My mistake… I didn’t read the question

March 7, 2008 at 6:02 am Leave a comment

BRODY got stuck. And did exactly as I’d requested: he turned over the worksheet and completed the questions.

Where am I stuck?… Why am I stuck?… How am I going to get unstuck?

He confessed. Where he was stuck was right at the start.

Why was he stuck?… He’d got stuck because he hadn’t read the question carefully.

How was he planning to get unstuck?… read the question carefully.

It was the first time I’d used these particular student self-assessment prompts on the back of an assignment. Brody’s cooperation was helpful… to us both.

For him, it was not a bad lesson to realize that it helps to read the question carefully before you start. For me, it gave me the opportunity to talk again about student self-assessment, and the advantages of self-reflection and students’ taking responsibility for their own learning… as well as reading the question.

Soon, much of the rest of the class was submitting the assignment with notes on the back. Some even noted math difficulties. Mick was smiling broadly when he gave me his sheet that said he was frightened of exponents! But if he remained calm he could overcome his fear and learn to love them. This smacked of the discussion on how even negative numbers need someone to go to the prom with.

And then there was Anya who wrote “Nowhere” to the question where. “I’m not stuck” to the question why. And “Nothing” to the question of what she intended doing about getting unstuck. Seems reasonable.

Five million points for all those who completed the self-reflection.

Other assignment designs call for an explanation of how students have tackled a problem. They all contain a box along the lines of…

❏ Got it!… I can do this without help + I can help others

❏ Almost got it… I can figure it and sometimes help others

❏ Getting it… I’ve got the idea + I can do it with a little help from my friends

❏ Good start… I can do it with help step-by-step

❏ Starting… I can start problems and ask questions to get help

Self-assessment rubrics can be downloaded at The PiFactory assessment page


Entry filed under: Student self-assessment, Thoughts from the classroom, What's on the PiFactory blog.... Tags: , , , .

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