This is How I Communicate

For most of my teaching career, I spent hours writing comments on student assignments. Comments may be read but hardly internalized. There had to be a better way. Pardon the pun. I can't remember where I first heard the idea, but I expanded upon it and share it here to save teacher's time.

A fear is that once a SMART WAY starts, how will I communicate and be respectful with those I serve? It's just me, and time is limited, so I will use the same strategy I used with my students when correcting their work. I used a highlighter to define areas of concern. No comments are written on student papers. When going through student work, anything I'd write to advise students would be written 'on the board.' As you know, I used SMART Notebook to digitally plan my lessons so I could easily share my work.

When evaluating, I'd end up with a wide range of concerns. You can't fix everything all at once, so define what you are looking for and include students when you do it. Negotiate with students about what is essential and how much it is worth. Create a Rubric together. Train your students to think like teachers.

Working with the highlighted mistakes in students' work, they would look at the list I created when evaluating their work and determine what comments applied to them. Students would identify and write comments that applied to them.

Teachers determine the final score with the aid of Rubrics and how well the student can identify and correct the mistakes they had made. Papers are returned to the teacher, and a final grade is given.

What if a teacher has a bank of comments that they cut and paste in work handed in digitally? If you do that, once again, the teacher is doing more work than they should; students don't use higher-order thinking skills when reading other people's comments.

This evaluation process is logical, effective, inclusive and empowering, and you're welcome to it.

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