Ms. Rhodes brought examples of student word problems. She uses a rubric that uses a one to five grading scale and she shared three examples of students solving problems at different levels of the rubric. After quickly discussing her work we transitioned to Ms. Carter’s work as she is currently involved in a Convergence project.
Carter’s students are making podcasts through the perspective of Egyptian reporters. The amount of prep work involved to do this project is intensive she shared. It includes technically and subject knowledge to successfully complete. Students pick a subject area that interests them about ancient Egypt and report as if they are on the scene, in Egypt.
She had her students complete a checklist of ideas they need to have to be successful. Examples on the checklist include “We introduce title and topic,” “we introduce all broadcasters,” “we speak loud and clear,” and “we explain why our topic was chosen.” Carter also uses multiple rubrics for reading and speaking aspects of the project but is really concerned about the content that they share. George mentioned that these skills will tie into the “Raisin in the sun” as they will be interviewing other students at the completion of the unit.
Liz mentioned how this project, or the examples from the project that we reviewed, relate back to struggles with writing conventions that Brady mentioned. Revision is the next step. We shared that group revision through conversation can really help them articulate what they are trying to say. Conferencing was also discussed and viewed as critical to help students improve their writing.
As mentioned above, some students used banter in their scripts to make the Podcast more interesting for the audience. We liked this but want the students to know that they need to get back on focus. George mentioned they should know why that banter is important, they get that a little banter can make academic work more interesting but isn’t the main focus of the writing .
The conversation evolved into a discussion about ways we can help students express their thoughts. Mr. Pagan mentioned that the students jump on one idea and have trouble questioning their beliefs that contradict the answer. This will be discussed in greater depth next week as we ran out of time.