Earlier this year I posted about how English days are sometimes necessary in my classroom and how students set goals, reflect on their learning, evaluate Can Dos, prepare for student led conferences and how I planned to overhaul the work after “living it” this fall.
Also having lived the SB/proficiency based life now for several years, I have discovered the rubrics I am using to assess student performance and proficiency are more for me than for the students. Students really do not understand them, or even care to look at them, and perhaps are completely overwhelmed by what is checked off. I know for a fact the rubrics are never looked at again by students once they are passed back and the final “score” is given. It is no secret that providing them direct, specific and timely feedback on their work is more important to them and to their success. So what did I do fix this problem?
I added “glow and grow” sections to all of my rubrics based on the ideas of “praise and polish” of @profashley of deskfree.org, and that of @amylenord ideas. It is important to provide students with SPECIFIC ways to improve. Middle School students need that. I use the rubric portion to evaluate, but the “glow and grow” section to tell students what they did well, and what they could do to improve on that specific assessment. I encourage students to look at the rubric, but to focus mostly on this “glow and grow” section as I give students very specific suggestions on ways to close the gaps as well as praise them for what was great in their work. My next step is to provide students with opportunities to practice what I suggest and make it more part of the learning process.
In the fall when I did student led conferences and I used the conference forms referenced in the earlier blog posed, I noticed I focused more on what Behaviors (HOWLs) my students did well and which ones they could improve upon and not enough on pertinent feedback about skill level, mastery of standards and what they can actually do with the language. Now that my assessment rubrics, adapted from ACTFL, contain a section on “glow and grow”, or what students did well on that particular assessment and what they can do to improve (aka close the gaps). I redid the “glow and grow” feedback section I had used for conference time, too! Asking kids to sift through and show every single rubric given back to them is down right overkill and monotonous for their parents. Why not just add it to the conference packet in a nice, simplified, condensed format? Et Voilà! THIS was born. It is by no means in its final state and will continue to evolve. I welcome feedback. In fact, I AM ASKING FOR YOUR FEEDBACK on this feedback form to make it the most effective tool in my students’ language learning process. Please provide in the comments of this blog, or in the links directly in the document! And, feel free to adapt it for your learners too. Just make a copy. I’d love to see what you do with it, so please share back.
It essentially is a master list of “glow” and “grow” feedback items divided up by mode of communication that currently appear on my rubrics. Now, during student led conferences, students and parents will have feedback based on mode in which to discuss. Is this a ton of work for me? YES! Is it worth it? I truly think so, but having worked with @profasheley, and having seen her methods of feedback using autocrat and similarly that of @CatherineKU72, I have now set my sights on using this method instead, to provide feedback and to perhaps to take away some of that workload.
And yes, I filled one out for every student I have. Families of students who did not schedule a conference time, were mailed this effort along with the prep work students did in class. I also redid the conference form to be better based on ideas from @mmeblouwolff, but that is another blog post to come.