Sharing my comments with students

Throughout each quarter, I have kept a narrative of how the student has performed on each assessment and on other important assignments.  During quarter 2 (last quarter), I let them read it midway through the quarter, and I handed them a hard copy of it at the end of the quarter.  I thought this was effective for a couple of reasons.

First, it seemed to reiterate my feedback on each assignment to them.  The narrative gives my overall take on how they did, in a way that individual comments on a test might now.  On the test, I might write: “You forgot to mention why this is” or “Not enough proof.” But the patterns of not completing answers may not be so obvious to them until they see in the narrative: “In three out of the five answers, you didn’t give adequate examples.”  And they can see this pattern across several assignments more clearly when all their feedback is collated in one place.

Second, I think this kind of ongoing openness is respectful of them as learners.  I expect them to take responsibility for their work and I hold them accountable for what they still need to work on.  Having this kind of feedback lets them see how their work as a whole represents (or doesn’t) their effort and understanding.  When they have this information organized and spelled out, the responsibility for their academic growth is placed even more firmly on their shoulders.

So my thought for this quarter as I work on their narratives: What if I make this narrative a shared google document the student could reference throughout the quarter?

Here is a sample narrative from quarter 2:

Summary of daily rubric – satisfactory completion of all work, some lateness, sometimes too much play in class, need to work on examples

Test 1 – Content mastered, writing of SEE is non-existant. No examples. For both SEE question and for the citizenship questions, mis-read the directions. Memorization of map perfect, citizenship incomplete because of mis-reading.

SEE paragraph first draft – Well done, but no examples.

Thematic Map – Two maps. Clear, easy to read, information accessible. One title is a little confusing – should be Military Expenditure as a percentage of GDP, I think. Both missing compass roses and East-West gridlines. Bibliography looks great.

SEE paragraph final draft – Well done. Topic sentence needs to refer to the three topics of the SEEs – it refers to three topics but they don’t match the three SEEs. Also good examples, but they all come from Salva’s story.

Test 2 – Content is accurate and mostly complete. About half the answers are lacking in examples.

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