I was so excited to start Write 6×6 last week. I was raring to go. Ready to put pen to paper. Super excited. And then I got the writing prompt. Whaaat! A song?
What song represents your career in education, your evolution as a teacher, or your approach to student success?Lisa
My enthusiasm was immediately crushed. I couldn’t think of a song. I mean how does Coi Leray’s “Players” have to do with my career in education? The lyrics constantly playing in my head, “Yeah, ’cause girls is players too…” Am I player? What does that mean? I can’t even think of another song, and this one is so not appropriate. Sigh.
It got me thinking though. How often do we crush our students’ enthusiasm in our classes? Does it happen on day one as Lisa did mine? Ha! Just kidding, Lisa. But truly does it happen at all? The biggest culprit I see is grades. Often with grades on those first few big assignments, a poor performance on the first few without the others in the grade book to weigh them out can be crushing. I often have students ask, how did my grade go from 95% to 72% overnight? Well, I graded something, and you didn’t do well. Crushed!
Students don’t always get the math, so seeing their grade drop drastically is not encouraging. So years ago I changed my strategy. I still crushed my students if they didn’t do well, but I introduced a policy to not only help students learn from their mistakes but also to keep them motivated and in the game. Assignments submitted on time and complete are eligible for a rewrite. They can resubmit the assignment within a week and earn a better score. Rewrites are optional, but they get feedback on the work and an opportunity to improve and learn. Canvas now makes this convenient for me to suggest rewrites with the Reassign button in Speedgrader.
I encourage them to submit a rewrite by giving them clear feedback using a rubric and comments on the assignment. Often times it’s a simple fix that students resubmit right away. Other times it’s a bit more involved. But the overall grade in the course bounced back up after a rewrite grade is entered, and hopefully, students are motivated to keep going unless, of course, they get stumped by a strange writing prompt and just give up without trying. Yep, I get it now.