Looking for an activity with self-evaluation

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 16, 2017

    Tomorrow is the first day back after spring break, and it's a minimum day, which means classes are 35 minutes. I of course want to jump back in curriculum, I'm not giving them a free day like some teachers at our schools do (because the kids are probably going to be very chatty, and won't want to focus), I think they need the structure really badly, because many of them for the past week didn't go to sleep on time, didn't eat well, probably partied, drank and got high. So, back to business.

    I thought about doing something in-between, but still meaningful.

    What I'd like to do is give them a questionnaire where they evaluate their own progress this year or just this semester
    I was thinking some of the questions could be like this:
    - what do you think your academic grade is in this class?
    - how do you feel about it? and why?
    - what are the reasons it is not what it should be? (be specific: too many absences, not completing work, not doing the work at all, etc.)
    - what types of lessons, activities or projects did you enjoy this year? (I can give them some examples to refresh their memory)
    - what types of activities, lessons or projects did you dislike this year?
    - what types of activities, lessons, projects or topics would you be interested in in the future?

    - if your behavior and effort received a grade, what should it be? and why?
    and then I could go into more questions about that.

    I thought about asking the class culture, even things related to school culture, activities.

    Does anyone have any ideas, recommendations or eve examples for this?
    This is high school, all grades (9-12), student enthusiasm greatly varies, most of them either don't value education or are indifferent towards it (some of course do), very few will most likely attend college, and although behavior is really not that bad, we have quite a few court ordered kids, on probation, in gang and in and out of juvenile hall. (some are here by choice due to smaller class sizes, etc).

    Thank you!
    This would be for tomorrow :)
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 16, 2017

    Kudos to you for trying that. I feel like I've tried to do something similar (offer structure and meaningful activities on days when other teachers just showed movies or something because it was a short day) and the kids nearly straight up rebelled because the other classes set up the expectation that that day was a do-nothing day.

    I think what you have planned sounds good. Just don't expect that kids are going to be super engaged in it (don't expect them not to be either I guess! Some might be very into it). The day after Spring break I found that most kids were fairly alert, but the day after is when the school schedule finally hit them.
     
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  4. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I have always been one of those teachers who had meaningful lessons / activities even on those days when some teachers gave them word searches for credit (word searches !! In high school!! I still don't get it). The good news is that my students have learned a long time ago that I don't conform to what other teachers do and I always do my own thing. They sort of accepted it and don't even mention it (they definitely don't rebel).

    We're going to watch the movie Radio as this ties into our previous lessons about disabilities, and I was going to do a quick lesson about the ADA that passed in 1990. We already talked about disability for weeks, even briefly discussed this law, so I don't have anything that lasts 35 minutes.
    I'll just go over it before we start the movie, it'll probably take 10 minutes.
    I think this evaluation will be something neutral to start, they can be completely honest, it's all about them, so I think they should be somewhat interested. There are always students who don't care, but I think most of them will be somewhat into it.
    Especially when I tell them that their responses will mean something, because I might change things around. Obviously I won't change their grade, because it's not coming from me, they earned it.

    Then when they're done, they can sit there and chit chat a bit, I know they will have a lot to say, so I won't expect them to sit there for 35 minutes and write on the first day back
     
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  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I hear you on word searches. I get how it might help wth vocabulary especially if it only provides hints on what the words are using their definitions and doesn't actually give you the word, but yeah, I see Juniors and Seniors being given word searches in advanced science classes, and I'm confused.

    I did expect them to write and work and think on their first day back (I treated it like any other day), so maybe that's why they freaked out?
     
  6. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 16, 2017

    simple word searches where they simply look for the word may help with spelling, but we're way beyond that in high school. Crossword puzzles are very different, they work very well with vocabulary, the kids are always into it and can complete it. (not too easy, not too hard). When we read novels, I also include certain terms from the chapters, like location, character name, items, etc, with the clues for the word and it works very well.
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Comrade

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    Apr 16, 2017

    It's first day back tomorrow and a research assessment is awaiting my students. I start as I mean to go on and I never feel bad about it.

    Sometimes I do a reverse crossword with my students. I give them the crossword with everything filled in and they write the clues in their own words and that demonstrates to me their level of understanding.

    I've done class surveys about what students think about my teaching and survey monkey is a good way to collate the results.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 16, 2017

    I've done a class survey about my teaching and classes, once, but that was at the end of the year.

    In a way I'm interested to see if the students do understand that the effort they put into something will have a pretty good correlation with the result. So this is why I want them to give me their self evaluation about their own effort and grade.
    And I want to see what they would have to say that is interesting to them.

    Once, a year or 2 ago I sked them what they would want to learn about, it was really informal. I did give them some guidance, gave them examples : reading short stories, novels, write, poetry, plays, they'd prefer quick lesson with worksheets, etc. I also gave them non-examples, such as don't say you just want to do nothing, or have an easy day or watch movies.
    This was anonymous, so they didn't get credit for it, (it was only a 5-10 minute quick assignment). Most of them didn't write anything, some actually wrote my non-examples, and then the few did answer were so different from each other that I couldn't base anything on it.

    So now I will make it more specific.

    But does anyone have any ideas what else I should include?
     
