Category: Evaluation

The homework myth?

This past school year, I cut back on the amount of homework that I was assigning to accommodate some students who were taking more time to do the homework than I anticipated. At the end of the year, I was also realized just how little free time students have at home, given homework, sports, and … Continue reading The homework myth?

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Weimer, Learner-Centered Teaching

I love that my school is making a push to have a more learner-centered learning experience for our students. As part of this, English and History classes frequently use the Harkness method and the year before I arrived at the school, a group of teachers did a book study of Dr. Maryellen Weimer's Learner-Centered Teaching: Five … Continue reading Weimer, Learner-Centered Teaching

Discouraging the use of Google Translate

Discouraging the use of Google Translate

"This is, like, your favorite game." One of my students said after I announced that we were going to play a game that I like to call "Are you smarter than Google Translate?" Pretty much every world language teacher dislikes our students using Google Translate, and each of us has our own way of discouraging … Continue reading Discouraging the use of Google Translate

Grading English Language Learners’ Writing

This semester, I'm teaching more international students than I have in the past. Since some of them do not always have the best English, it raises a question: how do I grade their writing? How much do I focus on their ideas and how much do I focus on their ability to communicate their ideas and … Continue reading Grading English Language Learners’ Writing

What is in a name?

A paper by any other name would be as formal, right? Apparently not. This semester, I assigned several brief writing assignments in my mythology and Roman archaeology classes. I called them "Exercises" so that they would not seems as stressful and help communicate that they should be brief. Instead, I think the word "Exercise" communicated that … Continue reading What is in a name?

Students’ papers as arguments

So far this semester, I have graded students' brief writing assignments in two different classes. Both papers were grounded in describing an object.  One paper asked students to describe a building and then identify what type of building it was (i.e. Roman temple), and the other paper explicitly asked students to compare a vase painting to events described … Continue reading Students’ papers as arguments

Plagiarism

Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention, which was 7% plagiarised from Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, has sparked a series of stories about plagiarism.  These discussions illustrate well why plagiarism is problematic, and several news stories may be helpful for teaching students about plagiarism before, or after, they commit … Continue reading Plagiarism

Rubrics

In continuation of my series of posts about helping students develop better emotional health and providing students with useful feedback (see standards-based grading, SE2R feedback, and commenting on students' writing), I wanted to explore rubrics.  Even though they may not seem like the most exciting topic, they are not completely straightforward either.  I list here … Continue reading Rubrics

Providing feedback on students’ writing

The best kind of commentary enhances the writer's feeling of dignity. The worst kind can be experienced as dehumanizing and insulting--often to the bewilderment of the teacher, whose intentions were kindly but whose techniques ignored the personal dimension of writing. (Engaging Ideas, p. 317) With this comment, John Bean explains the importance of providing strong, … Continue reading Providing feedback on students’ writing