Today is the day the students have been waiting for! It is the end of our novel study and they are eager to show off their creative genius to their peers. Everyone is required to produce three projects as we have made our way through this unit on character change. However, the first thing we do is take some time to reflect on this unit of study and the creation of the required projects, in particular. The students work independently to fill in the 3-2-1 entrance ticket. This information will identify the challenges and successes of working on long term projects. After reviewing the responses I will make notes of any changes to keep in mind for next year.
Each person needs to follow a calendar and create three projects that described how plot events shape the way the main character grows and changes from the beginning of the novel to the end.
The purpose of the display gallery is explained here. Students chose their projects from a menu of nine. While they are eager to display their work, it is important to set some guideline for comments. I encourage them to look at content and to keep in mind that not everyone is an accomplished artist. Accurate details and following all the directions are important. All comments are aimed at helping someone improve rather than pointing out flaws. That does not mean that presentation does not matter. As a matter of fact, it is part of the rubric for the projects. Attached you will find a series of photos taken during the project gallery walk as students circulated around the room. Some students worked with a partner or small group to produce film clips and presentations.
Learning to work successfully in a small group teaches students important skills that they will apply throughout their academic and post-graduate careers. Some students do not value their contributions enough and some over estimate their contributions. Taking the time for students to fill out the peer evaluation forms gives them insight that may open their eyes in a way that hearing the same comments from me will not. I remind the students of the guidelines for positive feedback that we talked about earlier.
The report cards the students receive each trimester include a section for Habits of Mind, which includes coming prepared to class, puts forth best effort, engages in class discussions, etc. The information from the exit tickets will count towards those grades. Making this point throughout the unit provides an incentive that cannot be measured! A few samples are attached.