It’s a good thing I intended this process to be about reflection because I did no monitoring online throughout the year. 😕
My focus was intended to be on quality assessment.
1. I created portfolios for all of my courses: English 10, 11, 12 and Planning 10
2. I required self-evaluation after every unit
3. I provided more anecdotal feedback and fewer percentage scores
4. I allowed students to participate in assessment models for some units.
5. I explained formative assessment throughout the year so that students understood that learning time was not the same as ‘marks for report cards’
6. I provided Unit outlines so that students could visualize what tools they would need/use and what learning outcomes would be focused on. I read the unit outlines to the students in order that they became aware of the learning expectation and the time expected for that learning to occur.
My quizzes were usually written responses to the learning except for Worksafe BC which is an actual quiz.
English 10 tests are normally vocabulary reviews one day after practice plus
a writing response to the recent reading and short sentence responses. I’m looking for sequencing of ideas, clarity, and confident use of written language skills.
English 11 assessment is far more demanding. Here I am a stickler. I expect students to be willing to rewrite all major assignments. The editing process is the key to our year. Since we don’t need to panic about BC Provincial exams, then the year is wonderfully set to allow students to transform from the three paragraph model writer to the five paragraph.
We research Canadian writers to determine who the people are behind the covers of our books. We learn not to plagerize.
Student discover their dangling modifiers, their misplaced commas, their lost objects, and their parallel sentence structures. They practice writing dramatic monologues, first person narratives, expository essays, and SLAM.
When all is said and done their work is presented to one another and we like what we do. We hear what we have learned. The structures are embedded in the spoken lines of the presentation. Students evaluation one another and give honest comments.
English 12 began with Literature circles. I know that few teachers would begin with Lit circles but I didn’t know these students as well as they knew each other, and I wanted to watch them work together. I won’t talk about how it went here, but I will say I provided tasks for three groups. The groups were formed by the students themselves, after all, they are in grade 12.
My formative assessment included one essay response about the novel after Presentation day. It was open book and students were allowed to use all of the notes compiled during their Lit Circle.
What I loved about English 12’was an Introductory unit on Philosophy that I put together with the Inquiry question, “Where do our ideas come from”?
Inspired by Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, but not having the novel for my students, I began introducing the philosophers, beginning with Socrates and Plato and ending a week later with Kierkegaard.
This was critical learning in my view as I wanted students to understand that great writers are influenced by their world view or philosophy and that philosophy came from someone somewhere else. Now we were ready to study early writers.
Later in the course as we focused on poets from Nigeria, Russia, Palestine, Argentina and South Africa we were able to realize that the poet is in the poem. We had to know that person as well, “Why is this poem talking to me”? as we focused on tone and why certain devices work to convey tone.
My Shakespeare unit was my oral reading unit as students were required to read a new part daily of Midsummer Night’s Dream to be read in either original or updated version (student choice). For assessment of understanding a required a series of journals for feedback.
In the final three weeks of the school year students are reading and analysing, (with discussion) An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English, Edited by Daniel David Moses & Terry Goldie.
I am creating discussion points, multiple choice questions for Provincial exam practice and writing responses for free-writes. When the students free-write I scan their responses into my email so that all students evaluate one another’s writing ability. We can score out of 6 and give one positive comment and one positive encouraging improvement comment.
I’ll comment on Planning 10 separately since I’ve learned I’m assigned this subject again next year and I really need to overall my programme.
Next post I’ll talk about how my assessment worked.