Friday, September 21, 2012

Interim Reports

Today is interim report day. We are half-way through the first 9-weeks.

For the weeks leading up to this, I have told students that their grades will be based on how well they are learning in this class. Students often tell me they expect to pass this class just because they did some of the work. For many students, their past experience makes them believe that learning isn't really important. So, I try to make clear, from the very beginning, that I care about their learning.

They are here to learn.

Sometimes, it takes students until interim reports to believe that their learning matters. Throughout the day of interim reports, many students will ask why they have low grades. I just ask them to show me their notebooks. Most often, they don't want to do that. They understand the problem. They know they haven't been doing their work or learning all the material. They're just surprised anyone cares.

I care whether or not they learn.

Here's an example of how their effort and their learning shows up in their work. On Sept 18, students worked with their table partners to read an article about Dr. Ben Carson. Then, they answered a series of questions based on the article.

Here's a link to the article and questions.

And here are a couple examples of students' work.

This student didn't put much effort into the work. The student didn't even try to answer many of the questions.

This student wrote thoughtful answers that showed she understood the article.

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