This is the first day back from spring break, so we will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I am hoping that it will actually be reading time and not "catch up with friends" time. I will read with students during this time--that should help!
I owe my teaching partner some time today, so we are going to do a very brief wrap up meeting with book club groups today before we move on to history work.
The chief goal for these meetings is to give students a chance to work with their groups one last time to choose the best work for each assigned role they completed as a part of their preparations for each book club meeting. These activities were formative assessments of their reading comprehension and analysis, and I have been checking them off as they have been turning them in. Each student will earn an individual grade for all the work they completed. These final portfolios are assessing their ability to work as a group to choose artifacts that highlight their discussions. I will give them a small summative assessment grade based on the five pieces that they submit as a group. I hope that these portfolios will help me to tell which students did not contribute to their group as well as others as well as show me, though the discussion process, how functional their groups were. I am going to stay out of the way and observer how students set rules for decision making that allow them to negotiate based on their own criteria what is worth including vs. what is not (SL.9-10.1b).
Logistically speaking, I will have students write a list of criteria they are using to determine what work should be included in the portfolio. I will also ask them to write a brief justification for each piece they do include on a sticky note (I'll hand these out), which they will affix to their work. These will serve as additional evidence of their group negotiation process, which is ultimately what I am assessing today.
I will remind students before they move into their groups that their work is not guaranteed a place in the final portfolio. This should make a few of them nervous given the lack of effort they put into their work. To make sure that no one is being personally attacking in the negotiation process, I will circulate the room while they are discussing to make sure they are being nice/focused on the task rather than on individuals.
In the last few minutes of class, I will ask the groups to organize the desks and to turn in their final portfolios.
Once they are back in their assigned seats, I will tell them that anyone who feels like their work was not chosen when it should be or who is worried about their lack of inclusion can write me a letter telling me how they contributed to their group during our discussions and through their work. I will tell them they have a few days to get these done, but that they should be thoughtful, not accusatory. I would much rather hear about the strengths each student feels like they brought to the group than hear a bunch of complaining about other people (W.9-10.10).