POP: Rescuing a Research Nose-Dive

February 16, 2011 at 10:22 AM 1 comment

Grading 150 3 page packets of research(5. Research for POP) is pretty wearing and it’s easy to focus on the rubbish:

  • Vague definitions off the top of their heads.
  • Incomplete sections.
  • Not triangulating their facts.
  •  Any old website cited from the top of a Google search. Just the url, no date or organization.

Citing other’s work is a continuing, major issue for students. It feels like a bit of a moral imperative to me. I recognize how tedious it is when I do my own work, but I know I would be so furious to see someone else using my work and passing it off as their own. On the other hand, I’d be totally honored if they did the exact same presentation or paper, and did acknowledge me. So I do continue to make the effort to pass this on.

But how to rescue an assignment debrief that started as a big whine and nag session? Oh, I should mention that 3 of my 5 classes have a class average of less than a C right now….

So I force my head up and look instead for the kids who did a great job in periods 6 and 7. I say exactly why I liked what they did. Then I showed a list of questions for them to evaluate their work: 5. Research Rubric , reviewed my redo policy and told them their scores had been uploaded for parents to see. And moved on. That’s it. Respectful, brief and MUCH better for the atmosphere of the class. Imagine that.


Entry filed under: Assessment and grading, Class Management, Critical Thinking, Inquiry and critical thinking, The Problems with Oil Project. Tags: , , , .

POP, TAP Cause and Effect Flow Charts Connecting monomers, polymers and stuff you can actually see…

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Karen Snelson  |  February 18, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    I so know the struggle. I had to practice switching my negatives to positives mid week.. Instead of “I can’t believe you think this is the cause of the problem. You haven’t followed the directions to check your information with three reliable sources” Guess my tone of voice…

    Substitute.:”This is such an important issue. When you find out the causes and how big the issue is, kids will be blown away. Sorry, I can’t pass it and that you are now under the gun. I bet you will be up late tonight finding reliable sources.This time
    try to follow the directions for each step & knock my socks off tomorrow.

    There was, then, a different feeling to the room. I had to admit to my first period how frustrated I was yesterday. Karen Snelson



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