Keeping the project plates spinning
Following on from Suzy Boss’s blog on not giving up on projects, and thinking about how to keep them ticking along, my student Tia rescued us today by happening to bring in an EXCELLENT example of evidence that she had actually grown these professional-looking radishes:
and here’s her Judge Judy level evidence that she really did it:
The Sports Project began coming in from 8th grade today.
Feeling overwhelmed at the amount of grading and the need to give substantive feedback on something they have spent so long on.
Brainwave – have them peer edit like they do in English class – was it clear what their partner did? Did they use good science? Is there evidence they actually DID the project? Do their conclusions fit their results? Best thing about it? Advice for next project? Then they give their feedback and kids made some last minute changes before handing it in.
Turns out that unlike us tweaky adults, they actually LIKE getting constructive criticism, especially when they can improve. They don’t like “good job” vague comments, and frankly neither do I. Feels patronizing and/or dismissive. This is so much better than my trying to do it all. Nice to piggy back on a skill they totally have from our district emphasis on writing.
Added benefit is they have to revisit what good science is and apply it in a real setting.
I went round and gave them comments on their log books – the toughest part of getting them to do the project but I’m insisting – it’s professional science, engineering and project management habit plus sometimes a legal document and part of evidence you did stuff.
Most said they improved. Some said they improved more than they expected. A few bravely admitted that they did NOT improve and for some reason, that gives me hope that they are truly learning about the nature of science, evidence and honesty.