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Week 2/3 in "Gradeless" Math - Self & Peer-Assessment and Reflecting on Progress

This post was initially published here.

In the second full week of school I put a lot of focus on starting to develop student's skills in self- and peer-assessment. Without these skills the idea of developing an environment that creates more autonomous learners likely would not happen (and the burden of giving descriptive feedback would fall entirely on me - and I also have a goal to get more sleep this year).

Here is the gist of the steps I attempted to take last week:

1. Give students questions to use when reflecting on their work (such as "Have I written my solution so that someone else can follow it?"). I put these on the board and uploaded a photo of them to our Google Site for student's to reference.

2. Introduce the model I am using for descriptive feedback (Acknowledge what you are doing well; Describe what your next step should be; Determine how/when you are going to work on your next step). I also put this on the board and uploaded a photo to our Site. In the future, I would like to provide students with exemplars and discuss what good feedback looks like.

3. Assign students to choose a question they have done and use the questions from 1 and the model from 2 to write descriptive feedback for themselves (and asked them to upload to Sesame so I could give them feedback on their descriptive feedback).

4. On the next opportunity I modeled how I used the success criteria to write the reflection questions for students (this time we were looking at problem solving).

5. I then assigned a question for them to do as practice and when most of them were finished I had them swap with a neighbour and peer-assess using the questions and write descriptive feedback for their partner.

6. For homework that night I asked them to choose one of the questions they did at home to upload to Sesame and include descriptive feedback for themselves. I followed up with those who posted one to give them feedback on their self-assessment.

I plan to have report conferences with students at midterm and the end of the course to determine their report grades together. To help them prepare for this I also implemented the next two steps at the end of the week.

7. I created a chart (pictured below) with instructions for students for them to use to help them summarize what we had been doing. I filled in the overarching learning goals (OLGs) that I wanted them to focus on and they needed to list the evidence they had of that learning (i.e. quiz, homework, activity) and then list the corresponding success criteria from our learning map as ether "met" or "still working on".

8. Based on the instructions students sent home an email that summarized the chart (on my Google Classroom assignment it stated that they should: Tell them what they learned/were able to do; Inform them of what is still being worked on; Summarize how the student feels they are doing so far).

Once students started to send the emails and I looked at a couple I realized I needed to get them to do a reflection portion to help consolidate a bit better. Upon this reflection I decided to add this to the bottom of these reflections.

This will make sure students are reminded to revisit their goal and will hopefully lead to students setting some relevant goals for where they are at the time.

I will definitely be continuing to get students to use self- and peer-assessment and will continue to work on using the above style reflections to see how they go. Right now the tough part is convincing all of them to complete it (I gave them time in class, but probably not enough).

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