Thursday, March 20, 2014
SOLSC 20 of 31 - Student Evaluation/Conferences
Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at twowritingteachers.com. My students will also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.
Before I start, a couple of things. First, I found my coffee mug that I wrote about in Slice #16. It was in the back of the car under my disc golf stuff and winter jackets. Second, I teach a class of twenty-three middle school students grade 6-8. This is relevant to today's slice.
Today was a long, tiring and wonderful day. Tomorrow should be the same. I had conferences with half the families in my class as students showed off their portfolios from this past trimester. Each conference is led by the student, hopefully with wise observations from their teachers and their parents. Not only do we discuss the work they have done, but their thinking about projects, what they have learned about themselves, strengths, weaknesses and goals for the rest of the year. We have no grades at our K-8 school, but this process really allows everyone to know the child as a person and student. The conference are scheduled for 30-minutes each with 15-minute breaks between each one. We usually are only able to usher families out the door right when the next conference starts. Below is a list of what my students have included in their portfolios this trimester.
1) A Behavior Rubric: They evaluate themselves on: work ethic, time management, ownership of behavior, group participation, treatment of others, risk-taking, and dependability.
2) TWIMC (To Whom It May Concern) Letter where they discuss their trimester: best parts, hardest parts, lessons learned, academic and social improvements,their unit Expo (presentation), goals for the rest of the year and anything else they want to.
3) Three "Best Work" pieces from the trimester including a paragraph about each.
4) One "Improve" piece where they discuss what could have been done better on the assignment.
5) Reading Record - They are required to read a book a week. Plus a paragraph about their most influential read and a To Be Read list.
6) Writing Record of all the things they have written.
7) Their favorite SOL so far this March Challenge and a paragraph explaining why.
8) A Unit list of the projects for their unit and explanations of what they learned about the subject and about themselves as a student.
9) Anything else they feel is relevant.
It's an impressive process with amazing results, even if they get a little tired of making three portfolios a year. The rest of my class will be tomorrow and I'm booked solid from 8:00-5:00 with 45 minutes for lunch. I'm looking forward to it