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How Did I Do?




It is likely that all of us, during our educational formation, whether in grade school, high school, or at the university level, experienced some level of anxiety after we submitted an assessment. How did we do? Did we ace the exam or did we bomb it? Waiting for the results was nerve-wracking, and sometimes we didn’t receive our scores for a week or even longer. While that is sometimes the case today, technology has certainly sped up the time-gap; often we receive our results instantly, and that immediate feedback is important for growth and progress.


Also important is equipping students with the tools to be able to assess their own progress without relying exclusively on a computer or a teacher to validate comprehension. If students are provided with a set of short-term and long-term goals (aka Learning Intentions – “Where am I Going?”), and the benchmarks that measure success (aka Success Criteria – “How will I know if I am Successful?”), then students should be able to gauge their own progress without waiting for someone else to tell them how they are doing. As a Visible Learning Partner School, this is one of the traits or Qualities of a Good Learner.


One strategy St. Michael’s School teachers have implemented this fall is the Single Point Rubric. The rubric provides the Success Criteria, or the benchmarks that students should achieve toward their Learning Intention (learning goal). Students evaluate their own work based on the benchmarks and determine if they are still “Growing” toward that goal, or if they are “Glowing,” because they have achieved or even surpassed that goal. Students must also be able to prove their self-evaluation with evidence or data pulled directly from their work. In addition, some teachers are asking students to record themselves explaining and defending their progress. Teaching students to accurately and reflectively self-evaluate, and focus more on improvement rather than a grade, will give them ownership of their own learning and hold them accountable for their own growth.


You can use this model at home as well with tasks or chores you want your child to accomplish. For example, if the goal is for your child to clean their room, then you need to set specific benchmarks or Success Criteria to achieve that goal: fold clothes neatly (you might have to teach this first) and put them in the dresser, hang clothes in closet, make bed, etc. Then, your child should be able to evaluate their own progress based on the Success Criteria you established. Other examples might be feeding or walking a pet, cutting the grass, emptying the trash, and so forth. It also works well for sports, music, or other extra-curricular activities – instead of waiting for praise from a parent or coach, children should be able to realistically reflect on their own performance, and then set goals for improvement.


Self-evaluation/reflection is a process that is not intuitive and must be taught. As adults, we have all encountered individuals whose contributions fall far short of our own expectations, yet they think they are exceptional. Conversely, there are those who sell themselves short, and do not see the value of their gifts. Arming students with the ability to accurately and fairly evaluate their achievements will set them up for success today and in the future.


In Mission,

Kathy

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