Thursday, January 2, 2014

Kids Don't Want To Be a Zero

Why won't my students rate themselves where they truly belong on my scale of understanding! It's so frustrating. "How many of you are a 1?" We say this at the beginning of class and even though most of the class may be a 1 at the beginning of the lesson or unit they refuse to raise their hands.

It really is a waste of time trying to explain to students why they need to be honest with the scale and why being a 1 is ok. We are trying to convince the ego and that usually gets us no where.

Nobody wants to say "I don't know something". It's not good for our ego. Whether the bottom of your scale is a 0 or a 1 is irrelevant. 

How can this issue be resolved for accurate self assessment for the students?

Aha! It's all in the wording. Rather than listing your 1 as an "I don't know" try listing it as "I DO know". Your current standards and learning goals build on your students' previous years of knowledge. So make the bottom of your scale reflect where you students are at currently.

Being a 1 is something they should feel good about. They do know something. And our job is to make them feel excited that after the lesson or unit they are going  to know even more.

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