Kate Burton (@k8burton), our science goddess, and I have been discussing assessment. One of the many things I love and admire about Kate is her willingness to experiment to learn and grow. The label science goddess makes many giggle, but she approaches everything through the lens of a scientist. What if we experiment with an assessment plan? What if we use the Leading Learners to Level Up philosophy to communicate expectations and a path to grow? What if we experiment with a system of feedback that includes self-assessment, peer-to-peer and teacher assessment?
Kate and I met Wednesday morning to talk about Leading Learners to Level Up and how she might incorporate it into her assessment plan. It was awesome! I’m sure I expected to talk about the scientific method and the content of her course. Kate came with a list of what she areas of growth for her student-learners. Her list included persistence, tenacity, curiosity, attitude, communication, open to constructive criticism, and the ability to ask questions. She uses science content to teach and model these learning targets.
Using an interview method, she talked and I took (messy) notes as fast as I could write. Kate started with her list and elaborated to offer me context and additional information. The interview protocol really calls for me to listen and reflect back what I hear. I should not interject my experience. I should listen for what is important to the interviewee. I failed twice and told a story. I am not the interviewer I will become.
After collecting lots of notes, we noticed two areas where Kate added more detail while we were talking. Together, we discussed perseverance and tenacity and what Kate would like to encourage in her learners. Our draft for the target for perseverance and tenacity is that every child will be able to say (and d0):
I can keep working when things go wrong to learn from the process. I can learn from the experience and try again.
But, what if I can’t? What if I am not there yet? What can I do to get on a path to success? And, what if I’m already there? What can I do to level up? Here’s our first draft of a learning progression to lead learners to level up.
We also worked on risk-taking. Our draft for the target for risk-taking is that every child will be able to say (and d0):
I can risk being wrong to test my ideas and strategies and appreciate what I gan through my risks.
What if we post these where our young learners can see and refer to them? Will they be able to calibrate where they are and ask Kate questions to learn and grow? Will they begin to coach each other? How will having a common vocabulary and understanding influence this learning community?
These are drafts. We intend to ask our learners for their feedback. We’d also love to know what you think. Please leave us a comment if you can and will add to our thinking.