Friday, June 18, 2010

Positive reinforcement

When Alan Weintraut, 2006 Dow Jones Teacher of the Year, began the session on Grading and Assessment, he began with something unexpected. The dreaded pop quiz.

Once again, we were all students facing many questions. Who's going to see this? Do I have to put my name on this? Can we use our notes? Why didn't you warn us to study?

Although we didn't know it at the time, Weintraut was using this entire simulation as a teaching tool to help us see what kinds of assessments we should be giving our students. He really made me take a look at how I am assessing my own students. Are my questions fair questions to ask? Do I always have to give a grade?

Grading and assessment are two areas where I continually struggle. It was nice to hear the comments from other teachers about how they deal with the grading in their own classrooms and to take bits and pieces of what I liked about other grading styles to apply to my own classroom.

On another note, whenever you can positively reinforce students for a job well done it's a plus--even teachers like to get the rewards (photo at left) too.

Laura Schwinn
Emporia High School
Emporia, Kan.

1 comment:

  1. Laura, I think you rock. You have positively reinforced my learning experience here at the institute. Thank you for being an absolute professional.