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Showing posts from October, 2017

Student Voice in Science

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I have been thinking about ways I can invite student voice into my Science classroom. Here are a things I have found valuable so far this year.

Revisiting Lab Notebooks
Many years ago, I asked that my Chemistry students keep a lab notebook to use for lab work. The purpose of the notebooks, at that time, was for students to record their data during the lab activity, then to write their 'lab report' in the notebook when the activity was over. I abandoned this practice at some point, finding the stack of lab notebooks made a formidable marking pile that I dreaded tackling. I think now that it may have been the monotony of marking 30 or 60 identical labs that I was actually dreading.

This year, my grade 12 students are using lab notebooks for some of their lab activities. Their first use of their notebooks was during our first learning cycle when they were asked to design and perform an experiment to electroplate a metal object. I made it clear to my students that their lab notebo…

First Unit Gradeless in 12U Chem, Part 2

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OK, so it has been about a week since the last brain dump...time for another. Lots of turkey between then and now. :) I hope everyone had a restful weekend.

Last time, I left off explaining that my grade 12 students and I were going to come to a consensus about a grade that represents their learning in the first chemistry unit. For this to happen, the students and I each had some homework to do first:

Students completed a self-assessment based on the overall learning goals for the unit, assigning themselves a level (1-4) for each item. After that, they had the option of assigning themselves a grade or grade range) that they felt represented their learning so far.Using my data (from product, conversation, and observation) I assigned each student a grade range based on their progress (75-80, 80-85, etc.) 
Students submitted their self-assessments to me so that I had time to read their comments. The majority of students in my two classes have submitted their self-assessments for the firs…

First Unit Gradeless in 12U Chem, Part 1

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I would love to write a very long blog post right now, but just don't have the time, so I'm going to try to share what's been happening in a few 'shorter' posts (they won't actually be short, because I don't have time this week to edit them down to their essences...so I hope you don't mind if it feels more like a train of thought).

Student Point of View so FarAt the end of last week my grade 12 students had come to the 'end' of their electrochemistry unit having not received a single grade. I used single point rubrics to give feedback on their lab reports and written & verbal feedback for our quick quizzes and the unit test. On Friday my students were asked to complete a very brief survey with a single question.

Question:
What are your reflections about our gradeless classroom so far? Be honest and open. This survey is anonymous.

I currently have about 50 students in this course, and the responses from students varied. Here are some of the respo…