I really enjoyed these two articles and I agree with many of the points brought up. I’m hoping the link at the bottom stays active so that I will be able to access that document in the future. Drawing from the first part of the article from last week: I was a good learner. I enjoyed and excelled at tests and written assignments and I hated the dramatic presentations. Looking back they really helped me come out of my shell but at the time I only dreaded them. Now I understand why I was pushed out of my comfort level because other students do not express their knowledge in the same way I do.
In my classroom, I would like to include students in as much planning as possible. For example: making rubrics, self-evaluation and even possibly giving the students the outcomes and letting them choose what method they would like to express them. I also would like to implement different late policies. Last year I had a professor who wouldn’t take off any marks if you’re late but you had to contact her 24-48 school hours before the assignment was due and suggest an alternate and respectable due date. I also like the idea that 1-2% could come off after that date. I agree that taking off 10% per day late doesn’t reflect the student’s ability in the subject.
I don’t want to teach in a traditional classroom; I want to include the students as much as possible and be able to reach out to them. A huge part of my teaching philosophy is making information relevant, engaging and interesting for students. I’d be interested in forming assessments based around student response to their favourite parts and least favourite parts of the lesson. That may be a good assessment of my accountability to my students. Many and diverse assessments will encourage autonomy and confidence.
I really don’t understand why curriculum isn’t posted in the classroom. I intend to be very straight with my students from everything from assessments to curriculum. They will know exactly what they’re supposed to be learning and what I will be expecting from them. I find that I don’t remember any information that I memorized only for a test or had to read just for class. I remember the most when I’m engaged and interested and my aim is to find the student’s passion and expand from there. I can only do that through many and diverse assessments of my students.
I do have some concerns with self evaluation. While I think it’s a great technique and I can see how the article “Our Words, Our Ways” says that it allows the student to be less conflicted with their grade when they have a part in deciding it but I also feel that some students mark themselves harder or easier based on the grade they want or don’t want to brag. I feel that asking questions may be a better way to understand how the student is feeling in the classroom. For example: “What was your favourite part of today’s lesson?” “What was your least favourite?”. Often the least favourite part is the one they understand the least. ” Honest self-evaluation could come easier in an honest classroom which comes from being completely honest and straightforward myself. The students need to feel that they are able to assess their own writing and skills. This comes from an open dialogue in the classroom and having a relationship with the students.
Another note I had was from the “Learning to Love Assessment” and the concept of backward design. I actually hadn’t heard the term before so I did a little research and quickly learned that it’s the method we take in this class. Instead of starting with activities, we begin with the original goal. The students really only see the activities and content of the course. This supports my idea of providing the original goals to the students. Then they know exactly what I will be looking for and the real goal of the class and then planning activities that will help allow the students to come to these understandings and goals. Within this, I hope that students will be able to set their own goals to be able to reach these outcomes thereby making the classroom entirely student centred.