A blog to share information on literacy strategies across contents and grade levels. Metacognitive strategies included. "Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one's thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one's thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner." -- Vanderbilt University
When we are judging everything, we are learning nothing.
husband and I are watching the Olympic diving competition. It isn’t
long before we are yelling out scores as soon as each diver hits the
water. “He was a little over – can’t be more than a 7.5.” “That’s a 9
for sure – look how tight that flip was.” Sometimes the scores we guess
are right, and sometimes they are way off. After a few minutes of this,
we are laughing about
how absurd the whole thing is. This is a sport we watch once (maybe)
every four years, and within minutes we have deemed ourselves experts,
thinking we can instantly judge something that has precise rules and
standards. Of course we can’t, but that doesn’t stop us from piping up
with judgments. The problem is that it looks so easy to score, based on
either a clean entry or something resembling a splat when the diver
hits the water. The truth is that the real experts are looking
at far more than one thing at a time.
You know where I’m going with this – everyone’s an armchair
expert when it comes to education. The problem is that most of us only
get to see the scores, and not all the work or even the materials used
to produce those scores. But it’s the people behind the scores who give
you the truth about whether there’s any learning going on or not, or
whether a good score was even possible on a test with a lousy design or
in a school where there are extreme issues of
poverty and migration. No one would watch the Olympics if we only got to
see the scores, with no performances. And the people who pay billions
for the rights to broadcast the Olympics have learned that the ratings
success formula isn’t to show performance + score. It’s life story +
performance + score. Once you know the person behind the performance,
you’re sometimes not even worried if they make it to the podium or not.
You’re just thrilled to be watching someone on the
world stage who beat all the odds to even get there.
Knowing this, it still won’t stop me from yelling out scores
before they are posted. But at least I can laugh at the absurdity of it.
I wish the same was true for everyone who thinks they know how to fix
schools based on some numbers on a page.
This week we look at mentors and mentor texts. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
One goal of many primary teachers is to help students finish
their drafts with an ending other than "The End" (or "they lived happily
ever after"). Katie DiCesare shows her first graders many alternative examples, and she begins early in the year with powerful mentor texts:
Join Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan for the online course Making Assessments Work for You starting September 23. This course includes the book Assessment in Perspective, a DVD, three webcasts, and personal responses from Clare and Tammy to all your questions: