I am trying to blog everyday. Not just to blog but to write. It is a personal goal of mine to write everyday and just so happened this morning I was going over student writing. I took this lesson I like to call “Mostly True Memoirs” we use some mentor texts including a story I wrote of a day on the river, we look at different writing tools to strengthen the descriptive writing in the stories we write and then we write. I love reading student writing but I very much dislike assigning a grade to it. If I had my way I never would, we would just conference about their work, talk about areas they thought they excelled in and where we could do more, then I would let them do more. This unfortunate practice of giving a mark is not conducive to growth but alas until the system changes marks are required.
That said I think constructive feedback that addresses both celebrations and “I wonder ifs” is a much more powerful way to assist our writing students than a simple mark. Stick the marks on the side and focus on the feedback. Consider your own work life. You get your midyear evaluation in the mail box, open it up and just see a bunch of percentages.
Clearly explains lesson outcomes-76%
Acceptable Assessment Practice- 43%
Uses Best Practices (Whatever that means) -67%
Apply this to your own profession? Would it be helpful?
Feedback gives students clear direction as to what they can build on, it takes time for sure but the sweat equity pays off in the long run.
I would love if we could move towards just outcomes and feedback for our assessment. It is the right direction to go but in the mean time the feedback I provide students I hope helps them see the path to success before them.
We all need feedback to be better, descriptive, prescriptive feedback, that helps one grow in whatever area the growth is needed is a great exercise that I have benefitted from as one receiving and giving the feedback.
Quick thoughts as I finish some feedback on student writing. Looking at different ways we can improve the end products.