|My name is on the board!|
Students move casually between class periods and rooms. Rief teaches four language arts classes and supervises advisory and a study period during the 7:35 a.m. -2:30 p.m. school day. The schedule is a thing of A/B blocked beauty.
Beyond the building schedule though is Rief's schedule for collecting students' journals. See it on the board?
Do you collect students' journals or notebooks or portfolios? One thing I wrestle with in my own classroom is how to assess or give feedback on the work students create in their academic journals. My students have kept writing journals, academic journals or reading journals--see the directions inset below. I've graded journals, not graded journals, written in them or not written in them. How I've used journals or notebooks in my classroom changes over time.
Hi I'm RJ - Directions
|Today's to-be-graded pile|
One purpose of this trip is to remind myself of what really matters. To refocus on what I believe is right for kids. To clarify and sharpen what matters. Today what matters are how students use their writing and reading notebooks and how Rief assesses, grades and gives students feedback.
Rief collects one class set of notebooks each day, so she is responding to students 4 days a week. She collects the notebooks every two weeks. Students get a quantity grade (4-8 half hours for reading, 8 vocabulary words and 4-8 pages of writing) and a quality grade. When asked what the quanties were worth, Madison told me "8 is an A; 4 is like the lowest."
Feedback is important and Rief has streamlined the process. She uses underlining as a form of commenting. Students understand that Rief underlines lines, phrases, sections in the writing that stand out or sparkle. Sometimes there is nothing to underline and students reflect on that. She adds positive comments here and there as a reader, a member of the community would. Her goal is to respond to one class set of notebooks a night and return them to students the next day.