Teaching to Half a Class, PART 2 (Exploring Teacher Evaluation Policy with Students)

This is a follow up to the previous post from May 31, 2011: Teaching to Half a Class - and coming out feeling like a state politician...

Today we conducted part 2 of our "students as teachers" lesson. After much reflection, I decided to start out the period with shared reading on a brief article regarding teacher evaluation policies in our state. We then discussed - in groups then whole class - the pros and cons of basing teacher evaluation on student performance.

Following our discussion, students participated in a modified "four corners" activity in which they stood in one of four corners based on their opinions and reactions to this particular teacher evaluation idea. As students chose their corner, we conducted an informal debate, and students made a lot of switching between corners as they agreed or disagreed with their classmates' comments.

Interestingly, the data is below:

In taking a look at these results, I noticed that the students' opinions changed quite dramatically throughout the course of the discussion. Many wanted to continue debating and I believe that there would have been more shifts had we continued. After our debate/discussion, we decided to re-tool the evaluation of our "students as teachers" activity. Students worked in collaborative groups to discuss their "plan" for a more ideal teacher assessment plan. Then they individually reported their initial ideas for am improved plan via a Google Form on my website. At the bottom of this post are the first few ideas that students submitted. Note that some students took on writing their plan wholly from a teacher = Ms. Magiera viewpoint while others' writing was from a teacher = myself/my classmate perspective. For homework tonight, students will continue drafting their new assessment plans based on these ideas.

I was very intrigued to see the variation of ideas and the basis for "fairness" amongst my students. On Monday we will read through the various proposals in groups and vote on a final plan for our "students as teachers" activity. Then will conduct the activity in the early part of next week utilizing our new plan.

I invite any additional ideas or feedback on this lesson - thank you :)!

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