[Note: this is an excerpt from my blog post on the TI BulleTIn Board.]
With the first marking period winding down here in the northeastern US, teachers and students are focusing on the grading process. How might we make end-of-marking period evaluations into a constructive tool for the teacher AND the students? Here is one idea…
At the end of a marking period, students’ grades indicate their progress and achievement in math class. It is also a great time to encourage reflection and feedback on what teaching and learning practices have played out in the classroom and what changes can be made so the class is more productive in the future. Here is how I have turned my end-of-quarter evaluations into valuable conversations about how to make math class better for all of us.
My Four Questions
My students answer these four open-ended prompts. Names are optional.
- Tell me something specific you did well or are proud of this quarter.
- Tell me something specific you want to improve for next quarter.
- Tell me something you think I did well.
- Tell me something you want me to change or improve.
I give students time to reflect and write, and the ground rules are that they can’t say “nothing” and can’t propose major changes like “stop giving homework/tests”. Because I require them to be specific, they have to find some details about their learning and my teaching to discuss. Most of the time, students write about things that are actionable in their evaluations.
I feel that this process makes evaluation a two-way street, since students are commenting on me and my teaching but also on themselves. By asking them to name what they are going to do differently for the coming quarter, I place the responsibility on their shoulders for making changes in their class performance. The set of four questions opens the door for us to communicate constructively about improving our math class experience for everyone.
What Will You Do?
I’m interested in what other teachers find useful for end-of-marking period feedback. Let me know what works for you and your students here in the comments or on Twitter (AT KarenCampe).
Notes and Resources:
Some helpful blog posts about End-of-Quarter/Semester feedback are here and here from Sarah Carter (twitter AT mathequalslove) and here from Jac Richardson (twitter AT jacrichardson). Thanks so much for sharing!
Read the full post on the TI BulleTIn Board: