If you are like me, you probably spend your spare time reading articles and publications about learning and education. Sounds like you, right? Well, since we agree that we are interested in good pedagogy, this quotation from Growing Success should be familiar to you:
Teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to elicit information about student learning.These strategies should be triangulated to include observation,student-teacher conversations,and student products.Teachers can gather information about learning by:
•designing tasks that provide students with a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning; •observing students as they perform tasks;
•posing questions to help students make their thinking explicit;
•engineering classroom and small-group conversations that encourage students to articulate what they are thinking and further develop their thinking.
Today, you will participate in small group discussions that are designed to develop your thinking. Here are the ground rules:
- One student will read his/her work to the rest of the group
- Each member of the group will provide constructive feedback (think strength/next step)
- Discuss the student’s work in detail, using the question prompts below
- Repeat with each student
- Consolidate learning by agreeing on 6-8 key points you take from the discussion. This may include specific references to the text, arguments, observations, questions, and/or predictions. Add these points to your notes.
During the 20 minute conversation, each student must ask at least two questions designed to develop thinking. While you are certainly encouraged to ask your own questions, you may also use the questions below. Each student is responsible for remembering the responses of their peers (you may want to make a quick note about these responses so that you can remember them later)
- What did you learn about ________________ through this activity?
- How have your perceptions about ________________ changed?
- What did you leave out of this activity?
- What predictions do you have for the upcoming chapters?
- What lingering questions do you have?
- What struggles did you encounter writing this?