A few days ago I happened to be walking through the library before school. Two female students were sitting at a table doing homework.
One of the students was working on a Math assignment. I heard her ask the other student, "Did you already do your Math homework?"
The other student replied, "No. I wait until after the 'check-up' and then decide if I need to do the homework."
Not knowing the class, the teacher, the exact content, the student, or the student's progress, I can't say definitively that the student was making the wisest decision for herself. However, I LOVE the fact that the student's teacher has obviously been training his or her students to use assessment-elicited feedback to guide their decision-making. It's evident that the "check-up" (what I would assume to be a quiz in traditional educational lingo) is viewed by this student not as an assessment FOR a grade but instead as an assessment FOR learning. Perhaps the student made the wrong decision to not do homework in this instance, but this student is being guided by her teacher down an important path. This student is being taught to assess herself and make decisions based on that assessment.
Are you providing your students with opportunities to assess their learning so that they are aware of what they know and what they do not yet understand?
Kudos to the Salem High School Math teacher who is providing his or her students with regular check-ups!
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