we all signed. I did this with freshman and some of the expectations were very basic (don't throw things) but then they made the expectation for the teacher that the teacher would make the class challenging but not overwhelming. It took a class period but it worked well. I have already had kids refer to the expectations.
I am doing something similar for my juniors, but through a blog.