The last five days concluded the first full week of school with students. This past week teachers started to dive into content and policies were in full effect. My school had its curriculum night on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was there that many teachers explained their expectations, homework and grading policies to parents. My presentation was similar to last year, but I added a brief component related to grading/feedback. This part of the curriculum night presentation stemmed from the events in the paragraphs below.
Earlier in the week I spoke with my classes about giving them chances in class to review feedback and redo assignments. I told them that students are able to do this when the environment allows for second chances exist. This year assignments completed in class will note a NY or M near the top of the paper. I’m actually borrowing this idea from a class I took years ago. I introduced this process to students earlier in the week using an anchor chart.
The NY means that the student isn’t yet meeting expectations for that particular skill. Students are asked redo any assignment that includes an NY. They don’t need to necessarily redo the entire assignment. Instead, I’ll highlight a certain section that needs to be changed. Students then redo and return that assignment. An M indicates that the student met the expectations for the assignment. Ideally, the NY papers eventually turn into M papers. So far the process is working well. I’d say the majority of the NY papers that are returned have turned into papers that meet the expectations.
Management is something that I’ll be looking at improving. Finding time for students to redo the projects hasn’t turned problematic, but I’m looking at designating a certain time in class for students to work on the NY papers. I haven’t yet set a deadline to when I’ll accept all the redo papers. It’ll most likely be a week for the trimester ends, but that decision hasn’t been set in stone.
Currently, I’m only using this process for projects completed in class. The good news is that students are starting to redo and turn the sheets back in. Another positive is that students aren’t focusing on the grade on the project. They’re looking at what concept needs strengthening, asking for help when needed and redoing the project. In doing this students are working towards the mastery of concepts rather than focusing entirely on the grade alone.