November 21, 2017
So today is the last day of school for us for the week before Thanksgiving Break. I thought I would take some time to come up with my professional “What I’m Thankful For” List. And I know this seems to be a common theme with me, but as any good teacher knows, it’s all about reflection.
I am thankful for my ability to reflect on my best and (worst) practices. After the difficult year I faced last year, I am pleasantly surprised (and not to jinx myself or anything, but…) to see that things are fairly smooth this year so far. I feel like I have finally found my “groove”.
One of my previous posts on my Facebook page asked my readers what they would like me to write about. One reader asked for me to write about assessment strategies that won’t take forever to grade but give good feedback to the kids. So, dear reader, here is my best answer to your question.
Any good assessment has a rubric. I find that the more detailed my rubric is, the easier it is for my kids to understand what they need to do to get an A. (We all hope that they use this feedback not just for the A, but for the gaining of knowledge. We can only dream, right?) I try and give as precise feedback as I possibly can. Comments like “Make sure adjectives and nouns agree” or “Watch your subject/verb agreement” is way better than something vague, like “What else?”
Predictably, my 2s are more interested in the specifics of my feedback than my 1s are, but I’m hoping that as the year progresses, my 1s understand how important this specific feedback truly is. (We’re about to start their first foray into subject pronouns and conjugating -ar verbs in present tense. Wish me luck!)
I would love to hear your thoughts as to what you find works well for assessment strategies. I find that rubrics make things so much easier to grade when it’s all laid out in front of you, but I’m sure there are things that I’m either missing or forgetting about. Call me out! What are some of your favorite tips/tricks?