  9. rpan

    rpan Comrade

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    Apr 17, 2017

    Just throwing it out there, I teach Year 9 and when I ask students to do a self evaluation, I find that some just do it because you asked them to, but haven't taken the time to reflect and hence can't make the correlation between effort and result. I suppose it's just the age group because I teach a slightly younger age group than you. However, to help them along, I give them my evaluation of their effort so far and then I get them to tell me if they think my evaluation is overly harsh, overly soft or sounds about right. For example, I would evaluate John's effort to be paying attention and doing meaningful work at 40% and 60% he is chatting with mates or daydreaming or scribbling rubbish to get me off his back - and he is sitting on a D. I ask them if they think the percentage is right, I think it's easier for them to assign an actual number because it is more tangible. Some are quite honest and say, actually it's more 30% and 70% etc, which is good.

    And then I tell him if he was 75% and 25% he'd be on Cs and Bs all day everyday twice on Sunday. I can't make him do anything he doesn't want to, but the potential is there for him to grab hold of or throw it out the window. Especially in high school where more and more of the decisions they make have a larger impact on the rest of their lives, they need to think about things rather than take the easy road or 'worry about it later' because 'later' usually comes sooner than they are prepared for.
     
  10. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Apr 17, 2017

    We're going to watch the movie Radio as this ties into our previous lessons about disabilities, and I was going to do a quick lesson about the ADA that passed in 1990. We already talked about disability for weeks, even briefly discussed this law, so I don't have anything that lasts 35 minutes.

    There are a ton of Documentaries on what happens to people with disabilities after their caretakers pass away or are no longer able to care for their disabled students.
    This one is 34 mins:

     
  11. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    Apr 17, 2017

    This is my former student's Senior Project Video
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 17, 2017

    Thank you so much !!
     
  13. Linguist92021

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    Apr 17, 2017

    So I created the document and handed it out to the kids. The results were interesting, in a good way.
    The document asked about their grades, and asked them to check disliked / neutral / enjoyed every major activity we did last semester and this semester. We have a high turnover, so I told them if they weren't here (some are locked up for 2-3 weeks then come back or just absent a few days) or don't remember an activity, leave it blank.
    It also asked about how they felt about school, specific questions about how many friends they have here, (1, 2-3, a circle of friends they feel comfortable with), outside of school, if they feel liked by their peers, liked by at least some of the teachers. If they feel comfortable talking to at least 1 teacher. If they feel safe at school.
    Then I had 2 questions about having an adult at school they feel comfortable telling if someone brought a gun to school, or if someone was thinking about hurting themselves.

    I believe they were very honest and for the most part they paid attention to the questions. Yes, there were students who checked off lessons and activities for last semester and I know they weren't here for, but I think they just got confused.
    Except for 1-2 students, everyone said they "don't wish to have more friends at school" I thought this was strange, but I talked to our psychologist, and she said this is completely normal, because even if a student doesn't have any friends, they don't want to look weak or lonely, so they don't admit that they wish they had more friends.
    This was also a question and answer that really showed me that the kids paid attention to the questions, because if they were randomly checking off boxes, they answers to this would have been 50-50. But it was 2-80.
    The questions about the gun and hurting themselves: The majority said they would not have someone comfortable telling it to. I thought this was alarming, but the psychologist said this is also very normal with our students because they don't want to look like / act like "snitches".
    One did put "I ain't no snitch", the rests didn't explain.

    Interestingly, 90 % of them liked the lessons about disabilities (and these were going on for 2-3 weeks, informational documents, discussions and a movie). The rest of the lessons greatly varied. I thought this was a glitch, because maybe they remember what we did last so they checked they liked it, but the psychologist said this is also no surprise. In the past our students went over to other schools on field trips and volunteered in special day / severe handicapped classes, and they always did really well. She thought all our students acted very sensitive and empathic towards these students with disabilities, maybe because they felt helpful and useful, because now there were people who looked up the them and needed them.
    Because of this, and because several students expressed interest in learning more about disabilities (on this survey) I decided to continue with these lessons. So we will learn about PTSD, and service dogs, and I'd like also do a lesson on mental illnesses, depression and suicide / prevention. And then watch the movie Radio.

    I actually like the way I did this survey and I think I will use them in the future, maybe even once in each semester.
     
  14. ms.irene

    ms.irene Groupie

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    Apr 18, 2017

    I don't have too much advice other than to be able to relate...I just found out that one of my fellow teachers is making class "optional" for seniors for the last 6 weeks of school. Meanwhile, I am having them start a new novel. It's an uphill battle to have any standards at all...
     
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  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 20, 2017

    By the way I think these types of surveys about teachers, classes, students themselves are always useful, but you have to take them with a grain of salt. Having them done anonymously or not makes a difference, and each one has its pros and cons. Anonymous surveys run the risk of having kids say some really inappropriate things, sometimes just for shock effect (and they know they don't get caught) and they often don't even complete it because they don't get anything out of it.
    Having them put their name on it gives it more accountability, often kids like the fact that you want to know what they think, but certain questions they will not answer, or will not answer truthfully.

    All in all I was happy with the result. We had a lot of absences, so I'm still handing these to those kids who are coming back, and they all fill it out and return it to me (they often end up completing it in a different class, or during lunch, or take it home) even those kids who normally don't even do their work.
    I'll be doing these in the future, I might change some things.
     

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