Sunday, 12 February 2017

Final Update - Stories of Worldview Case Study: Intercultural Contact Between the Spanish and Aztec Empires of the 16th Century


UP NEXT: Litspiration: The Scorpion Project

Step 4: Peer Feedback & Revision
On Monday, all groups were expected to come to class with a completed project in order to participate in the peer feedback opportunity. As a large group, we talked about the difference between feedback and judgement, ensuring we all focused our efforts on providing specific, action-oriented ideas to our peers, as well as support. I encouraged students to approach this in conversation form: instead of abandoning your own work in order to view someone else's, two groups were instructed to sit together and discuss each others' projects. We used this small, two-sided form to help us and to record our big ideas:

I took a page out of the elementary handbook with the "stars" and "wishes" approach. 
Talking about "stars" and "wishes" for each group's project.

The peer feedback process took almost an entire double period (80 minutes) as I encouraged students to seek feedback from at least two other groups. Some got up to 3, and all ended up with some clear advice which they then used to improve their final product to have it ready for Wednesday's gallery walk.

The process of peer feedback is also a way for me to assess how students enhance and support our learning community. As you can see from the supportive, specific feedback, that is going pretty well in our classes!

Step 5: Reflection
On Wednesday afternoon, students set up their projects in the Collaboratorium so that both classes could see each others' work. They then chose their top 2 projects, and told me why. This tells me a lot about what they value in projects such as this, and how they understand the learning outcomes. This also allows students to reflect on the project in full, considering how others have taken up the learning outcomes differently than they did.

Students received feedback from me on their final product as well (already! I know - I really committed to getting this done quickly!), and have completed individual reflections in their journals which I will look at asap.

The Scorpion Project
Friday morning we started on our second litspiration inquiry of the year, a full grade novel study! This novel study will allow students to dig into the process of literary analysis, as well as solidify their skills of reading closely, Talking to the Text, effective discussion, and writing well (i.e., engagingly, concisely, precisely, and clearly).

There is a reading schedule that students must follow closely; the request has been made for students NOT to read ahead! We will be moving quickly through this inquiry in order to complete as much as possible before Spring Break. Of course, we are often met with challenges in the form of schedule changes (field trips, assemblies, etc.) that we cannot always control, but it is my hope that we can stick to this timeline as closely as possible.