Last week, I wrote about the assessment strategies I was using to get students to take more responsibility for their learning, thanks to ideas shared by assessment guru, Sandra Herbst. My students and I worked to develop success criteria for a paragraph on theme. I gave them a model paragraph and then they worked together to do a group one. Using the criteria we had developed, they gave feedback to their peers.
That was the formative stage. After this group activity, they had to pass in a paragraph about a theme from their independent novels. First, a peer had to use the assess-ment form, pictured here on the left, to give them feedback on their drafts. They used this feedback to create their good copies.
I was thrilled with what I saw (for most of them). Across the board, it was the best done assignment this year. Even students who normally get below average marks, were getting high ones. There were, of course, students who put minimal effort into the process, and their work and grade reflected that. However, the overall results illustrated that the activities were successful: the kids knew exactly what was expected of them, and their peers helped me with good feedback before the final copy came in.
Another experiment was successful too. After I assessed my students’ persuasive essays, I had them choose two areas that they would revise again, based on my feedback. They had to choose something significant and not just add a comma or fix a run-on (I told them to find the area of the rubric that they had scored the lowest on). They submitted their changes on Google Classroom, and had to highlight where they made their changes (they also passed back the original copy that I marked, as well as the rubric). Finally, they had to comment on their document to explain why they made the changes.